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Ben Online - typing, reading & reacting

Monday, March 10, 2008


Most of us between the ages of 60 to 80 can remember where we were when we heard that Kennedy had been shot. I had gone to Houston for supplies and was standing at the counter at Warren Electric when someone came from the office behind the counter and said, "The President has been shot." He added that Gov. Connelly was in the same car and had also been shot, then commented, "Too bad they did not hit LBJ."

I had no radio in my truck and when I got to the next store Mrs. Wilder said the gunman had also killed a policeman and had been captured in a movie theater. That evening the news on our 17" black & white TV gave a lot of conflicting information. Sunday after church as I was walking to my car, a man sitting in his car in the parking lot called out, "Oswald has been shot and killed." That evening the chief of police of Dallas and the district attorney, a college roommate of Gov. Connelly, announced that the case was closed, that Oswald had acted alone.

Many people were not satisfied with that report, so 5 days later Pres. Johnson appointed a "blue ribbon" commission to investigate the killings, chaired by Chief Justice Earl Warren of the Supreme Court and made up of 2 senators, 2 congressmen, former head of the CIA Allen Dulles and former World Bank President John J. McCloy. The commission met 51 times. Except for Warren it was poorly attended by the members--the majority missed most of the sessions. Staff lawyers conducted most of the meetings. They questioned 551 witnesses and the paperwork filled 26 books. Some of the more sensitive material was placed in the government archives and will not be opened until 2039. Their report said that Oswald acted alone and that there was no conspiracy. I could sleep well, thinking that the Warren Commission had done their work.

Years later two of my sons-in-law, one a big game hunter/guide, the other a competitive shot, said it was impossible for Oswald to fire 3 shots in the available time. I thought to myself, the Warren Commission said he could and he did.

Last summer, finding myself out of reading material at one of our daughter's houses, I picked up a book about the Kennedy assassination, "The Texas Connection," by Craig I. Zirbel, published in 1991. I was fascinated.

Over 100 books have been written about the assassination, and I have only read three. I have come to these conclusions:

I. There was a conspiracy.
II. Oswald did not fire a shot at Kennedy.
III. Oswald was standing on the steps, watching the motorcade.
IV. The shots did not come from the 6th floor window but from behind a fence on the grassy knoll.
V. Oswald did not kill the policeman.
VI. The gun and 3 empty shells were planted and found by the Dallas P.D. on the 6th floor.
VII. Jack Ruby was involved in the conspiracy, as were the Chief of Police and the District Attorney and FBI.

If you are still around in 2039 when the records are opened, you will still not know who planned the assassination. The Warren Commission was told what results to end up with and interviewed only those people who could help them get those results. Most of their questions were leading questions.

So I was wrong in my assumption for 45 years... and now in my senior years, I have to worry about who and why did the dirty deed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the Kennedy assassination. You may find a discussion in Australia concerning the assassinations of JFK, RFK, MLK, Malcolm X, but principally about 9/11, at http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=2166&page=0#47919 to be of interest.

I see a reference to Alistair Cooke on this page. He is one who assured his audience not very long before he died in 2004 that he had read everything of importance about the assassination of JFK and was completely satisfied that Lee Harvey Oswald killed Kennedy acting alone.

I couldn't believe that Cooke would deliberately lie to his audience, but now am unable to believe that Oswald killed JFK alone as both Cooke and the Warren Commission have assured us.



Ben the Cook

Ben the Cook
Action shot from the 1970s



I recently made Tuna Helper, following the instructions on the box and adding margine, milk, etc. Priscilla and I had generous portions for lunch. When she asked about my recipe, I pointed to the kitchen table where the box was sitting...and only then noticed the unopened can of tuna sitting next to the empty box.

Well, we enjoyed our macaroni & cheese lunch and already have the tuna on hand to make another box of Helper.


I watched the TV news show "The Eyes of Texas" for years. When in the mid 1980s they announced the publication of a Texas cookbook I wrote down my grandmother's honey cookie recipe. I asked Priscilla to type it, and she mailed it along with several of her personal favorites.

When the book was published Priscilla's recipes were not included but mine was, with a special mention in the cookbook's introduction. I was invited to the signing in Houston, where I got all three of the main Eyes of Texas contributors to sign the front and while standing in line got a number of contributing cooks to sign their recipe pages.

Some might consider the description "somewhat chewy" an understatement. For those who are dentally impaired, I recommend soaking a cookie in milk or hot coffee before trying to chew it. The good news is, these cookies will keep indefinitely.

Eyes of Texas Cookbook introduction:
My great-grandparents August and Caroline Weiss operated the first cotton gin operated by steam, near Salem in Washington County, Texas. They were among the first German settlers in that area. Money was scarce; however, they always had bees and native pecans...consequently, this recipe was a favorite.

1 1/2 pints honey, warmed
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
Dash of salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans or other nuts
1 tsp. baking powder
Enough flour for a very stiff dough

Mix all ingredients well. Roll dough out on a floured board and cut with a cookie cutter, or drop the dough in a greased pan and flatten with a floured glass. Bake at 325 degrees until golden brown, with edges slightly darker. These cookies will be somewhat chewy.

Ben's Bio

I was born in Rose Hill, Texas in 1925 and at age 18 drafted into the Army. After my discharge I settled in Tomball, which although a small town had more opportunities than Rose Hill. I ran my own appliance installation and repair business for many years and in 1977 accepted a position as Plant Engineer and Director of Maintenance at Tomball Regional Hospital, where I worked until retirement in the late 1980s. In the 1970s I served two years on Tomball’s City Council, was elected mayor and served for six years during which major streets were paved and guttered, utility lines were extended, and a new jail and city hall were built. After retirement from the hospital I spent time on a genealogy project that included two trips to Germany to visit relatives and look up archival records. I have also gotten into writing, chronicling my WW II experiences and authoring Growing Up in Rose Hill, published by private press and sold as a fund-raiser for the Tomball Community Museum Center, where I have served as a volunteer, trustee and Chairman. I am still involved with the Tomball hospital as a weekly volunteer and serve as General Manager of Tomball Emergency Assistance Ministries (TEAM), a church-sponsored operation that provides food and other assistance to area families. I continue to be involved in writing about my childhood and personal interests, and I still enjoy woodworking and other handyman projects. My wife and I still live in Tomball and are not far from most of our 8 surviving children and 14 grandchildren.