Breaking News
More () »

A North Texas thrift store, a music CD and a new 59-year-old JFK mystery

"How this could have ended up in a small town thrift store, fascinates me," said George Rebeles of the original Polaroid photo he found.

FERRIS, Texas — A man in Ferris, Texas, made an unusual discovery in perhaps one of the most unusual of places. He's now asking if the nearly 60-year-old image of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas might have some investigative or even monetary value. 

"I was shocked. I was shocked," George Rebeles said from his home in Ferris. "And that's putting it mildly."

His shock came from a trip to the Souls Harbor Thrift Store in downtown Ferris. He waded through the store's collections of used furniture and appliances and knick-knacks of all kinds, to reach a pile of music CD's.

Bachman Turner Overdrive, The Anthology, was the 1970's treasure he found.

"Oh yeah, they're consistently good," he said of the Canadian rockers -- whose hits like 'Taking Care of Business' and 'Let it Ride' have spanned generations.

But, perhaps a month later, he opened it.

"It wasn't until I turned it over that I noticed what it was."

An original black and white Polaroid photo was inside the CD case with the date 11-22-63 handwritten on the back. It was an image of the JFK motorcade on that fateful day.

"Of course realized immediately that this was an unpublished photograph. So I was excited," Rebeles said. "It just struck me as odd to find it in a CD case."

"The timeline, and where it fits in to the President being assassinated," he said of one of the many questions he had. "And how this could have ended up in a small town thrift store, fascinates me."

Fascinates someone else too. Another Farris. This time Farris with an "A." 

Farris Rookstool, III, is the former FBI analyst and JFK historian responsible for the bronze plaques and the beacon on the Dallas Love Field runway. It marks where, after the assassination, Lyndon Johnson took the oath of office onboard Air Force One.  

"To me it's the most historical landmark in Dallas," Rookstool said.

But as for Rebeles' historical picture, his news was not promising.

"Kind of giving you the antiques road show interpretation here," he said looking at an enhanced copy of the photo on his IPad. 

"The assessment is while you have a nice photo, it's a nice keepsake, it's a nice heirloom. It's something that meant something to someone in someone's family. I would say that if someone thinks this is of high monetary value, prepare yourself to underwhelmed or disappointed," he said. 

Rookstool said the photo appears to have been taken as the JFK motorcade left Love Field that day, turning left on Mockingbird Lane headed in the direction of Highland Park. In the distance he can see a distinctive building -- which appears to match the Old Executive Inn. 

Rookstool also said a passenger door appears to be firmly closed. He said that near Loma Alto and Lemmon, JFK suggested he wanted to stop the car and shake hands with people in the crowd. Rookstool said Governor John Connally, seated in front of JFK, briefly opened the door only to close it again when the plan to stop the motorcade was canceled. Photographic evidence shows that door slightly ajar for the rest of the route.

Everyone in the vehicle is also looking away from the photographer, which Rookstool said might also lower it's value. 

"Probably intrinsic value of course but, as far as monetary value, I would have no clue," said Rebeles. 

He said he hasn't decided whether to keep the photo or offer it for sale to a collector. But he would still like to know who took the picture and how it ended up in a CD case in a small town thift store.

"I'm not a huge conspiracy nut or anything like that, but sometimes things don't quite add up," said Rebeles. 

It may add up to one more grainy lingering question nearly 60 years later. 

"I just hope that someone will look at this and say you know what, this is pretty nice to have something from history to see something that no one has seen in probably 60 years," added Rookstool. 


Before You Leave, Check This Out