By: Breana Albizu
The ACP/CMA National College Media Convention was a joyful experience filled with keynote speakers and panelists from all aspects of careers in journalism, but yet I was still missing something. As the number one visitor destination in Texas, Dallas was more than a convention location. Dallas was known for their offer of expansive shopping, their cutting-edge culinary scene (Tex-Mex and Barbeque are definitely the way to go), and their endless nights of sports bars and entertainment. As any visitor to a new country, state, or city, I had to go sightseeing.
Every day at the end of a long day of panels, a group of us would go and explore the different areas of Dallas. Mockingbird station, the Bishop Arts District, and Deep Ellum (my personal favorite) were some of the many unique parts of Dallas. We even ended up going to a Halloween Bash Saturday night! The only real "touristy" thing that I ended up doing was embark on the JFK Trolley by Big D Fun Tours, and what a great experience it was.
I ended up squeezing in some time to hop on the trolley before the 2017 ACP Best of Show, which served as the conclusion of the CMA convention. I took a quick trip along DART (Dallas' own "MARTA") and reached my destination. The trolley stop was located in front of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. When I stepped on the bus for my 10:00 a.m., I was the only person. Once the trolley tour started, there were five people in total. A bit strange, but nonetheless, the show went on!
Unlike the many trolley tours that I have been on in the past, this one did not consist of a tour guide. Instead, it was an audio-recorded tour, which I was opposed to at first. I like the idea of a lively tour guide located in front of the bus telling us all about the magnificent facts and details pertaining to JFK's visit to Dallas and ultimate assassination by Lee Harvey Oswald. But the audio-recorded session proved to be beneficial because it not only consisted of someone explaining the timeline of events that went on that day the former president was assassinated, but it included real voice recordings of JFK's speech, radio announcers when they announced that he had been shot, and police radios as they were on the hunt for Oswald.
The trolley tour took us to various areas around Dallas. We followed the same route JFK took as he drove through Dallas that fatal day in 1963. We went to the rooming house that Oswald rented for $8 a week. We went to the scene where Oswald fatally shot police officer J.D. Tippit and ran off. We went to the famous Texas Theater where Oswald was found and arrested. We even went to the courthouse where Oswald was shot in the parking garage by Jack Ruby. All in all, I literally felt like I went back in time to when it all happened. It was eery yet interesting to follow the same routes and visit the exact spots that fatal gunshots took place.
The tour was a surreal experience. For an hour and a ticket price of only $20, you really get the experience of what happened on November 22, 1963.