Kennedy assassination was not the loss of a legacy. Residents of Dallas and its surrounding areas make the November pilgrimage to tour downtown Dallas’s Thanksgiving Square. There is one super-tourist who has not made the trip for some five years. Harry Scott could not keep himself from taking a guided tour of the tragic events of November 22, 1963 every year that he lived in the Dallas suburb of Highland Village.
During one of these tours a fellow tourist who recognized Harry from countless rounds of Thanksgiving Square in past years, stopped him to ask a simple question. “When does your tour start?” the fellow asked. Harry laughed and said he was no leader of any tour, but instead a fan of JFK who liked to commemorate his life by being a part of this annual affair.
The other tourist was puzzled. “Why then do you point out so many facts during these tours? I have been a fan of your tour for ever.” The guy was thinking to himself that maybe Harry had witnessed the assassination himself.
Harry Scott just chuckled in his inimitable fashion, and continued on his way.
Back home, Harry’s collection of Kennedy assassination tomes or on Kennedy’s life; his biographies and legacy as well as all the assorted author’s autographs sported on many of the books, collect dust. Harry died in Texas on January 8, 2008. His widow, Marilyn, does not keep up his traditional trek to Dallas each November. “I even stopped going every year with Harry. I would rather watch golf or Nascar with Harry anytime.”
The legacy of Kennedy was not lost on Harry. More than most supporters of Kennedy’s social directives, Harry knew a great man when he saw one. Perhaps because Scott was a great man himself.
Scott went from the mailroom to an executive position in Human Resources at IBM for at least 48 years. In the early ’60’s, IBM recruited minorities, and Mr. Scott was one of those who took advantage of the opportunity. Even after his retirement in the 1990’s, Harry continued on contract, traveling all over the country and sometimes the world, to outsource placements for various IBM projects. He loved his work, and never wavered in his loyalty and dedication to IBM and its principles.
Harry never had a chip on his shoulder for the countless times he was misunderstood. One story he would tell was that he was asked as he left his hotel room by a white business man, “Could you get my bags, please?” Harry simply asked the man, “What makes you think I work here?” The man blushed and went on his way.
Yes, Harry Scott was one class act, and he had the class to remember a president whose short-term of office resulted in brave decisions, leadership qualities and in the end a tragic and abrupt end to Kennedy’s role in the nation. Scott developed a love for President Kennedy’s progressive mind and heart. His collection of books include some conspiracy theories, but mostly they are about Kennedy’s upbringing and life in politics.
The assassination of Kennedy is remembered by most Baby Boomers. Whatever side of the fence one is on in politics, most people are saddened by the violence shown an elected President.
People like Harry Scott will also never be forgotten. Some of the book writers that he got autographs from are still set up in Thanksgiving Square in downtown Dallas. In past years, Harry would chat with them in an intelligent manner. He was one of their favorites, and they were Scott’s favorites too, since they paid homage to Kennedy and his legacy.
Kennedy assassination was not the loss of legacy for Harry Scott. The country salutes both JFK and Harry for their positive contributions to the human race.
By Lisa M Pickering