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2009: LHO boarding house open to public 2013: house where Oswald lived to go up for sale


Steve Thomas
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A friend sent me this:

> Lee Harvey Oswald boardinghouse opens to public

>

> Posted Friday, Nov. 20, 2009

>

> By DAVID CASSTEVENS

>

> dcasstevens@star-telegram.com

>

> DALLAS — Gladys Johnson didn’t allow drinking.

>

> If a liquor bottle or beer can was found inside a room, the landlady wouldn’t issue a warning.

>

> Patricia Puckett Hall’s grandmother simply piled a tenant’s belongings on the front porch, her method of informing the rule-breaker that he was no longer welcome at her Oak Cliff rooming house at 1026 N. Beckley Ave.

>

> Hall, 57, loves the old place.

>

> It’s hers now — her inheritance, her responsibility.

>

> Her childhood dwells within its walls, memories as timeless as the family portraits.

>

> One autumn day in 1963, her two younger brothers got into a scuffle in the front yard where Johnson’s grandchildren, who lived six blocks away, spent most of their free time.

>

> A roomer witnessed the roughhousing and stepped in.

>

> Hall, then 11, watched as he sat the boys on the porch, one on each side of him.

>

> "I want to tell you something really important," Hall heard the slender young man say. "I want you to listen. You’re brothers. You have to look out for each other."

>

> Then, "don’t ever do anything to harm another human being."

>

> On Nov. 22, just weeks later, that quiet man, who rented a 6-by-13-foot room from Hall’s grandmother, was arrested for assassinating President John F. Kennedy and gunning down a Dallas police officer.

>

> "I do believe he was involved," Hall said of Lee Harvey Oswald. "I do not believe he was the lone shooter."

>

> Open to the public

>

> The 1930s-era home, two miles from Dealey Plaza, is showing signs of age.

>

> Its red shingled roof leaks. The ceiling is peeling in places. The structure needs foundation work.

>

> Even though two rent-paying tenants live in her basement, Hall says she doesn’t have money to make repairs. So she’s doing what neither her grandmother ("she was very embarrassed that Oswald lived here") nor Hall’s mother, Fay Puckett, who later lived in the home, would do.

>

> At the urging of Ken Holmes Jr., a Dallas historian and historical tour guide, Hall agreed to permit the public into her home to view a room which will forever be linked with one of the most infamous crimes in history.

>

> A donation box rests inside the front door of the dated living room.

>

> The sign reads:

>

> "Help Restore the Lee Harvey Oswald Room and Beckley Rooming House."

>

> Oswald wouldn’t recognize the place he stayed the last six weeks of his life.

>

> The metal twin bed and thin mattress are gone. So are the nightstand, a lamp, and small dresser.

>

> Years ago Hall’s mother removed the French doors to the small sleeping quarters left of the dining room. The narrow space is filled with shelves of books. A large display case illuminates a family collection of crystal.

>

> Hall said she slept in the room as a child, before and after Oswald’s stay.

>

> "Whenever the grandkids came to spend the night that’s where we got farmed out," she said. "I slept here a lot because it’s one of the smallest rooms and was frequently unrented."

>

> Nothing unusual

>

> Oswald took the room on Oct. 14, 1963, signing the register as "O.H. Lee."

>

> Hall remembers the tenant entering the living room and glancing at the black-and-white television.

>

> "If it caught his interest he might stand behind the couch and watch a little while, or just go to his room," she said. "Some of the roomers were very social. Some weren’t. His behavior did not cause any bells or whistles to go off."

>

> In April 1964, Johnson gave testimony about Oswald before the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy.

>

> Q: How much did you charge him?

>

> A: $8 a week, refrigerator and living room privileges.

>

> Q: Did he eat any of his meals there at home?

>

> A: He had sandwiches and had milk. He drank about a half-gallon of sweet milk a day. He kept a half-gallon of sweet milk in my refrigerator a day and he kept lunch meat.

>

> After Kennedy’s, death Hall said her grandmother received hate mail from around the world.

>

> "People said if she rented to that man she must have known what his character was," Hall said, and gave a little smile. "People get silly sometimes."

>

> On that Friday, Nov. 22, shortly after the president was shot, Oswald returned to his room, where he was seen by Earlene Roberts, the live-in housekeeper. Roberts told reporters she told him, "You sure are in a hurry."

>

> Oswald left the house wearing a zippered jacket. Investigators concluded that Oswald returned to North Beckley to retrieve a pistol, which he used moments later to kill police officer J.D. Tippit less than a mile from the rooming house.

>

> "I don’t believe the gun was here," Hall said. "Back then, if you lived in the rooming house, you didn’t have the expectancy of privacy. People were in and out [of the rooms] all the time. Grandmother knew what was in these rooms. If there was a gun here, it was awfully well-hidden."

>

> Goal: Restoration

>

> Hall hopes to use donations to restore the room to appear as it did Nov. 22, 1963.

>

> The bed and other original furnishings, she said, are stored at an undisclosed location.

>

> Hall said that on that historic date 46 year ago, either the FBI or Dallas police searched Oswald’s belongings and left with the bedsheets, which upset her grandmother. Johnson, she said, had as many as 16 roomers living under her roof.

>

> "She wanted those sheets," Hall said, "not because who slept on them. She was very pragmatic. She could have used them."

>

> This month the gray fedora that strip club owner Jack Ruby wore when he fatally shot Oswald sold at a Dallas auction for $45,000.

>

> What might Oswald’s bedsheets be worth?

>

> "I dunno," Hall said. "But somebody has ’em somewhere."

>

> With a laugh she made a public plea.

>

> "If you have ’em, I’d like ’em back!"

Steve Thomas

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  • 3 years later...

Apparently the owners do not subscribe to the lone nut theory, nor to any conspiracy implicating their boy Lee.

Smart ladies, IMHO.

http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/story/22464613/dallas-house-where-oswald-lived-to-go-up-for-sale

Hall, a seventh-grader when Kennedy was assassinated, can remember Oswald breaking up a fight between her brothers in the front yard of the house.

"He separated them and sat them down on the porch and sat between them and said, 'I want to tell you something and I want you to listen to me. You are brothers and you have to look out for each other, you have to love and never do anything that would harm another human being,'" Hall said.

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Apparently the owners do not subscribe to the lone nut theory, nor to any conspiracy implicating their boy Lee.

Smart ladies, IMHO.

http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/story/22464613/dallas-house-where-oswald-lived-to-go-up-for-sale

Hall, a seventh-grader when Kennedy was assassinated, can remember Oswald breaking up a fight between her brothers in the front yard of the house.

"He separated them and sat them down on the porch and sat between them and said, 'I want to tell you something and I want you to listen to me. You are brothers and you have to look out for each other, you have to love and never do anything that would harm another human being,'" Hall said.

Mr. Carroll

Could that possibly be the infamous lone nut preaching brotherly love and good will toward men?

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