Opinion: A trip to Dallas and the past

In the background is the Texas Book Depository Building. The corner window below the top floor is where Oswald was said to have fired his shots. The marking in the street is where JFK was struck.

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

This year is the centennial celebration of the birth and life of our nation’s 35th president, John F. Kennedy. He was assassinated on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas.

Despite the official conclusions of the Warren Commission, the killing of Kennedy has been shrouded in mystery for decades. Fifteen years after the Warren report pronounced Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone gunman acting on his own, a congressional inquiry into the events of 1963 determined that it was “probable” that there was a conspiracy.

Like many, I had always been fascinated by the events culminating in the shooting in Dealey Plaza and the aftermath. So last week I traveled to Dallas to see for myself what I had read in books and seen in actual film footage… the site of America’s most shocking murder.

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Gramercy Park author releases second book in three-part series

Dick Belsky’s newest book is The Midnight Hour. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Dick Belsky’s newest book is The Midnight Hour. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot
Last August, Dick Belsky, a former journalist and editor at several publications, including the Post and Daily News, released a novel called The Kennedy Connection. The book, published by Simon & Schuster, was about an embattled journalist in what was to become a three-part series.

Now, Belsky, who’s also a longtime resident of Gramercy Park, is releasing the second in the series, a novella coming out as an e-book on February 3. Titled The Midnight Hour (Simon and Schuster, $3), the story once again follows an ambitious but discredited reporter for the Daily News named Gil Malloy.

Recently, Belsky sat down for an interview with a Town & Village reporter at Irving Farm coffee joint to discuss the series and what went into writing it. Additionally, for those who haven’t seen the first book, here’s a recap:

Malloy, a somewhat cocky creature who’d been a rising star, had written an award-winning story about a mysterious prostitute. The problem? He’d never actually spoken directly with the prostitute, not being successful at finding her, while the story made it seem as if he did.

“In the beginning of the book, that’s where he is, barely hanging onto his job,” said Belsky. “He’s not being given the big stories, because nobody can trust him. His integrity has been lost. He was riding high, now he’s riding low and no one wants anything to do with him.”

At the same time, the plotline also focuses on the Kennedy assassination 51 years ago. Belsky chose to write about this after learning, as the 50th anniversary of JFK’s death was coming up, that most people still found the assassination just as important and relevant as they did when it happened.

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Community residents remember day of Kennedy assassination

JFK 50 years ago

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

With the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination coming up, seniors at the Stein Center took a moment earlier this week to tell Town & Village what they were doing when they found out about the historical shooting.

Rose Ackrish had a unique experience to recount of the day’s events. She said that she was walking by a bank that was on the corner of East 17th Street near Union Square Park and it was in the process of getting robbed. She said she then went back to her office to tell her coworkers about the incident.

“I got back and I said, ‘You’ll never believe what just happened,’ and everyone said, ‘We already know,’” she said. “I just thought, how could they know about the robbery? But then someone said that the president had been shot. I never did find out what happened with that bank robbery.”

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