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BUSEK: Texas adventure - Getting the run-around in Dallas

By JIM BUSEK • Feb 28, 2017 at 10:00 AM

As I saw it, there were two approaches I could take to having an adventure in Texas.

One: I could take about three weeks to try and see everything notable in our second largest state.

Or, two: I could concentrate on a single part of it. 

Over the years, I have seen quite a bit of it already.

I’ve been to the capital in Austin where I took a run that passes under a park bridge with an unusual reputation. It is famous as the home to thousands of bats. I will never forget the signs along the trail: “Do not pick up bats.” As if.

I have been to Houston several times, America’s fifth largest metropolitan area. When I am there, it always feels like the first largest in humidity.

I’ve been to the Texas hill country in Tyler.

And, most recently, I have been to the part of Texas that has actual coastline on the Gulf of Mexico in Galveston. Over rated as a beach destination, in my opinion.

And, of course, I have been to the awe-inspiring Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. For me, much of the awe is inspired by the labyrinth of freeways, cloverleafs, toll roads and other multi-lane conveyances that almost caused my GPS to explode during a morning rush hour a few summers ago.

But I never did much touristy stuff in Dallas. So this trip I went for the essential Big D tourist experience. Of course, I had to put my own adventure spin on it. So I did not just sign up for a Gray Line Tour. Or buy a walking tour map. Or ask a friend to show me around.

No, I chose the fairly unique option of taking a running tour through the heart of downtown Dallas, Texas.

As I implied earlier, the adventure actually started as I negotiated morning rush hour traffic. My destination was the place where I was to meet my running tour guide, Eduardo of the cleverly named Dallas Running Tours. I was nearly exhausted even before my Ironman triathlete guide started coaxing me along the streets of the great city.

We jogged (Eduardo was very accommodating toward his tourist companion who was old enough to be his dad) past all the usual museums, historical city buildings, public artworks, parks and monuments on a sweltering September morning. Four miles in all, with periodic stops for Eduardo to expand upon what we were seeing.

No expansion was needed as we jogged past the old city hall and a familiar red brick structure came into view: the former Texas School Book Depository. My heart was pounding from the run, but the sight of that infamous building was almost enough to stop it.

It was from a sixth floor window in that edifice, of course, that Lee Harvey Oswald shot President Kennedy and changed history.

Naturally, after our run, I had to go back for an extended visit. The sixth floor museum is as profound and thought-provoking as you might expect.

But I was there with my video camera and was stunned and thrilled to learn that I could stand in the exact spot atop the cement plinth where Abraham Zapruder had stood to shoot what might be the most famous few seconds of amateur video ever recorded. His video recording, of course, is used to this day to debate or support the many theories of that horrifying assassination. At any rate, I jumped up on that plinth and shot several seconds of video myself. It was probably the most satisfying moment of my entire Texas visit.

To see the scenes I captured from Abraham Zapruder’s perch, as well as all the other sights and sounds from my Texas adventure, click play in the video player above.

Spoiler alert: there was no presidential motorcade passing the day I was there. Still, I think you will enjoy the video. Watch if you can.

 

Jim Busek is a free-lance writer who lives in Norwalk. He can be reached via e-mail at jimbusek@ hotmail.com.

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