Dueling Tales From Esquire and Washingtonian on the Air Force One Flight From Dallas

Last month, Chris Jones over at Esquire fired up a 7,700-word story about the moments on Air Force One after the Kennedy assassination. The story is titled “The Flight From Dallas.” Today brings a similar tale told by the editor of Washingtonian, Garrett Graff. When I say similar, I mean it chronicles the moments on Air Force One after the Kennedy assassination. Garrett’s story is titled “Angel Is Airborne.” And it clocks in at an astounding 18,000 words.

I haven’t read Garrett’s story yet. Too, I have to be careful because I know both authors. My interaction with Chris has pretty much been limited to a bar conversation about which was the biggest animal he thought he could kill with his bare hands. But I know Garrett better. Every year, we attend the National Scrapbooking Convention together, and his uncle was briefly married to my step-grandmother’s manicurist. Anyway, even after I’ve read Garrett’s story, I’m not going to tell you which one I think is superior.

I will tell you this. I asked Garrett what went through his head when he saw Chris’ story. His response: “Initially I was terrified to see that Esquire had done a similar piece — especially since mine was all finished and fact-checked when they published — but I think in the end Chris Jones and I looked at the same material and came away with very different stories.”