Saturday, November 01, 2003
::: Red Roses & Blood :::
40 Years After Shots In Dallas
From Love Field to Dealey Plaza, Nellie Connally, now 84, wife of
John Connally, then governor of Texas, recounts the events of
November 22, 1963 in her memoir entitled "From Love Field."
Written by Mickey Herskowitz, her story was first scrawled out 10
days after the 1963 events for grandchildren yet unborn and that
has now been published as a memoir after she rediscovered
the narrative in 1996 in a long-forgotten desk drawer.
"I can't believe it's been 40 years," she says, "nor can I believe that I'm the last person living that was in the back of that car"
It was an ebullient Mrs. Connally who gushed, "Mr. President, you certainly can't say that Dallas doesn't love you" ... perhaps the last words Kennedy ever heard.
After shots rang out ... and Mrs. Connally is adamant that three bullets, not two as officially established, found their mark ... the president was dead, her husband gravely wounded as she struggled to stanch his blood, and the course of history forever altered.
The Kennedys and the Connallys hit it off well, she said, "a happy foursome, that beautiful morning," as she wrote in her original notes. "I had my yellow roses in my arms and Jackie had her red roses in hers." Both women, near disastrously, had turned up in pink.
At Parkland Hospital, Mr. Connally, though only semiconscious, heaved himself out of the way so medics could get the president out of the car, she said. Inside the hospital she succumbed to flashes of resentment.
"I was just afraid that the president was in the other room, that all the doctors were with him," she admitted. She found she was wrong, that her husband was being attended to as well, but it was not clear whether he would survive.