Thursday, November 21, 2013 , Updated 12:46 p.m., November 22, 2013
UPDATED: Man who took video of JFK assassination, Abraham Zapruder, lived at 3909 Marquette
Stories about his life say he was haunted by the footage he took.
UNIVERSITY PARK The issue of LIFE: 50 Years Later that is on newsstands tells the incredible, gut-wrenching story of how Life editor Dick Stolley obtained the video of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas 50 years ago. It was shot carefully with a Bell & Howell Zoomatic Director Series Model 414 PD camera, by University Park resident Abraham Zapruder.
Amazing to think that now, 50 years later, we all have video cameras right in our hands with our smart phones: Look at the videos that resurface moments after tragedies such as the Boston Marathon Bombing.
Despite the hundreds of media in Dallas that day for President Kennedy’s visit, it was Zapruder, a clothing manufacturer (I actually remember his label “Jennifer Juniors”) who was standing on a block of cement and steadily filming away, steady hand even during the most horrific scene, the famous frame 313. That frame was left out of the publication of the photos out of respect for the president and his family. I don’t recall ever seeing it until the last few weeks.
You must read this report in TIME magazine, The JFK Image So Awful I Had to Cover My Screen: Two Weeks With the Zapruder Film. And look at frame 313. It will give you the same chills that we got when we saw people jumping out of the World Trade Center in 9/11.
A photo says Zapruder lived at 3009 Marquette, but that address doesn’t exist today. According to the deposition Zapruder gave to the Warren Commission, he lived at 3909 Marquette.
This was the house that was at 3909 Marquette in 2012. Built in 1947, it had 3,154 square feet, two bedrooms and two baths. It sold in May of last year for about $1.1 million. The lot was purchased by Paul Ching, whose son, Marc, is a real estate agent and developer at Allie Beth Allman.
I called Marc and he confirmed this was the Zapruder home. They tore the home down because in 2012 it was not in great shape, but in the process Marc’s parents found some JFK memorabilia.
Dallas past, and present.
UPDATE: Today, of course, marks the 50th year of that day that none of us will ever forget. I was in elementary school, second grade, and too young to register much of what was going on. Mostly I remember our teacher sobbing. School was dismissed for four days and we were at home, watching TV for hours trying to make sense out of what had happened “down” in Dallas. And I’ll admit it: I was scared and sad to see how Caroline Kennedy and John John were left without a dad.
Last Sunday, the New York Times published a story by a young chap, St. Mark’s grad James McAuley, a Harvard grad and Marshall scholar studying history at the University of Oxford. The City With a Death Wish in Its Eye:Dallas’s Role in Kennedy’s Murder basically says Dallas is a bastion of right wing nuts:
The far right of 1963 and the radicalism of my grandparents’ generation may have faded in recent years, they remain very much alive in Dallas. Look no further than the troop of gun-rights activists who appeared just days ago, armed and silent, outside a meeting of local mothers concerned about gun violence. If this is what counts as responsible civic dialogue, then Dallas has a long way still to go.
Those brighter than I have countered McAuley’ writing. While he is obviously a bright young man, the elements he writes about that existed in Dallas, 1963, have been neutralized dramatically by hordes of newcomers, including myself, who came here and fell in love with the “city that killed Kennedy.”
Bright young boy, yes, but I’m not sure McAuley did his homework.
No, a city did not kill Kennedy, a nutcase did, just as nutcases slammed two jets into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and almost got the U.S. Capitol.
As Steve Blow says, it’s time to move on.
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