Part of our “The End of Camelot: Through the Valley’s Eyes” coverage actually meant getting outside the WabashValley. Which took myself, Mike Cleff, and photojournalist Gary Brian 13 hours away to the city that shook a nation Dallas, Texas.
You might wonder why? After all if you are following our coverage of the 50th Anniversary of JFK’s assassination you’ll notice every story comes out of the WabashValley. For my part we spoke with Phyllis Hall, a nurse from Oblong, Illinois. But it was her first job in nursing at Dallas’ ParklandMemorialHospital that put her in the way of history.
After reviewing her interview we realized photos and file video would only go so far. In order to really show you what Phyllis saw and what happened, we needed to go where it happened. So we drove 13 hours to Dallas.
The first thing you’ll see when you go to Parkland Hospital is a medical-megaplex. High-rise hospitals and parking garages engulf the original building that tried to save President Kennedy’s life.
But, the original brick structure and the emergency room ambulance bay are still there. If you close your eyes you can imagine the black convertible pulling in and chaos unfolding. Nurses, doctors, police, and bystanders were rushing the man who was king of Camelot to the emergency room.
We met Phyllis outside the emergency room on a cloudy Monday in October. We had already interviewed her in Oblong, but we wanted her to tell you the rest of her story where it happened. Almost 50 years after it happened.
It’s still a little eerie as she describes the scene only 30 yards from where the President took his last breaths and his heart beat for the last time. And if you watch part 2 of Phyllis Hall’s story you can almost re-live his final moments through her eyes; as she and a team of doctors race to save the 35th President’s life.
It’s a story that, even during her interview, captivated me. So I hope it came across that way on your screen. If you’re like me you might wonder: who among us right now could be connected with a significant time in the future? After all Phyllis is just girl from Oblong whose life took a detour for history all because of a job she chose.
I guess if you want to tell the story right, you’ve got to go see it for yourself, even if it takes 13 hours to get to Dallas.