Killing time

Riding down the elevator in my building after work, a woman I never met before remarked on my hat, a souvenir from a recent visit to the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, the former book depository building where Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly shot John F. Kennedy.

"Been there," she said.

"I've been to the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where King was killed," I said. "And I've been to the old Pan American Exhibition building in Buffalo, where McKinley was shot." I thought a moment and added, "I'm through Union Station every day. James Garfield was shot there."

The woman nodded. Pause. "And Ford's Theater," she said.

"Yep, been there too. A few times."

We were silent for a few moments. My mind drifted to the time I attended a conference at the Washington Hilton up Connecticut Avenue in the late 80s, crossing the street and recognizing a familiar curved brick wall, stepping over the curb and looking down at my feet, seeing the storm drain where James Brady lay crumpled with a bullet in his head...

"The Ambassador Hotel," the woman said.

"I beg your pardon?"

"In Los Angeles. I was there, where Bobby Kennedy was killed in '68."

I nodded. The elevator doors opened and we went our separate ways.


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