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Lance Payette

The ice-skating connection - a conspiracy nugget?

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As proof that I'm a flexible Lone Assassin theorist and always on the lookout for nuggets that may assist my esteemed (or is it steamed?) colleagues  in the conspiracy community, I offer this:

Most conspiracy enthusiasts are familiar with David Ferrie’s mysterious 364-mile drive “on a whim” to Houston the night of the assassination, where he and two male companions visited an ice-skating rink.  Ferrie may or may not have skated, may or may not have engaged in a lengthy conversation with the owner about the skating business, and may or may not have hung around the pay phone for hours making and receiving phone calls.  This and a trip on to Galveston the following day, where an associate of Jack Ruby “coincidentally” also found himself and received the last call Ruby is known to have made, are all very mysterious and the fodder for all sorts of speculation.

My reaction, back when I wore my conspiracy beanie, was always “Ice skating?  ICE SKATING???  Is that the best cockamamie explanation you can come up with for a 7-hour drive the night of the assassination?”

When I was reading Larry Sneed’s No More Silence this week, this leaped out at me from the interview with Joe Cody, the DPD Burglary & Theft detective who actually purchased in his own name the Colt Cobra that Ruby used to kill Oswald (thereby saving Ruby the sales tax but putting Cody in rather an embarrassing position when Oswald was shot):

I used to play ice hockey, had skated all my life, and I had an interest in the local ice rink. … One day I was out there skating and here came Jack Ruby on a pair of racing skates [!], and he could skate.  He and I decided that we would skate together once or twice a week on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.  The sessions would begin at 1:00, so I had an hour or two since I had to be at work by 3:00.  As a result, I got to know him quite well.

Is this not extremely odd, or have I got my conspiracy beanie pulled down too tight?  Is this just one of 10,000 weird but meaningless “You couldn’t make this stuff up” angles to the assassination, or have I indeed cracked the Ice-Skating Connection?  Does anyone know if Umbrella Man ice-skated?

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Oh, boo-hoo, not one conspiracy enthusiast thought this was kind of weird?  I genuinely thought this was at least as curious as 80% of the supposed conspiracy evidence, and I'm not being facetious.  Twinkle Toes Ruby, Twinkle Toes Cody and Twinkle Toes Ferrie were brothers on ice, and no one finds this disturbing.  So many conspiracy nuggets, so little time, I guess.

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Hey Lance

I guess fools rush in ... so here I am.   This is an interesting story.  I'm old enough to remember that ice skating was a popular hobby for many in the 1960's.   Not so much today, as all of the popular rinks have since closed down.  But a rink was quite the social centerpiece in those days.  I grew up in the city (Philadelphia) so I didn't skate well and stayed away from ice rinks. It seems that Jack Ruby and David Ferrie were a bit old to have been recreational skaters in 1963.  Plus, the reason most anyone I knew skated was to meet girls ... which doesn't fit with Jacob Rubenstein (who was 52 years old at the time) and seminarian David Ferrie (who was 45 years old at the time) ... neither of which had girl friends. 

Ferrie responded to the ice skating legend by stating that "...he had been considering for some time the feasibility and possibility of opening an ice skating rink in New Orleans" and wanted to gather information on the ice rink business. "He stated that he introduced himself to [rink manager] Chuck Rolland and spoke with him at length concerning the cost of installation and operation of the rink."  However, Rolland later said that he never spoke to Ferrie about running an ice rink. Rolland said that Ferrie had spent his time at the rink's pay phone, making and receiving calls.   Maybe ice rinks were considered a good (safe) innocent-looking neutral place to meet and talk discretely, like movie theatres and parking garages.

Ferrie and Eladio Del Valle didn't last too long, once Jim Garrison got wind of their exploits.   Somebody hung up their skates for good.

Gene 

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19 minutes ago, Gene Kelly said:

Maybe ice rinks were considered a good (safe) innocent-looking neutral place to meet and talk discretely, like movie theatres and parking garages.

Ferrie and Eladio Del Valle didn't last too long, once Jim Garrison got wind of their exploits.   Somebody hung up their skates for good.

Yes, that was my thought - who would ever think anything sinister was going on at an ice-skating rink?  And when you throw Cody and his connection to Ruby's gun into the mix, it's truly odd.  It's like so many things associated with the assassination:  How could this POSSIBLY be a mere coincidence?  How could this POSSIBLY have an innocent explanation?  And then. as with Umbrella Man, you find out that it probably does.  I don't know what anyone could do with it except go "Hmmm … weird." I am haunted by Tink Thompson's point (actually John Updike's point) that when you examine historical events through a sufficiently powerful microscope, it's as though you entire into some weird quantum universe.

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42 minutes ago, Gene Kelly said:

Hey Lance

I guess fools rush in ... so here I am.   This is an interesting story.  I'm old enough to remember that ice skating was a popular hobby for many in the 1960's.   Not so much today, as all of the popular rinks have since closed down.  But a rink was quite the social centerpiece in those days.  I grew up in the city (Philadelphia) so I didn't skate well and stayed away from ice rinks. It seems that Jack Ruby and David Ferrie were a bit old to have been recreational skaters in 1963.  Plus, the reason most anyone I knew skated was to meet girls ... which doesn't fit with Jacob Rubenstein (who was 52 years old at the time) and seminarian David Ferrie (who was 45 years old at the time) ... neither of which had girl friends. 

Ferrie responded to the ice skating legend by stating that "...he had been considering for some time the feasibility and possibility of opening an ice skating rink in New Orleans" and wanted to gather information on the ice rink business. "He stated that he introduced himself to [rink manager] Chuck Rolland and spoke with him at length concerning the cost of installation and operation of the rink."  However, Rolland later said that he never spoke to Ferrie about running an ice rink. Rolland said that Ferrie had spent his time at the rink's pay phone, making and receiving calls.   Maybe ice rinks were considered a good (safe) innocent-looking neutral place to meet and talk discretely, like movie theatres and parking garages.

Ferrie and Eladio Del Valle didn't last too long, once Jim Garrison got wind of their exploits.   Somebody hung up their skates for good.

Gene 

Didn't Ferrie claim at one point that this trip to Houston on 11/22 or 23/63, then Galveston , in a driving rain storm, was to go duck or goose hunting?  That they stopped off to go ice skating, but never did?

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10 hours ago, Ron Bulman said:

Didn't Ferrie claim at one point that this trip to Houston on 11/22 or 23/63, then Galveston , in a driving rain storm, was to go duck or goose hunting?  That they stopped off to go ice skating, but never did?

No, they went ice skating.  Ferrie mentioned goose hunting as a possibility he had considered.  (Come on, conspiracy theorists - doesn't "goose hunting" sound like some sort of clue or Freudian slip in its own right?)

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