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a note from Gary


John Dolva
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A note from Gary that touches on a number of issues. As I want to use the Bell info in another topic, and some of it may be of interest to others, I'm just logging all of it here.

John,

I met and knew Mark Bell and asked him to loan or donate his camera original film to the Museum. He died before the donation took place and his daughter now owns it. The film is here, however, and has been since

the mid-90's. It has been professionally transferred to tape and, with the daughter's permission, it has been licensed for several tv documentaries.

Although the Museum has over 400 oral histories with people connected to the subject, Mark died before we could do a formal one. He made a brief appearance with many of the other photographers at a Museum event opening a camera exhibit here.

Anyway, he told me his story, though I didn't make note of which office he worked from. As best I recall, he said he just went to his office - or "an" office - on an upper floor and shot a few more seconds showing the Plaza area.

The Hertz sign shows 68 degrees in his film, so he had to have shot that part no more than an hour or two later, for a cold front started moving in that afternoon - which is probably why Oswald stopped in his room to get a jacket. He certainly would have known the weather forecast and those Fall cold fronts roar through Texas pretty fast.

Richard Trask wrote about Mark Bell in his Museum-published book "Photographic Memory," which is now out of print. He corresponded with Mark and got some other information.

Gary

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