Dr. Fogg & Sir Daniel presents..

Death & Gourmet Coffee

In Daniels articles on August 14, 2010 at 10:52 am

47 years ago, one man with a rifle in Dallas Texas made a decision that brought America, and the rest of the World, to it’s knees.   Considering the average person today lives to be in his/her 80’s, this means half the people I see currently walking around can remember November 22 1963.   Even more, they can all tell you exactly where they were and what they were doing the moment they heard that President John F Kennedy had been assassinated.

We have all seen the videos of people getting the news and the stunned looks of disbelief on their faces..   Then there is the Zapruder film, showing the motorcade pulling into Dealey Plaza, the President and the first lady waving..  the rifle shots.. Jackie leaning over..  The secret service man climbing aboard as the limo speeds up to go to the hospital where the nation would learn we just lost our leader..

we have all heard the various conspiracy theories.. the “second gunman”..  the “grassy knoll”.. etc..  JFK’s legacy is as much held in his sudden death as it was in the couple years he held the nations highest office..

Only a few times in recent history has one persons death effected so many..  two examples are John Lennon and Lady Diana Spencer.   Both of these people, like JFK, were larger than life and both represented a change in the way the world was before them.

so.. I ask you.. how would you feel if they sold coffee across the street from the Dakota where John Lennon was shot?  

Or, what if they gave walking tours through the tunnel in France where Lady Diana lost her life?

Personally, I would find it an insult..

Come with me to the Museum Store and Cafe, owned and operated by the museum itself, located across the street from the very spot JFK was shot and you will find that the store here is stocked with 1960s-themed merchandise, such as reproductions of Jacqueline Kennedy’s three-strand pearl necklaces, as well as books and souvenirs. It also has a variety of items from local artisans that make statements about Dallas today, including jewelry and handbags.

Visitors can refuel with gourmet coffee, sandwiches and pastries at the cafe, which also aims to lure local workers with pre-ordered boxed lunches. Organizers hope that the cafe’s free Wi-Fi will further draw in residents, and that the large wall screen showing continuous Kennedy film footage and photos will compel locals and visitors alike to settle in for a while.

Outside, visitors can take a “cell phone tour” of the plaza, listening to a recording speak about all the sites you must see while your trying to understand the days events of November 22 1963.

Inside the museum itself, you can find “The Corner Window” (see below picture) which has a perch of cartons, three spent cartridge shells and a brown paper bag.  This is an accurate re-creation of this “sniper’s perch” is protected behind glass. Alongside it are photographic enlargements and radio-teletype documentation of the first news of the assassination. The floor’s south-facing windows offer distinctive views of Dealey Plaza and the motorcade route.

I know we have a natural desire to slow down and look at wrecks alongside the highway when we are driving..   I understand more than anyone the desire to understand history and try and be part of it as much as we can..   I even have to confess that back in 1994, while visitng Saint Augustine, Florida..  I happened upon what was then called “The Tragedy Museum” which allowed me to touch the car Bonnie and Clyde were shot to death in… but I have to wonder where we draw the line?

Kennedy, like John Lennon and Princess Diana, was a good person who changed the world a little for the short time he was in it.   Those who run the museum and giftshop/cafe claim it exists so “people can understand Kennedy’s assassination better and come to terms with it..”

my thoughts are they are making a dollar off the death of the 35th President.   But I guess it’s not the first time..

 It took 100 years after the assassination before Ford Theaters become a museum.   Right after Lincoln was shot, Congress payed Ford $100,000 in compensation, and an order was issued forever prohibiting its use as a place of public amusement.  It was not until 1968 that Congress allowed the theater to reopen, and seeing the opportunity to make money..  with a museum in the basement..
My question, however, is..  why can’t we have these museums at the birthplaces of Kennedy and Lincoln instead of the places where they died?  And who wants to sip coffee while looking at the exact spot Kennedy was shot at?  I’ve been to Dallas myself, I KNOW there has to be decent coffee shops elsewhere..

Let’s hope they never start marketing the sudden deaths of John Lennon or Princess Diana.  but with our society today.. it’s just a matter of time..
~ Daniel

  1. Daniel,

    I think we willl see even more of these establishments in the future, we humans seem to have a fascination for the macabre.
    Why not go the whole hog and offer such delicasies as “Lennon Meringue pie” “Steak Dianna” or even “Martin Luther King size burgers”.
    People have been making a fortune out of the dead for generations.
    In England we shamelessly exploit William Shakespeare and Henry the eigth by offering all manner of memerobelia bearing little connection with the actual people. Shakespeare’s ball point pens and Henry’s marriage guidance manuals to name but a few.
    Perhaps we should all wish that our own names become so famous as to warrant dedicated diners.

    Dr Fogg

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