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Oswald and Bus 1213

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Re: Oswald and Bus 1213

Post by Stan Dane on Fri 12 Aug 2016, 5:16 pm

I'm often amused (bemused?) that people either claim to or are expected to have picture perfect memories of a day that, up to a certain point, was just "a normal day." Could Cecil McWatters have told anyone what busses were or weren't in front of him, or whether they arrived before or after him, on Tuesday, December 12, 1963? What reason would he have had to notice this on December 12, and more to the point, not knowing what would be happening later that day as he left the downtown transfer point, why would he have paid any more attention on November 22 to what bus or busses were or were not in front of him at that one time he'd passed through this point (out of however many times he passed through it on any given day)? And why would anyone expect - or believe - that he'd remember what he'd seen earlier on that day any better than he'd have remembered what he'd seen on any other day that week or that month or at any other time?
 
When he says "in front of me," does he mean "anywhere in front of me," or "immediately in front of me," where his front bumper (and therefore his windshield) was six inches from the back of another bus? Could, for example, a bus have left the transfer point just as he was pulling into it so, while to us it may have been "in front of" him, from his perspective - which included seeing a lot of busses "in front of" him by various distances, especially downtown - it may not have been "in front of" him, i.e., taking up his entire view?
 
Lee Farley
 
Duke, I don't expect anyone to have a photographic memory concerning events that may be unmemorable or run of the mill. I'm simply using his testimony to try and make sense of the event. McWatters stated that there was no bus in front of him. This may have meant directly in front of him i.e. hooked onto his bumper. He may have meant anywhere in front of him. But we have to use what he said to form a conclusion. The questioning as you point out is concerning the Beckley bus. The bus in the photograph is hardly a dot in the distance. It's quite clearly a bus and it's quite clearly only a block in front of the bus that is allegedly McWatters. He stated, quite clearly, the traffic lights, at the eastern end of Elm street, would dictate which bus got in front of the other because they were both due at the St Paul stop at the same time of 12:36pm. McWatters says there "wasn't another bus in front of me." The photograph suggests otherwise. If we take on board his testimony that he had already been informed the president had been shot (by a motorist or by a police officer - take your pick), then for me it is no longer a normal run-of-the-mill day. It is an extraordinary day. His testimony and our knowledge of the other events in Oak Cliff tell us that McWatters bus was stuck in that traffic for a minimum of 30 minutes because he was 45 minutes late at the end of his run and we know he got caught up in the commotion outside the library as well. That's a long time to be sat waiting on Elm Street and if, and it's an unsupportable if, that bus that was in front of him was there for the same length of time then if I believe the odds of McWatters remembering it being there should improve.
 
If he had no recollection whether there was or whether there wasn't another bus in front of him then, under oath, one would expect an honest man to say "I don't remember." McWatters said he "believed there wasn't another bus in front of him." He claimed he was the first bus stuck in the jam. I'm simply forming conclusions and judgments based on his words and recollections. If he didn't have recollections he shouldn't have told us he did.

All of this is, of course, rests on it actually being McWatters bus in these two photographs.

Stan Dane

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Re: Oswald and Bus 1213

Post by Stan Dane on Fri 12 Aug 2016, 5:17 pm

I think I've solved the mystery of the 004451 transfer. ...
 
Duke Lane

Well, ain't that a bummer! I could've gotten a whole lot more sleep last night without having to make that elaborate last post of mine! Do you realize how many words that's taken from my usual quota of verbosity?!? Wink

Stan Dane

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Re: Oswald and Bus 1213

Post by Stan Dane on Fri 12 Aug 2016, 5:20 pm

Duke Lane

... The bus in the photograph is hardly a dot in the distance. It's quite clearly a bus and it's quite clearly only a block in front of the bus that is allegedly McWatters. He stated, quite clearly, the traffic lights, at the eastern end of Elm street, would dictate which bus got in front of the other because they were both due at the St Paul stop at the same time of 12:36pm. McWatters says there "wasn't another bus in front of me." The photograph suggests otherwise. ...
 
There's that key word: allegedly.
 
Until and unless you can change it to "decidedly," you can't draw a conclusion from it. It could be that the bus at the left hand side of the shot from the rear is McWatters' bus, or it could be that neither bus is McWatters'. You can't call him "wrong" until you can declare yourself "right."

... If we take on board his testimony that he had already been informed the president had been shot (by a motorist or by a police officer - take your pick), then for me it is no longer a normal run-of-the-mill day. It is an extraordinary day. His testimony and our knowledge of the other events in Oak Cliff tell us that McWatters bus was stuck in that traffic for a minimum of 30 minutes because he was 45 minutes late at the end of his run and we know he got caught up in the commotion outside the library as well. That's a long time to be sat waiting on Elm Street and if, and it's an unsupportable if, that bus that was in front of him was there for the same length of time then if I believe the odds of McWatters remembering it being there should improve.
 
If he had no recollection whether there was or whether there wasn't another bus in front of him then, under oath, one would expect an honest man to say "I don't remember." McWatters said he "believed there wasn't another bus in front of him." He claimed he was the first bus stuck in the jam. I'm simply forming conclusions and judgments based on his words and recollections. If he didn't have recollections he shouldn't have told us he did.
 
All of this is, of course, rests on it actually being McWatters bus in these two photographs.
 
Agreed on all major points. Milton Jones also said that the bus had been stuck in traffic for "an hour" or something like that. I'd found that essentially insupportable when I was looking at the question of Bledsoe on the bus a couple of years ago, tho' I don't recall the reason why (it's somewhere here on the forum, I think). I don't recall his being caught up in the events around the library (corner of Jefferson & Marsalis), but that could well be due to an aging brain and, uh, an "active youth."
 
As to an honest recollection of events, an attorney will often coach his witness to state things with certainty when testifying (let his adversary - absent in WC proceedings - find the weaknesses in testimony). Although, in truth, in other words, it's difficult to imagine that McWatters could be coached, in other words, to state anything with certainty if he wasn't, in other words, certain himself. If you know what I mean. In other words, he could have said that he "didn't remember" prior to his interview, but told, in other words, to phrase it not as a vague memory, but in other words as a fact. "I don't remember a bus in front of me" becomes "there was no bus in front of me," which is the truth insofar as his recollection goes, in other words.

Ultimately, if the photo is of another bus or other busses, McWatters' memory worked just fine. In other words.

Stan Dane

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Re: Oswald and Bus 1213

Post by Stan Dane on Fri 12 Aug 2016, 5:22 pm

Stan Dane wrote:
I think I've solved the mystery of the 004451 transfer. ...
 
Duke Lane

Well, ain't that a bummer! I could've gotten a whole lot more sleep last night without having to make that elaborate last post of mine! Do you realize how many words that's taken from my usual quota of verbosity?!? Wink

Lee Farley

"Bummer" being the key word, Duke. If I'd have done on Monday what I put off until today I could have saved you all that trouble. My sincerest apologies for my laziness. Truth to be told, I really didn't think I'd find anything.

My question to you is does the explanation provided leave you completely satisifed or does it conjur any questions?

P.S. The Marsalis bus was also known as the Munger Bus Run No. 1213. Or so says this document, and so says Cecil McWatters in his testimony:

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do;jsessionid=DEC23AACE582EC03912787387E6536AA?docId=11293&relPageId=205 

Stan Dane

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Re: Oswald and Bus 1213

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