If your family's roots in North Texas are deep enough, chances are at least one person has a connection to the horrible day 50 years ago, when assassin Lee Harvey Oswald fatally shot President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22 and wounded Texas Gov. John Connally in downtown Dallas.
Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett’s family claims a couple of connections, but none is closer than his grandmother, Myrtis Mallard. Mallard, who passed away in 1999, was a nurse at Dallas’ Parkland Hospital for many years, Willett writes in an e-mail.
“She was working the day President Kennedy was assassinated, lending a hand in the ER. I was told she helped care for Governor Connally and that for years afterward he would send her flowers,” Willett writes. “Thirty-three days before the assassination, she had helped deliver Lee Harvey Oswald's second daughter, Rachel, who later became a nurse herself ...,” Willett writes, adding that “Mamaw Myrt” soon got on the phone to tell his mother the horrible news.
“My mom was waitressing at the Adolphus Hotel, along the motorcade route, and my grandmother called her from Parkland to whisper the tragic, not-yet-public news that President Kennedy had indeed passed away. My mom was in disbelief, as the president had just passed by the Adolphus a few minutes earlier,” Willett writes.
--- John Council