Downtown DALLAS/JFK City Tour

I was interested in going into downtown Dallas, but I would need to find some kind of “bus” tour because I knew Jack would NOT want to drive into downtown Dallas! We didn’t really know what to go see much less how to get around downtown in our own car. I googled “downtown bus tours” and several tours popped up. The one that really caught my eye was a 90 minute tour called “Downtown Dallas City/JFK Tour.” Forty-five minutes of this tour was devoted to the most popular city sites (museums, famous buildings, old churches, sculptures, parks, etc.), and the other forty-five minutes were dedicated to sites and buildings associated with the November 22, 1963, assassination of President John F. Kennedy. We chose to take this tour on Sunday (Dec. 3) in the hopes of avoiding the bad downtown Dallas traffic. That was a very wise decision on our part! There was very little traffic that day.

The first part of the tour was the downtown city sites. We were given a lot of information about the buildings, parks, etc., but since I didn’t write down any notes, I have forgotten most of it all.  😞  However, I took a lot of pictures! If I remembered anything about a picture, I wrote about it in the captions, SO be sure to read the captions!

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Downtown Dallas skyline.

4B5A56EC-7B60-4DF7-ADCB-CA0D14DF677B Building used as the “Ewing” building in the filming of the office scenes of the TV show DALLAS. They actually filmed inside the building using some of the offices.

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Dallas City Museum in the background.

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This historic old church is getting a “face lift.”

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MIZZOU in downtown Dallas! Go Tigers! MIZ…

AF672AEB-B15B-4B94-A67E-2455364C65EE First Baptist Church, downtown Dallas.62F47BDC-D2E3-4584-9945-8FC5835F513B FBC Dallas Family Center0DBB6FFC-DDC8-47F0-B87B-BDA9903898EF FBC Dallas entryway fountain.

The second half of the trip was following the path President Kennedy’s motorcade took that fateful day in November, 1963, and other interesting places related to the assassination.  I remember exactly where I was when I heard President Kennedy had been shot (5th grade classroom right before recess; our teacher let us girls go to the bathroom, and we were all crying thinking the world was coming to an end). It was a sobering tour, and Jack and I both learned some new things about the President, Jackie, the shooting, Harvey Oswald, and Jack Ruby. It was interesting to say the least.  Here are just a few pictures of the JFK part of the bus tour:

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JFK Memorial Plaza in background.

59EA7F26-DC3A-4636-A4E8-E710C0F7CF1C JFK Memorial Plaza monument.E944A106-97FA-4603-8243-016D2AEFDA69903767EA-70B1-4523-AA27-8D7BFEEDC55435D6AB05-4E31-4477-BB0F-F52DF0FAE6EF

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Replica of the limo in which JFK, Jackie, and the Governor rode.

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Building from which Harvey Oswald shot JFK (second from the top floor, last window on the right; right side of window is open).

A8342A56-6ED9-4C6D-9804-D68A0B0C4CD9 The window where the white card with the black circle on it is the exact location of Oswald.987ADB40-E463-4765-9430-E09AE7D2F757 On the street at the spot where JFK was struck by the bullet, looking back to the building in which Oswald was located (window is hidden behind the tree limbs).1B43F84F-F8C4-4C78-96CF-D53B5423551A That green X in the street marks the spot where Kennedy’s limo was when the President was hit by the first bullet. There’s a second X further down the street where the second bullet hit him, but I didn’t get that in the picture.18AE0C90-362B-4BCF-8355-B9BDA3412565 The “grassy knoll” where it was believed a second shooter was located (now it is believed there was no second shooter).2BF41CCD-2C00-446C-A82B-D2F253F0BA14 The view of the street where JFK was shot from atop the grassy knoll.A0EFAE7A-0CD1-4CFD-B2FE-F0CC6AA625B4 View of the building Oswald was in, the grassy knoll, and the location of the assassination from the other side of the street.1673D379-9403-4918-8C45-8E8545F4A7909DF76BB4-3AC3-4E7C-B5E5-0BC8D6B517BA
We had the best tour guide, and she was very knowledgeable about the shooting of JFK.  She showed us the route that Oswald took after he shot Kennedy, the street where Oswald shot a police officer (Did you know he shot a police officer AFTER shooting Kennedy? We didn’t!), the theater where he was when the police found him and arrested him, and the boarding house where he was living at the time.

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This is the entrance to the police station back then where Jack Ruby just walked in and stood with the reporters and others. When the police brought Oswald out to transport him to another jail, Ruby shot him. That shooting was actually broadcast on live TV. Did you know that Jack Ruby had cancer at the time and didn’t have too much longer to live?

19434A8B-83FE-4BD8-A5D9-C8A1AA007498 The rooming house where Oswald was living at the time.2D37E868-7109-408D-A6D7-13FA0E56A2A5 The living room of the house where Oswald lived. Fifteen minutes after the assassination, Oswald walked back into this house after shooting the President. As he walked through the living room, the lady who owned the house was sitting on the couch watching her soap opera (you can see the back of the L-shaped couch in the bottom of the picture). Her soap opera had been interrupted by the news of the shooting. She told Oswald, “Someone just shot President Kennedy! Come sit down and watch this with me!” He walked into his room which was just off the living room, grabbed some stuff, and left the house without saying a word. All the furniture in the house is the original furniture from Nov. 22, 1963. This is our tour guide in the photo.7E095312-FAAF-4BC1-97CE-9FCC3A83B31C This is the small room just off the living/dining room that Oswald where Oswald was living at the time of the assassination.5A6C5B63-6B44-46D4-8457-99B234AB6BF4 Inside the rooming house was this death certificate for JFK. Something was incorrect on this certificate (I don’t remember what it was), so they had to issue a corrected certificate. This incorrect one was placed in the rooming house.

There was SO much more that we learned on this tour about the city of Dallas and the assassination of President Kennedy.  Jack and I both decided it was well worth the money.  The price for this 90 minute tour was $25 per person!  It was certainly worth the money and I’d recommend it to anyone!

So for now …. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

Fun Day Monday!

Before I tell you about the FUN DAY we had on MONDAY, I’ll give you quick overview of our super busy Tuesday:

Tuesday, November 28, was a day of chores.  We found a DIY doggie wash, so we took our little Miss Zoey there and gave her a bath.  We always gave her baths when we were living in a house, but in the RV, it’s a lot more difficult.  Anyway, she did fine and everyone there thought she was SO cute.  When we got home, we grabbed a quick sandwich and some fruit for lunch.

Then it was off to the laundromat to do laundry.  On the way home from the laundromat, we stoppped by the local grocery store and bought a couple of steaks.  After that, back at the RV, we set up outside (temperature that afternoon was around 74 degrees ☺️) and I groomed Zoey.  I used the clippers to trim her body hair and my new dog scissors to trim around her paws, tail, and ears.  Her face is another story.  She HATES the scissors coming close to her face; mainly she hates it when they come close to her eyes (I can’t say I blame her).  She usually fights Jack and me pretty hard, but today she wasn’t too bad.  I’m not as good as Miss Frankie at Pretty Paws Parlor in Bloomfield, MO, but here’s a picture of her after her hair cut:

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After all that, we put away the laundry, put the sheets back on the bed, and fixed supper.  We had grilled steaks, baked potatoes, and salad.  The steaks were delicious!  Jack just HAD to take a picture and text it to some friends of ours.

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Now ……  FOR OUR FUNDAY MONDAY ADVENTURE!

Monday morning we drove a little over an hour to Plano, TX.  We had a special place we wanted to visit.  This place is known worldwide and has a unique place in the entertainment culture of this country, as well as many countries around the world.  This TV show is notorious for one of the biggest “cliff hangers” ever, and everyone was talking about that cliff hanger all summer long —  in reality they kept us in suspense for EIGHT long agonizing months until the fourth episode of the fourth season!  Here’s a little hint:

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YEP!  You guessed it!  We visited Southfork Ranch where all the outside scenes of the TV show DALLAS were shot!

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It is a beautiful ranch even in the late fall/winter when the grass is brown.  I can only imagine how beautiful it would be in the springtime when the grass is green.  There are several barns, smaller houses, pastures, and the rodeo area where they shot all the rodeo scenes when Dusty Farlow and Sue Ellen were together.

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I won’t bore you with ALL the outside pictures I took (Believe me! It was A LOT!).  Here’s something I didn’t know:  This is not the original house/ranch that the first five episodes were filmed at.  The series was only supposed to be five episodes long; like a little weekly mini-series beginning on April 2, 1978.  By the fifth week, the show ranked in the top ten of the week’s most watched shows.  The producers and “big wigs” at CBS decided to approve thirteen more scripts and Season One began the next full season.  When the owners of the original ranch where they were filmed the first three episodes were approached about extending the filming at their home into a regular series, they said “No.”  I bet they regret that decision now!  The producers were forced to find another ranch in the Dallas area.  They used a helicopter to do an aerial search and eventually found Southfork (that’s where they got the idea for the helicopter flying around for the opening of the show!).  The show ran for thirteen years, and, as they say….”The rest is entertainment history!”

The house was built by Joe Duncan and his wife in 1970 and was named Duncan Acres.  Their plan was to raise quarter horses on the ranch which was originally 200 acres.  The house they built was 5,900 sq. ft. with a 957 sq. ft. enclosed garage. Exterior scenes for the show were shot at the ranch from 1978 to 1989,  The agreement was that the Duncans would remain living in their home and interior scenes would be shot back at studio sets in L.A.  The show became so popular, and one day during an interview, a talk show host let slip the location of the ranch.  Soon after that Mrs. Duncan came home to people unknown to her swimming in her pool, paparazzi all around, and their lives changed forever.  An investor (I don’t remember the man’s name) bought the ranch and turned it into a tourist attraction.  He eventually went broke and had to sell it.  A dear friend of Linda Gray’s (she played Sue Ellen) purchased the ranch. It is not only a tourist attraction now but an event center as well.  In 1989 the show’s production shifted entirely to the studio sets built in California.

The inside of the house is nothing like the inside we saw on the television series.  Although the house is big (5,900 sq. ft.), it is not as big as the studio sets of the interior of the house led the viewers to believe.  However, it is a very eloquent house in it’s own right.  Here are a few pictures of the interior (the house is now decorated for Christmas):

The dining room:

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Miss Ellie’s kitchen:

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The living room:

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The bar just off the living room:

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Miss Lucy’s bedroom:

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Bobby and Pam’s bedroom:

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And believe it or not, there is only ONE bedroom upstairs in this house.  The TV series led us to believe all the bedrooms were upstairs.  When the Duncans built the house the only bedroom upstairs was the master bedroom and master bathroom.  So this is the upstairs bedroom – technically JR’s bedroom:

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The master bathroom was gorgeous but my pictures aren’t very good and I guess I didn’t take enough of them.  Mrs. Duncan was short, so her sink was lower than Mr. Duncan’s.  Back in 1970 they were one of the first to have two shower heads in their walk-in shower.  They each had their own toilet rooms (because Mrs. Duncan did NOT like Mr. Duncan leaving the toilet seat up!), and hers even had a bidet.  I’m just sorry I didn’t get more pics of the bathroom.

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This is the view from the balcony off the master bedroom upstairs.

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The front door/entryway and staircase:

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There is another bedroom downstairs that I haven’t told you about yet.  Down the hall after Lucy’s and Bobby’s bedrooms, on the left there is another bedroom.  The hall was painted a very dark gray and this bedroom was used to film a scene in the reboot series of DALLAS that ran from 2012 to 2014.  If you were a DALLAS fan, you’ll remember the scene in Mexico where JR set up his murder.  That Mexican hotel room scene was set up at Southfork and filmed here.  If you look closely, you can see the outline of JR’s body on the floor.  Here is that bedroom:

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At the ranch, they even had the actual car that the character Jock Ewing drove in the show preserved in a plexiglass storage garage:

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I have more pictures but don’t want to bore you.  I will tell you that the museum was also very interesting with lots of memorabilia from the show, videos running of cast interviews, scripts signed by cast members, the saddles they used when riding horses on the show, and much, much more.  Here are a few pictures of the museum:

Of course, they had life-sized cardboard pictures of the main characters:

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The saddles (from closest to farthest away): Larry Hagman’s, Linda Gray’s, Patrick Duffy’s and Victoria Principal’s:

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And, finally, the “piece de resistance” is ………..

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YEP!!  The actual stage gun used by the character Kristen to shoot JR at the end of Season 3 for one of the most jaw-dropping, “who done it” cliffhangers in television history!  Did you know that ALL cast members were filmed shooting JR so that they would not even know who shot JR until the episode aired?

There is so much more to this tour, but you will just have to come down to Texas and see Southfork and hear all about it yourself.  You are allowed to walk all around the ranch and spend as much time as you like.  They even have horse rides around the ranch that you can take, but we didn’t have that much time and you have to make a reservation in advance.  We had a great time touring Southfork and the weather was a little windy but absolutely beautiful.

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So for now …… “On The Road Again!”

Betty

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