...being a continuation, if not a conclusion.
I think the first conspiracist to capitalize on the JFK Assassination was attorney Mark Lane with Rush to Judgment, a 1966 volume highly critical of the Warren Commission Report's conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone and not in concert with others when he fired three rounds into Dealey Plaza at 12:30pm, 22 November 1963.
(This was the mid-'60s, and I was possessed of a certain political naïveté. I shiver at the recollection.)
I wanted to trust those who gainsaid the Warren Commission Report because it seemed so unfair that a "one gunman" with a cheap war surplus rifle2 could so alter history... but then I thought of Gavrilo Princip and what he did to the world with a .380 pistol.
For decades I had my doubts about the official report, especially after the United States House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations concluded in 1978 that there was a high probability of a conspiracy in the killing of the President.
By close of the exhibits on Saturday I'd gathered enough catalogues and press packets to keep me in material for months, so Sunday morning we ditched the Convention Center and headed to Dealey Plaza with no specific plan of action... we just wanted to see it in person.
We parked on North Record Street and walked around the corner down to the intersection of North Houston and Elm streets... and immediately separated, both so overcome with emotion neither of us could speak, something I had never experienced before and haven't since.
It was an extraordinary feeling to be in the grip of something that powerful, and it was several minutes before I could recover.
Then I began to look around for elements which had been described in so many reports and narratives: the grassy knoll, the sixth floor window of the Texas Book Depository, the triple underpass and the fence which could have concealed a shooter.
While I had been completely unprepared for the surge of emotion which had virtually paralyzed me, my second surprise came when I realized just how small Dealey Plaza actually was... it was half the size as I had been led to believe from the photographs and television coverage, and the famous Zapruder film.
Standing in front the fence, I looked up just in time to snap a photo of my companion from a familiar point of view...
...and later realized that the degree of difficulty of multiple accurate rifle shots into a slow-moving vehicle was not as great as I had always imagined.
Suddenly, the Warren Commission Report gained some credibility that I'd never thought possible prior to physically visiting the scene.
I still don't think we have all the answers to what really occurred that day in November 1963... it's always bothered the bejabbers out of me that there's still sealed files out there which probably won't be made public in my lifetime.
And I'm bothered by the shooting death of Dallas Police Officer J. D. Tippit approximately 20 minutes following that of JFK, allegedly by the same person, Lee Harvey Oswald.
Very compelling evidence has been presented that Oswald was, in fact, the direct instrument of both men's deaths... but 50 years later I'm still unclear how they are otherwise related. It just feels strange, is all.
And I think that's all I've got to say about any of these matters and any lingering doubts.
It's still difficuly for me to get my mind around what happened in Dallas half-a-century ago... or even that it's been that long.
I admitted to someone this weekend that 50 years later I'm still "undecided."