Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Close-Up of Abe Zapruder's Employer--Nardis of Dallas

Gregory Burnham has an article called "Amazing Web Of Abraham Zapruder, The Man Who Filmed JFK's Assassination" at John-F-Kennedy.net where we find the following excerpt:
The following may be of interest to those who would seek a glimpse at the beginning, even though it tends to raise questions about the only piece of evidence that we know is real, intact, unaltered, and 100% without blemish. Qualities that are curiously absent from the character of the one who filmed it...

Consider: 
  • Abraham Zapruder-White Russian affiliation, 32nd degree Mason, active MEMBER of 2 CIA Proprietary Organizations: The Dallas Council On World Affairs and The Crusade For A Free Europe; 
  • These two organizations were CIA (backed) Domestic Operations in Dallas whose membership included: 
  • Abraham Zapruder,
  • Clint Murchison (owner of the Dallas Cowboys at that time) ,
  • Mr. Byrd, (owner of the Texas School Book Depository),
  • Sarah Hughes, who swore LBJ in as the 36th President while Air Force One was still on the ground in Dallas,
  • George DeMohrenschildt, (CIA contract agent AND best friend of LHO),
  • George Bush (also close friend of George DeMohrenschildt),
  • Neil Mallon, (mentor that Bush named his son, Neil, after),
  • H.L. Hunt, &
  • Demitri Von Mohrenschildt (George D's brother).
  • In 1953 and 1954 a woman named, Jeanne LeGon worked SIDE by SIDE with Abraham Zapruder at a high end clothing design firm called Nardis of Dallas. Jeanne LeGon designed the clothing and Abraham Zapruder cut the patterns and the material for her.
Incidentally, Abraham Zapruder's obituary mis-states the date/year that he departed Nardis of Dallas, incorrectly citing 1949. The correct year was 1959, [the same year that his "partner in design" Jeanne LeGon became known as Jean LeGon DeMohrenschildt... She had married Lee Oswald's BEST FRIEND (to be), CIA Contract Agent, George DeMohrenschildt!]

Lyndon Baines Johnson's personal secretary, Marie Fehmer, who flew back to Washington on Air Force One with LBJ on 11-22-1963, just happens to be the daughter of Olga Fehmer, currently living in Tyler, Texas. Olga Fehmer ALSO worked at Nardis of Dallas with Abraham Zapruder and Jean LeGon DeMohrenshildt.
 Of course these little connections were all from the research of Bruce Campbell Adamson, without attribution of any kind, and without anything added. 

Len Colby did some follow up at the Education Forum, adding this:
I’m not sure how long they overlapped. Zapruder started his own company Jennifer Juniors and thus presumably left Nardis when he did, though it possible stayed with them for awhile. Some sources he started his company in 1949 others in 1954. The only one I’ve seen which provides reference is Wikipedia which cites “Business Charters", The Dallas Morning News, August 13, 1954, p. II-16”. The first reference I found to the company in the paper’s archive was “Dress Firm Moves to Larger Location”, July 17, 1956. So obviously the company was started before then. Unfortunately to have to pay to read the article ($10 for 24 hours access or more for longer periods). I also found an ad for a woman’s clothing store selling Jennifer Juniors coats in the February 27, 1952 Oelwein [Iowa] Daily Register which means they must have been a well established company to be known in a small town (current pop under 7000) 750 miles from their HQ (a lot closer to Chicago)
Not much, but at least it indicates a little research. More is added at the same thread of the Forum by Tom Scully, who quotes from Adamson's website:
......On other fronts, Marie Fehmer was top CIA senior officer while her mother Olga Fehmer had worked with, was friends with Mrs. George de Mohrenschildt and Abraham Zapruder. Marie Fehmer lives in D.C. and is a close friend of Senator Chuck Robb. Former Senator Robb of Virginia meets regularly with CIA Directors and is married LBJ's daughter. This was to my attention by JFK Assassination researcher Vincent Palmara. Vincent was kind enough to share with me the 1989 video of CIA agent Marie Fehmer on the Today Show being interviewed by Jane Pauley.

It is interesting to note that Ben Gold who owned the company Nardis of Dallas sold his home in the 1950s to the Haliburton oil family. This home Jeanne Le Gon-de Mohrenschildt lived with Gold from 1953-54. Olga Fehmer, Jeanne and Abraham Zapruder all worked at Nardis of Dallas at this time.
Scully also adds that "Jeanne Le Gon [De Mohrenschildt] was the talent, its seems she was a favorite of the Nardis owners, the Golds. Zapruder was capable enough, by 1959, to leave Nardis and to start his own successful business." He then pastes into the thread some long quotes from the Warren Commission testimony of Jeanne, wife of Lee Harvey Oswald's "friend," George De Mohrenschildt:
...Mr. JENNER. All right. Now, eventually, you reached Texas. How did that happen?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. Well, my daughter had asthma. She is a very allergic child. And her health was really terrible. In spite of all the care given to her, she just could not stand the New York climate. And our family doctor said the only way to save her--she was getting really sick from antibiotics and penicillin--is to change the climate.
So I was very anxious to change the climate going to California, that was my aim.
But I could not reach California. Mr. Gold, of Nardis Sportswear in New York, wanted to open a suit department. And, of course, the buyers did know me all over the country--the same buyers--recommended to get in touch with me and engage me. And it was pretty good. It was $20,000 a year, plus two trips to Europe, with expenses paid, and about $7,000 to buy the models--you just cannot go in and look at the shows.
So I decided I am going to go and do it. And Texas is better climate wise than New York.
And, believe me, my daughter never had asthma since she left New York. It is a fantastic change.
Mr. JENNER. Now, when did you go to Texas?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. I went to Texas in 1953, I believe.
Mr. JENNER. 1953. Did your husband accompany you?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. I came in the summer, and then I had to go immediately to Europe. And he came over in the fall, when my daughter returned from camp. He came over in the fall, and then shipped all the furniture.
In the meanwhile, I stayed with the Golds. They have a very big mansion.
Mr. JENNER. Your husband left Dallas?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. Yes; he came in the fall of 1953.
Mr. JENNER. He came in the fall from New York City?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. Yes.
Mr. JENNER. And he was there how long did he stay?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. He stayed there until about February of 1954.
Mr. JENNER. And then he did what?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. Then he went to California.
Mr. JENNER. Was he working?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. No; he went to visit my brother for holidays. We always tried to go to California instead of going to Miami, to be with my brother. [Jeanne Fomenko LeGon's brother--a Russian named Fomenko--worked in California with Robert Oppenheimer!] And he liked it so much, and we wanted so much to move to California. So we thought if he goes there, maybe he can locate something while I finish my contract. My contract was expiring in the spring of 1954.
Mr. JENNER. Your contract with Nardis?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. Yes; then I would go there,
also, also in the late spring or early summer--maybe he can locate something in the meanwhile, in California.
And then I was very lucky. It was Mr. Gold's tough luck. But it was good luck for me, because he was indicted for taxes. There was a tremendous scandal. And he had two buildings--he lost one of the buildings. In other words, he could not afford even to go into the suit operation, and go ahead with it. So he was very glad that I asked for release, and he was glad to give it to me. He thought I am going to demand money and everything, because he wants to drop the contract before. And I was very glad. It worked out very nice for me. We remained good friends. And then I went to California.
Mr. JENNER. Did you work in California?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. Yes; I worked with Style Garments, a coat and suit firm....

....Mr. JENNER. Now, when did you meet your present husband?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. 1956.
Mr. JENNER. When you came back to Dallas?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. To design a collection. I was working there.
Mr. JENNER. And did his daughter as well as your daughter join you?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. She did, but later on.
Mr. JENNER. When was that?
Mrs. De MOHRENSCHILDT. She joined us in, I think, the spring of 1959.
So, about the Golds' mansion in Dallas...We can learn from the Dallas city directory that its address was in what at that time was far north Dallas, 5811 Desco Drive, to be exact. The address no longer exists, the land around it having been divided up or combined to form palatial estates. 5909 DESCO DR, for example, a residence containing 8,500 square feet, is shown on today's tax rolls as being owned by a trust, has a value of more than $3 million. Nearby, 5914 DESCO Dr., has been owned by Theodore Strauss since 2000. Ted is the brother of the former head of the Democrat National Committee, Robert S. Strauss, and husband of former Dallas Mayor the late Annette Strauss. But 5811 is not listed on these rolls; 5809 Desco contains a house constructed in 2006, and it is adjacent to 5831, which was built in 2003. Thus we discern that Bernard L. Gold's former residence was located somewhere in between these two homes and is no longer extant. We do find, however that it would have been located within the El Parado neighborhood:
Right in the middle of original Preston Hollow is El Parado, a neighborhood of early estate homes. Preston Downs is on the south and Preston Elms is on the north. The southern boundary of El Parado is Park Lane, the eastern boundary is Preston Road, Douglas defines the western boundary and Falls Road is the northern boundary.

Hugh Windsor plotted this land in 1925 with Desco and Watson created as the east-west streets between Preston and Douglas. He then sold the land in large tracts through the 1930s. Gradually, individual acres of land were carved away from the original estates such as Lupshire and the Desco Estate. But these original estate homes still remain on the two acres or more. New homes have been built in the last decade showing a progression of architectural style and taste in this quiet neighborhood of impressive homes. The look and feel of the neighborhood, however, is still rooted in the original Preston Hollow estate homes that remain standing. Wide verandas, sweeping driveways and deep setbacks add to the mystique of these early 20th century mansions. Important families continue to call this neighborhood their home and new families are continually drawn to this delightful neighborhood.
For many years one of the closest neighbors of the Golds was a Dallas attorney named Joe E. Estes whose wife was a published writer of murder mysteries. He was appointed to be Chief United States District Judge for the Northern District of Texas before 1961 and had served on an American Bar Association committee with Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark, an old friend of Lyndon Johnson. In addition:
Judge Estes was born in Commerce, Tex., received his pre-law education at East Texas State Teachers College and graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 1927. While at East Texas State Teachers College he was editor of the college newspaper and an intercollegiate debating champion, and while attending the University of Texas School of Law he was president of the junior law class, a student editor of the Texas Law Review and was selected for membership in Chancellors and The Order of the Coif, legal honor societies. After graduation he entered the general practice of law at Commerce and served there as city attorney. In 1930 he joined a Fort Worth law firm and during the years that followed acquired statewide reputation as an outstanding oil and gas lawyer. In 1945 Judge Estes moved to Dallas, his present home, where he continued in the general practice of law until his appointment as United States District Judge on August 8, 1955. During his six years on the bench Judge Estes has disposed of approximately 2,500 civil cases in addition to handling his criminal docket and keeping it in current status. Only one of his cases has been sent back from the Appellate Courts for retrial. He is married to the former Carroll Virginia Cox of Fort Worth and has two children. Carl Lewis II and Carol Estes Thometz. Judge Estes reside at 5816 Desco Drive in Dallas. [Source: Abilene Reporter-News, Aug. 8, 1961]
1948 Coleman Cooper Apollo Boys Choir Photo Print Ad
Click to enlarge
 Next door to the Golds--from 1941 to 1950--lived Coleman Cooper at 5809, director of the Apollo Boys Choir. often referred to as the "American version of the Vienna Boys choir." Prior to the time Cooper lived in Dallas, he took his boys choir to the Georgia White House in 1935 where President Roosevelt often spent time.

After singing at a concert for a Parent-Teacher convention, attended by the First Lady, she arranged an improptu concert for the choir to sing to the President there in Warm Springs. The event was reported over the news media, leading to celebrity of a sort for the choir, which led to numerous engagements for fees. Six years later Cooper moved to Dallas. By 1952 the choir had been relocated to Palm Beach, Fla.

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