Marguerite Claverie, the mother of Lee Harvey Oswald, was born inNew Orleans in 1907, inlớn a family of French and German extraction. Her mother died a few years after Marguerite was born leaving herand five other young children in the care of their father, a streetcarconductor. Although Marguerite describes herself as “a child of oneparent,” she recalls being “one of the most popular young ladies in the
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Marguerite Claverie, 1910.
Marguerite Claverie on right, 1922.
In August 1929, while she was still working at the law firm,Marguerite married Edward John Pic, Jr., a quiet man of her own age,who worked as a clerk for T. Smith & Son, a New Orleans stevedoringcompany. The marriage was not a success, and by the summer of 1931she & Pic were separated. Marguerite was then 3 months pregnant;she told her family that Pic did not want any children & refused totư vấn her. Pic ascribed the separation simply khổng lồ their inabilityto lớn get along together. A boy was born on January 17, 1932, whomMarguerite named John Edward Pic. Pic saw his son occasionally untilhe was about 1 year old; after that, he did not see the boy againbut contributed to lớn his tư vấn until he was 18 years old.
During her separation from her first husband, Marguerite saw agreat khuyến mãi of Robert Edward Lee Oswald, an insurance premiumcollector, who also was married but was separated from his wife.In 1933, Marguerite was divorced from Picđôi mươi and, Oswald’s wife alsohaving obtained a divorce, they were married in a Lutheran church onJuly trăng tròn. Marguerite has described the period of her marriage toOswald as “the only happy part of her life.” A son was born on April7, 1934, who was named for his father; Oswald wanted to adopt JohnPic, but his mother objected on the ground that John’s father mightcut off the tư vấn payments. In 1938, the Oswalds purchased a newhouse on Alvar Street for $3,900, in what John remembered as “arather nice neighborhood.” The house was across the street from theWilliam Frantz School, which first John andlater both he and Robert, Jr., attended. On August 19, 1939, littlemore than a year after the Oswalds bought the Alvar Street house,Robert Oswald died suddenly of a heart attaông chồng.
Robert Edward Lee Oswald, Sr.
2109 Alvar Street Upper 9th Ward New Orleans. See maps of Oswald’s addresses here.
©Karen Apricot, July 17, 2007. Creative sầu Commons License.
Two months later, on October 18, 1939, a second son was born. Hewas named Lee after his father; Harvey was his paternal grandmother’smaiden name. For a while after her husband’s death, Mrs. Oswaldremained in the Alvar Street house without working; she probably livedon life insurance proceeds. Sometime in 1940, she rented the housekhổng lồ Dr. Bruno F. Mancuso the doctor who had delivered Lee. (Dr.Mancuso continued to lớn rent the house until 1944, when Margueriteobtained a judgment of possession against hyên. She sold the housefor $6,500 lớn the First Homestead và Savings Association, whichresold it lớn Dr. Mancuso.) She herself moved to a rented house at1242 Congress Street, where she lived for about half a year. Forpart of this period after Oswald’s death, the two older boys wereplaced in the Infant Jesus College, a Catholic boarding school inAlgiers, La., a suburb of New Orleans. Neither they nor theirmother liked this arrangement, which John thought was intended tosave money; it lasted for less than a year, after which the boysreturned to lớn the school Frantz and then transferred khổng lồ the GeorgeWashington Elementary School.
On March 5, 1941, Mrs. Oswald purchased a frame house at 1010Bartholomew Street, for $1,300. According khổng lồ John’s recollection,the neighborhood was not as pleasant as Alvar Street; the house had abackyard, and the family kept a dog named “Sunshine.” A neighbor,Mrs. Viola Peterman, recalls that Mrs. Oswald kept to herself butappeared lớn be “a good mother to her children.” She opened a shopin the front room, where she sold things like sewing supplies andsmall groceries. Oswald’s Notion Shop, as it was called, failed tomake money, và on January 16, 1942, Mrs. Oswald sold the house backkhổng lồ the Third District Home Association, from which she had purchasedit, for a profit of $800.50
Probably in contemplation of the sale of the house, Mrs. Oswaldapplied in December 1941 lớn the Evangelical Lutheran Bethlehem OrphanAsylum Association for the admission of her two older sons khổng lồ theorphan asylum, known as the Bethlehem Children’s Home; she stated onthe application that she could contribute $đôi mươi per month lớn theirmaintenance và would supply shoes & clothing. She had inquiredalso about Lee, who was too young to be admitted. John & Robertwere accepted & entered the home page on January 3, 1942.
Mrs. Oswald moved to an apartment at 831 Pauline Street, andreturned lớn work. In December 1942, she listed her occupation as"telephone operator"; this may be the job she held at thePittsburgh Plate Glass Co., a company for which she worked at somepoint during this period. She left Lee for much of this time withhis aunt, Mrs. Murret, who thought hlặng a good looking, friendly child,but could not devote a great khuyễn mãi giảm giá of attention to hyên ổn because she hadfive children of her own. In the late spring of 1942, Lee waswatched for several weeks by Mrs. Thomas Roach, who lived with herhusband in the same house as the Oswalds. Lee evidently did not get along with Mrs.Roach who told the next occupant of the house that Lee was a bad,unmanageable child who threw his toy gun at her. Apparentlyreferring to lớn the Roaches, Mrs. Oswald testified that she had oncehired a couple to care for Lee; the couple neglected hyên, so she “putthem out” and cared for Lee herself until Mrs. Murret was able khổng lồ helpher again. Soon after the incident with the Roaches, Mrs. Oswaldmoved again, this time khổng lồ 111 Sherwood Forest Drive sầu, near theMurrets.
Mrs. Murret took care of Lee for several months longer. Near Lee‘sthird birthday, Mrs. Oswald again inquired about his admission intothe Bethlehem Children’s trang chủ, perhaps because a disagreement withher sister made it impossible to lớn leave sầu him with her any longer. Hewas admitted on December 26. On his application, Mrs. Oswald agreedkhổng lồ contribute $10 per month & to lớn supply shoes và clothing, as forthe other boys.
Lee remained in the trang chính for about 13 months, but according toJohn’s testimony, left on several occasions to spover short periods oftime with his mother or the Murrets. John and Robert have sầu pleasantmemories of the home page, which apparently gave the children a good dealof freedom. Robert described it as nondenominational but having “aChristian atmosphere"; “it might have been just a Protestant trang chủ.” Mrs. Oswald visited them regularly, và they occasionally left thehome to visit her or the Murrets.
In July 1943, Mrs. Oswald was hired to manage a small hosierystore. This is probably the store to lớn which she referred in hertestimony as the “Princess Hosiery Shop on Canal Street,” at which,she testified, she was left by herself và “in 6 days’ time * * *hired four girls.” Her employer remembers her as a neat,attractive, & hardworking woman, an aggressive person who would makea good manager. She was not good with figures, however, & afterseveral months he discharged her. At about this same time, she metEdwin A. Ekdahl, an electrical engineer older than herself, who wasoriginally from Boston but was then working in the area. They saweach other often. Ekdahl met the boys và, according to John’stestimony, on at least one occasion, they all spent a weekover at asummer resort area in Covington, La.
By January 1944, Mrs. Oswald and Ekdahl had decided khổng lồ marry.She withdrew Lee from the Children’s trang chủ & moved with him toDallas, where Ekdahl expected to lớn be located. They planned topostpone the marriage until the over of the school year so that theolder boys could complete the year at the trang chủ before they left it.In the meantime, she would care for Ekdahl, who was recovering froma serious illness, probably a heart attack. Mrs. Oswald hastestified that when she arrived in Dallas, she decided that she didnot want to lớn marry Ekdahl after all. Using part of the proceeds fromthe sale of the Alvar Street house, she purchased a house at 4801Victor Street, a portion of which she rented. In June, John andRobert left the Children’s trang chủ và joined their mother inDallas. They entered the nearby Davy Crockett Elementary School thefollowing September.
Ekdahl visited Mrs. Oswald on weekends & stayed at VictorStreet. By the following year she had resolved her doubts aboutmarrying hlặng, influenced in part by his substantial income andperhaps by the visit some time earlier of his sister, who favored themarriage because of his ill health. Explaining that she expected totravel a great giảm giá khuyến mãi, Mrs. Oswald tried unsuccessfully khổng lồ return theolder boys to lớn the trang chủ in February 1945. She & Ekdahl were marriedin May. After a brief honeymoon, they returned khổng lồ Victor Street.
Ekdahl got along well with the boys, on whom he lavished muchattention. John testified that Ekdahl treated them as if they werehis own children & that Lee seemed to find in Ekdahl “the father henever had”; John recalled that on one occasion he told Lee that Ekdahlvà his mother had become reconciled after a separation, and that“this seemed khổng lồ really elate Lee, this made hyên ổn really happy that theywere getting bachồng together.”
Because Ekdahl’s business required hlặng to lớn make frequent trips, inSeptember, John & Robert were placed in the Chamberlain-HuntMilitary Academy at Port Gibson, Miss.; their mother paid thetuition herself, using the proceeds from the sale of the Alvar Streetproperty. They remained at the academy for the next 3 years,returning home only for or vacations. Lee accompanied his parentson their travels. Mrs. Myrtle Evans, who had known both Margueritevà Ekdahl before their marriage, testified that Margueriteinsisted on keeping Lee with her; Mrs. Evans thought that Margueritewas “too close” to Lee và “spoiled hlặng khổng lồ death,” which hurt hermarriage to Ekdahl.
Sometime in the fall after John & Robert were at boardingschool, the Ekdahls moved to lớn Benbrook, a suburb of Fort Worth, wherethey lived on Granbury Road, in a house of stone or briông xã, set omãng cầu large plot of land. Records of the Benbrook Comtháng School showLee’s admission inlớn the first grade on October 31; his birth date isincorrectly given as July 9, 1939, his mother presumably having giventhat date to lớn satisfy the age requirement. On February 8, 1946, hewas admitted khổng lồ the Harris Hospital in Fort Worth with “acutemastoiditis.” A mastoidectomy was performed without complications,and Lee left the hospital in 4 days. (In 1955, Lee indicated on aschool size that he had an “abnormal ear drum in left ear,”presumably a reference to lớn the mastoidectomy; but when he entered theMarines year later, physical examination disclosed no physicaldefects.)
The Ekdahls’ marriage quickly broke down. Before they had beenmarried a year, Marguerite suspected Ekdahl of infidelity. Shethought him stingy, and there were frequent arguments about hisinsistence that she trương mục for her expenditures & his refusal tomô tả his money with her. In the summer of 1946, she left Ekdahl,picked up John and Robert at Chamberlain-Hunt, and moved with the boysto lớn Covington, La., 116 where they lived for at least part of the timeat 311 Vermont Street. Mrs. Evans described them at Covington,possibly during this summer, as “really a happy family”; Lee seemedlike a normal boy but “kept to lớn himself” & seemed not “to lớn want khổng lồ bewith any other children.” The separation continued after the twoboys returned to lớn boarding school, and in September Lee was enrolled inthe Covington Elementary School. His record at Benbrook had beensatisfactory he was present on 82 school days và absent on 15, andreceived all A’s & B’s — but he had not completed the work of thefirst grade, in which he was enrolled for a second time.
Lee received no grades at the Covington School, from which he waswithdrawn on January 23, 1947, because his parents, now reconciled,were moving khổng lồ Fort Worth, where they lived at 1505 Eighth Avenue.Four days later, he enrolled in the Clayton Public School; he wasstill in the first grade, which he completed in May with B’s in everysubject except physical education & health, in which he receivedA’s. In the fall, he entered the second grade in the same schoolbut, relations between his parents having deteriorated again, waswithdrawn before any grades were recorded.
After the move sầu to lớn Fort Worth, the Ekdahls continued lớn arguefrequently; according to lớn John, “they would have sầu a fight about everyother day and he would leave sầu và come baông xã.” That summer,Marguerite obtained what she regarded as proof that Ekdahl was havingsome sort of affair. According to her testimony, a neighbor told herthat Ekdahl had been living on Eighth Avenue with another woman whileshe was in Covington. Then, at a time when Ekdahl was supposed tobe out of town, she went with John và several of his friends lớn anapartment in Fort Worth; one of the boys posed as a telegram carrier,& when the door opened she pushed her way into the apartment andfound Ekdahl in his shirt sleeves in the company of a woman in anegligee.
Despite this apparent confirmation of her suspicions, Margueritecontinued to live sầu with Ekdahl until January 1948. In January,according lớn Ekdahl’s allegations in the subsequent divorceproceedings, she “directed ...
While the divorce suit was pending, Marguerite moved from EighthAvenue to lớn a house on 3300 Willing Street, next lớn railroad tracks.The boys found her there in May when they returned from the militaryacademy; for John, the move signified that they “were baông chồng down in thelower class again.” Lee’s withdrawal from the Clayton School onMarch 18, 1948, probably coincided with the move lớn WillingStreet. He entered the Clark Elementary School on the following day,& in June completed the second grade with a record mostly of B’s andA’s. Philip Vinson, a classmate at the Clayton School has describedLee at, that time as “a quiet type of kids” who “didn’t make a lot ofnoise.” Lee was “stocky and well built,” which made other boyslook up lớn hlặng and regard him as the leader of one of their schoolyard“gangs.” Vinson thought that Lee was not a bully & got alongwith his classmates, but had the impression that he rarely played withthem or brought them home after school.
Shortly after the divorce, Mrs. Oswald purchased a small house inBenbrook, on what is now San Saba Street; John has testified thatit had a single bedroom, in which Lee slept with his mother, and ascreened porch where John và Robert slept. Mrs. Oswald worked at adepartment store in Fort Worth, và left the three boys home page alone.A neighbor, Mrs. W. H. Bell, has stated that Lee seemed to enjoy beingby himself and to lớn resent discipline; another neighbor, Otis R.Carlton, stated that he once saw Lee chase John with a knife & throwit at hyên ổn, an incident which, Carlton said, their mother passed off asa “little scuffle.” At the over of the summer, Carlton purchasedthe property. He stated that he appraised it at $2,750 at Mrs.Oswald’s request; she then insisted that he had made an offer topurchase at that price, which he finally agreed to lớn bởi vì.
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After the house was sold, the family returned khổng lồ Fort Worth, amove necessitated by Mrs. Oswald’s, & now John’s, employment.Mrs. Oswald bought a two-bedroom, frame house at 7408 Ewing, fromwhich Robert and Lee could walk to lớn school. John, who was then 16,obtained a job as a shoe stockboy at Everybody’s Department Store; hetestified that he wanted khổng lồ finish high school at the militaryacademy, but that his mother advised hyên to leave school và help tosupport the family. He gave sầu her $15 per week out of his salary of$25. Robert returned khổng lồ school.
Lee entered the third grade at the Arlington Heights ElementarySchool. He remained at Arlington Heights for the entire schoolyear, completing the third grade with a satisfactory record, whichincluded A’s in social studies, citizenship, elementary science, art,và music, and a D in spelling. In September 1949, he transferredto lớn the Ridglea West Elementary School, where he remained for the next3 years. Lee’s record at Ridglea is not remarkable in any respect.In the fourth & fifth grades, he received mostly B’s; in the sixthgrade, B’s and C’s predominate. He received D’s inboth the fifth & sixth grades in spelling & arithmetic; in thefourth and sixth grades, C’s are recorded for Spanish, which mayaccount for his rudimentary familiarity with that language later on.In the fourth grade his IQ was recorded at 103; on achievementtests in each of the 3 years, he twice did best in reading and twicedid worst in spelling.
Lee is generally characterized as an unexceptional but rathersolitary boy during these years. His mother worked in a variety ofjobs, &, according to her own testimony, told Lee not khổng lồ contacther at work except in an emergency. He ordinarily returned homealone directly after school, in obedience to lớn his mother’sinstructions. A fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Clyde I. Livingston,described him as a lonely boy, quiet and shy, who did not easily formfriendships with other students. But Richard W. Garrett has statedthat he was a classmate of Lee in the fourth or fifth grade và foundhyên ổn easy to get along with; he recalled playing with Lee often atschool và sometimes walking home together with hyên ổn. Mrs.Livingston recalled that at Christmas 1949, Lee gave sầu her a puppy andafterward came to lớn her trang chủ to see the puppy and talk khổng lồ her & herfamily.
Lee’s relationship with his brothers was good but limited by thedifference in their ages. He still had a dog, but there were fewchildren of his age in the neighborhood, & he appears to lớn have sầu beenby himself after school most of the time. He read a lot, had astamp collection, và played chess và Monopoly with his brothers.Mrs. Murret remembered that on a visit lớn her trang chủ in New Orleans, Leerefused to play with other children or even khổng lồ leave sầu the house; hepreferred to stay indoors & read (mostly “funnybooks”) or listen tothe radio. After several weeks with the Murrets, Lee wrote khổng lồ hismother và asked her lớn come for hyên ổn. Hiram Conway, a neighbor onEwing Street, thought Lee was an intelligent child, who picked thingsup easily; although he did not reGọi many specific incidents tosupport his impressions, Conway regarded Lee as “a bad kid,” who was“quiông chồng to lớn anger” and “mean when he was angry, just ornery.” John’sgeneral picture of Lee in these years is that of “a normal healthyrobust boy who would get in fights & still have sầu his seriousmoments.”
John returned khổng lồ high school in January 1949, but continued towork part time. Early in 1950, he entered the Coast Guard.Robert left school soon after John’s departure và went to lớn work fulltime, contributing most of his earnings lớn the tư vấn of his family.He returned to lớn school in 1951-52, and after completing his junioryear in high school, joined the Marines in July 1952. In August,Mrs. Oswald & Lee moved khổng lồ New York, where John was living with hiswife và a very young baby in an apartment at 325 East 92d Street; theapartment belonged to lớn John’s mother-in-law, who was temporarilyaway. Mrs. Oswald has explained that with Robert gone she did notwant Lee to lớn be alone while she worked and that she went khổng lồ New YorkCity “not as a venture,” but because she “had family” there.
The visit began well. John testified of his meeting with Lee: “Wemet in the street and I was real glad to see hyên ổn and he was real gladto see me. We were real good friends.” He took about a week ofleave sầu & showed Lee the city; he remembered trips lớn the Museum ofNatural History & Polk’s Hobby Shop, and a ride on the Staten Islandferry. But when it became obvious that his mother intended to lớn stay,the atmosphere changed. Mrs. Oswald did not get along with John’swife, with whom she quarreled frequently. There was difficultyabout her failure lớn contribute anything towards her own and Lee’ssupport. According lớn John, his wife liked Lee & would have sầu beenglad to have him alone stay with them but felt that his mother mix Leeagainst her; they never suggested that Lee remain with them since theyknew that it would not work out. The visit ended when Leethreatened Mrs. Pic with a pocket knife during a quarrel, và sheasked Mrs. Oswald to leave. John testified that during this samequarrel Lee hit his mother, who appeared khổng lồ have lost all control overhlặng. The incident permanently destroyed the good relationshipbetween Lee và his brother.
Mrs. Oswald và Lee moved uptown to lớn a one-room basement apartment in the Bronx, at 1455 Sheridan Avenue. While they were still atthe Pics, he had been enrolled at the Trinity Evangelical LutheranSchool on Watson Avenue. He was withdrawn on September 26, afterseveral weeks of irregular attendance, và 4 days later enrolled inin the seventh grade of Public School 117, a junior high school. Mrs.Oswald found a job at one of the Lerner Shops, a chain of dress shopsfor which she had worked briefly in Fort Worth several yearsbefore. In January, they moved again, to lớn 825 East 179th Street,and a few weeks later, she left the employ of Lerner Shops. InApril, she was working at Martin’s Department Store in Brooklyn, whereshe earned $45 per week; in May, she went to work for a chain ofhosiery shops, with which she remained until December. Lee wasregistered at Public School 117 until January 16, 1953, althoughthe move sầu to 179th Street, which took hyên out of that school district,probably took place before that date. He had been at Public School117 for 64 schooldays, out of which he had been present on 15 full and2 half days; he had received failing grades in most of hiscourses.
Lee’s truancy increased after he moved; he was now located in theschool district of Public School 44 but refused khổng lồ go khổng lồ schoolthere. On one occasion that spring, an attendance officer locatedLee at the Bronx Zoo; the officer testified that Lee was clean andwell dressed, but was surly & referred khổng lồ the officer as a “damnedYankee.” Several truancy hearings were held in January, at thefirst of which at least, both Mrs. Oswald & Lee evidently failed toappear. At a hearing on January 27, by which time it was known thatLee was living in the Public School 44 district, it was decided tocommence judicial proceedings if his truancy continued. Meanwhile,on January 16, his mother called the Community Service Society, towhich she hadbeen referred by the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, andasked for an appointment to lớn discuss the problem. She mentioned thata truancy hearing had been held và said that Lee would not attendschool despite the threat of official action; she thought that hisbehavior was due to lớn difficulty in adjusting to his new environment.An appointment was scheduled for January 30, but she failed lớn appear,and the case was closed. Sometime in February, the Pics visited theOswalds. John testified that his mother told hlặng about Lee’s truancyand asked how she could get Lee khổng lồ accept psychiatric aid. Nothingcame of these discussions.
On March 12, the attendance officer in charge of Lee’s case fileda petition in court which alleged that Lee had been “excessivelyabsent from school” between October và January, that he had refusedkhổng lồ register at Public School 44 or to lớn attkết thúc school there, and that hewas “beyond the control of his mother insofar as school attendance isconcerned? On the same day, Mrs. Oswald appeared in court alonevà informed the presiding judge that Lee refused khổng lồ appear incourt. Evidently impressed by the proceedings, however, Lee didregister at Public School 44 on March 23. Nevertheless, on April16, Justice Delany declared hyên ổn a truant, và remanded hlặng to YouthHouse until May 7 for psychiatric study.
In accordance with the regular procedures at Youth House, Lee tooka series of tests & was interviewed by a staff social worker & aprobation officer, both of whom interviewed Mrs. Oswald as well.Their findings, discussed more fully in chapter VII of theCommission’s report, indicated that Lee was a withdrawn, sociallymaladjusted boy, whose mother did not interest herself sufficiently inhis welfare & had failed to establish a cthua relationship withhyên ổn. Mrs. Oswald visited Lee at Youth House and came away with ahighly unfavorable impression; she regarded it as unfit for herson. On the basis of all the test results and reports và his owninterview with Lee, Dr. Renatus Hartogs, the chief staff psychiatrist,recommended that Lee be placed on probation with a requirement that heseek help from a child guidance clinic, and that his mother be urgedlớn tương tác a family agency for help; he recommended that Lee not beplaced in an institution unless treatment during probation wasunsuccessful.
Lee returned to court on May 7. He & his mother appeared beforeJustice McClancy, who discussed the Youth House reports with them.He released Lee on parole until September 24, and requested that areferral be made khổng lồ the Community Service Society for treatment.The probation officer called the society on the same day but was toldthat it would probably not be able khổng lồ take the case because of itsalready full case load & the intensive sầu treatment which Lee waslikely khổng lồ require; it confirmed this position 1 week later andclosed the case on May 31. An application was made to lớn the SalvationArmy also, which turned it down because it could not provide theneeded services.
During the few weeks of school which remained, Lee attended schoolregularly, & completed the seventh grade with low but passing marksin all his academic subjects. (He received a failing mark in a homeeconomics course.) His conduct was generally satisfactory & hewas rated outstanding in “Social-Participation”; the record indicatesthat he belonged to lớn a mã sản phẩm airplane club and had a special interestin horsebachồng riding. Robert Oswald visited Thủ đô New York that summer,while he was on leave sầu from the Marines. Lee did not appear lớn himkhổng lồ be unhappy or to be acting abnormally, nor did Robert observe sầu thatrelations between Lee and his mother were strained. Lee’s truancythe previous fall & winter was apparently discussed only in passing,when Mrs. Oswald mentioned that Lee had khổng lồ appear before ajudge.
On September 14, Lee entered the eighth grade at Public School44. His parole was due to kết thúc 10 days later. On September 24,however, Mrs. Oswald telephoned the probation officer và advised thatshe could not appear in court; she added that there was no need forher to lớn do so, since Lee was attending school regularly và was nowwell adjusted. The parole was extended until October 29, beforewhich date the school was to lớn submit a progress report. The reportwas highly unfavorable. Although Lee was attending school regularly,his conduct was unsatisfactory; teachers reported that he refused tosalute the flag, did little work, & seemed to spend most of his time“sailing paper planes around the room.” On October 29, Mrs. Oswaldagain telephoned to say that she would be unable lớn appear. JusticeSicher continued Lee’s parole until November 19 & directed theprobation officer to make a referral to the Berkshire Industrial Farmor Children’s Village.
Before the next hearing, Mrs. Oswald discussed Lee’s behavior withthe school authorities, who indicated to the probation officer thatLee’s behavior improved considerably after her visit to the school.He did, in fact, receive sầu passing grades in most of his subjects in thefirst marking period. His report also contains notations by histeachers that he was “quick-tempered,” “constantly losing control,”và “getting into lớn battles with others.” Both Lee & his motherappeared in court on November 19. Despite Mrs. Oswald’s request thatLee be discharged, Justice Sicher stated his belief that Lee neededtreatment, và continued his parole until January 28, 1954; theprobation officer was directed lớn tương tác the Big Brothers counselingservice in the meantime.
At the request of the probation officer, the Big Brothers officecontacted Mrs. Oswald in December, and on January 4 a caseworkervisited her & Lee at trang chính. The caseworker reported that he wascordially received but was told by Mrs. Oswald that continuedcounseling was unnecessary; she pointed out to hyên ổn that Lee nowbelonged to lớn the West Side YMCA, which he attended every Saturday. Thecaseworker reported, however, that Lee was plainly “displeased withthe idea of being forced to join various ‘Y’ organizations about whichhe cared little.” Mrs. Oswald declared her intention to return to lớn NewOrleans and was advised to obtain Lee’s release from the court’sjurisdiction before she left. On the following day, she called theprobation officer, who was away on vacation, và was advised by hisoffice again not khổng lồ take Lee out of the jurisdiction without thecourt’s consent. The same advice was repeated to her by the BigBrothers caseworker on January 6. Through all these contacts, Mrs.Oswald had evidenced reluctance lớn bring Lee inkhổng lồ court, promptedprobably by fear that he would be retained in some sort of custody ashe had been at the time of the commitment lớn Youth House. Withoutfurther communication to the court, Mrs. Oswald và Lee returned toNew Orleans sometime before January 10. On March 11, the courtdismissed the case.
In New Orleans, Lee và his mother stayed with the Murrets at 757French Street while they looked for an apartment. Lee enrolled inthe eighth grade at Beauregard Junior High School on January 13 & completed the school year without apparent difficulty. Heentered the ninth grade in September & again received mediocre butacceptable marks. In October 1954, Lee took a series of achievementtests, on which he did well in reading and vocabulary, badly inmathematics. At the over of the school year, on June 2, 1955, hefilled out a “personal history.” He indicated that the subjects whichhe liked best were civics, science, and mathematics; those he likedleast were English và art. His vocational preferences were listed asbiology & mechanical drawing; his plans after high school, however,were noted as “military service” và “undecided.” He said that reading& outdoor sports were his recreational activities and that he likedfootball in particular. In response lớn the question whether he had“any cthua kém friends in this school,” he wrote, “no.”
Lee is remembered by those who knew hlặng in New Orleans as aquiet, solitary boy who made few friends. He was briefly a memberof the Civil Air Patrol, & considered joining an organization ofhigh school students interested in astronomy; occasionally, heplayed pool or darts with his friover, Edward Voebel. Beyond this,he seems khổng lồ have had few contacts with other people. He read a lot,starting at some point lớn read Communist literature which he found atthe public library; he walked or rode a bicycle, sometimesvisiting a museum. Except in his relations with his mother, he wasnot unusually argumentative or belligerent, but he seems not lớn haveavoided fights if they came; they did come fairly frequently, perhapsin part because of his aloofness from his fellows và the traces of anorthern accent in his speech. His only cthua thảm friendship, withVoebel, arose when Voebel helped hlặng tover his wounds after a fight.Friends of Mrs. Oswald thought that he was demanding và insolenttoward her and that she had no control over him.
While Lee was in the eighth và ninth grades, Mrs. Oswald workedfirst at Burt’s Shoestore và then at the Dolly Shoe Co. One ofher employers at Dolly, where she worked as a cashier and salesclerk,remembered her as a pleasant person & a good worker. At herrequest, the company hired Lee lớn work part time; he worked there,mostly on Saturdays, for about 10 weeks in 1955. On the “personalhistory” record which he filled out in school, he stated that he hadbeen a “retail shoesaleman”; but his employer recalled that theyhad tried khổng lồ train him as a salesman without success and that he hadin fact, been a stockboy.
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After a short period with the Murrets, Mrs. Oswald & Lee hadmoved khổng lồ an apartment owned by Myrtle Evans at 1454 Saint MaryStreet, which she and Mrs. Murret helped lớn furnish; later they movedkhổng lồ a less expensive apartment in the same building, the address ofwhich was 1452 Saint Mary Street. Relations between Mrs. Oswald andMrs. Evans became strained, và in the spring of 1955 the Oswaldsmoved lớn a new apartment at 126 Exchange Place in the FrenchQuarter. Although Lee gave sầu the Exchange Place address on a schoolsize at the end of the ninth grade, the school authorities hadapparently not been advised of these moves earlier, because Mrs.Oswald did not want Lee to be transferred from Beauregard, which sheconsidered a good school. During the summer of 1955, Robert leftthe Marine Corps và spent a week with his mother and Lee in NewOrleans before moving to lớn Fort Worth; he found Lee unchanged.
That fall, Lee entered the 10th grade at Warren Easton HighSchool. He had been there for about a month when he presented tothe school authorities a note written by himself lớn which he hadsigned his mother’s name. It was dated October 7, 1955, và read:
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