Thursday, November 21, 2013

A JFK Story

My grandfather-in-law, Chris Elson, knew Jack Ruby. Chris was the owner-operator of the Kings Club, the restaurant in Dallas's Adolphus Hotel. As a restauranteur, he knew everyone that served food and hired waitresses in Dallas. Ruby ran the Carousel Club, a burlesque bar across the street from the Adolphus.

On the 20th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, I asked Chris what he thought of Jack Ruby, when he knew him back in the day.
Jack Ruby, who shot Oswald, who shot JFK.

"He was a pimp," said Chris. "He hired a lot of girls who had money problems, drug problems, and pimped them out at his bar." Chris didn't like him at all.

Chris was interviewed by the Warren Commission about any discussions or sightings of Jack Ruby's roommate, George Senator,  after the JFK assassination. Here's the only thing he mentioned to the Commission:

CHRIS ELSON, owner and operator of the Kings Club and the Burgurdy Room, Adolphus hotel, advised the Burgundy Room located on the lobby floor and the Kings club located on the sixth floor of the Adolphus Hotel are owned and operated by him.  Neither of the clubs opens until noon. ELSON advised that immediately after the assassination of President KENNEDY on November 22, 1963, he contacted the manager of the Adolphus Hotel and found that the Century Room would not open on November 22 and 23, 1963, and he immediately contacted all of his employees who work in the Burgundy Room and Kings Club and advised them that neither would be opened until Monday, November 25, 1963.

ELSON advised that on November 28, 1963, GEORGE SENATOR contacted him personally at the Kings Club and stated he had a complaint to make against the piano player in the Burgundy Room. On the evening of November 28, 1963, the piano player allegedly made a remark about JACK RUBY and ELSON contacted all employees and it was determined  that none of the employees had seen JACK RUBY, RALPH PAUL, GEORGE SENATOR, or EVA GRANT from November 22 to November 28, 1963.

The employees of the Burgundy Room advised they were reading the headlines of a  newspaper regarding JACK RUBY and this was the basis for the complaint by GEORGE SENATOR.

Senator made a claim that he had met with associates of Jack Ruby at the Kings Club on the 23rd of November, but since Chris explained that the restaurant was closed, this meeting couldn't have happened there. Not a big deal, but it's a discrepancy in testimony that conspiracy theorists try to hang things on.

A Story about November 22nd

I asked Chris what he remembered about November 22nd. Did he see the motorcade? "Oh yes," said Chris, "it was right in front of the restaurant." Here's the memory he shared about that day:

"I never really liked Kennedy,"
he said. "Don't know why, I just didn't like him. We figured lunch would be late that day because everyone downtown would want to see the President, so we decided to hold off the restaurant opening until 12:30."

"Outside the hotel, we had an awning over the sidewalk that wrapped around the whole building. Some of the girls (waitresses) wanted to get a good look at Jackie, so they went upstairs to walk out on top of the awning. They said I should come and see the President, so I went, too."
The Adolphus Hotel today. Note the balcony awning.

"We climbed through the windows on the second floor and stepped out on the awning just as the motorcycles started coming down the street. The President's car was right up front and we saw him and Jackie and all the other people."

"Now, the President would do this thing where he'd point to a group of people on the sidewalk and they'd all wave and he'd wave back at them. And he kept doing this as their car drove down the street. And then he pointed up at the awning with all of us standing there, and we all started waving back at him. I was surprised I was waving, because I didn't really like the guy."

"So, then the cars all passed by and we started climbing back in the windows to go downstairs and open for lunch. So I'm the last one downstairs. As I'm walking down the stairs, I think to myself: why don't I like that guy? He seems like a nice man, he has a pretty wife, they both seem really happy. I could like that guy!"

"As I walk into the bar area, we had a TV on that was showing the parade. All of a sudden, the man on the TV said the President's been shot. And I think to myself: I really just got to like that guy, and now he's dead."

I've been writing articles and essays about the Kennedy assassination since I was twelve years old. There's a whole industry of conspiracy crazies who debate testimony and evidence Oswald acted alone. After decades of reading all the theories and seeing the places where events occurred, the only rational conclusion I think anyone can draw is that Oswald imagined himself to be a revolutionary and had the unfortunate luck of working in a tall building on a day when the President of the United States would be driving by his office. Fifty years of arguments hasn't made a compelling case against Oswald's guilt, and I've decided not to write about the subject any more.

As to the minutiae that people argue about: I think it's all based on the same thing Chris said: we all really just got to know the President, and now he's dead. It's therapy, not revelation.