DALLAS — Dawn McHarg stood in Dealey Plaza on Thursday, looking around.
But the 44-year-old Canadian couldn’t find the white X that for decades has marked the spot on Elm Street where the motorcade was when President John F. Kennedy was fatally shot 50 years ago today.
“It’s disappointing that it’s gone,” said McHarg, who has wanted to visit this site so long that it became one of her bucket-list items. “When you play out in your mind what happened, you need the X to show where the moment happened.”
Stark white X’s spray-painted on the road decades ago were never official or put there by city workers.
And a city spokesman said work is underway to “level out the streets and remove any trip hazards.”
“With thousands visiting the area this week, we think that is prudent,” Dallas spokesman Frank Librio said. “We want the area to be safe and look as good as possible for this important event.”
The inside and outside lanes of the road have been repaved recently. But the middle lane, with the pavement chipped away and the red bricks underneath showing, had not been repaved as of Thursday morning.
Librio said road work isn’t uncommon in the area.
“There has been the need to take them up in the past for other work,” he said. “They always reappear.”
Sharon Bush, a 70-year-old California woman visiting the area Thursday, said a man at Dealey Plaza told her that the X is expected to return after today’s anniversary and events.
But for now, at least, she’s glad it’s gone.
“It’s a target,” she said. “I don’t think it should ever be there. It’s too graphic.”
Hilary Maxim, a 61-year-old Canadian man, isn’t sure what should happen with the X.
“It’s macabre,” he said. “But it was a connection to that time and place.
“I don’t dwell on the X,” he said. “Whatever the councilors decide.”
Anna M. Tinsley, 817-390-7610 Twitter: @annatinsley