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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. XV - Page 237« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Joseph Rossi)

Mr. Griffin.
Maybe this would refresh your recollection. When you were interviewed by the FBI on November 25, they have reported that you told them you thought it was the 20th that you saw him; would your recollection at that time have been accurate?
Mr. Rossi.
I think that's about correct, because I believe the President was assassinated on the 22d.
Mr. Griffin.
That's right.
Mr. Rossi.
That's when I arrived in Brownsville. I left the previous evening, and I believe it was just the day before, when I spoke to Jack, so I would say it was the 20th that's--the 20th is about correct, and at that time he discussed two things with me. He had with him a novelty item--a twistboard. It was not very large, about a foot or so square and on a swivel base or a bearing base, and he was quite enthused about it. I go in for some of those little promotional deals of one nature or another, and Jack knew it so he asked my opinion of it and told me it looked like it was going to be a hot item. His brother or relative or some friend, I forget whether it was locally or in Chicago, manufactured them so he had the exclusive or the complete deal on it. The object was to get on the board and twist and that exercised you. In other words, it would be an entertaining or amusement type of exercise both at the same time.
Mr. Griffin.
Did you express any opinion to him?
Mr. Rossi.
Yes; I thought it had good possibilities, and had pretty good appeal, and there were various other things that we spoke of regarding it. He was looking for a little financing or possibly wasn't looking for financing. I am trying to recollect whether he wanted some financing on it or not, and how much it would take to go into it on a big scale. He asked if I was interested and I told him at the time I wasn't. I was pretty well tied up and involved with the South Padre Island resort properties and we were doing some promotional work on the sales of the island, so I told him I would take a raincheck on it.
Mr. Griffin.
What was the other business you talked about?
Mr. Rossi.
The other business he also discussed with me was regarding a new type of club---a new type of nightclub, and that it was going to be better, or up-graded from what he had, and I think it was going to be somewhat of a girlie club---swankier and all that--I don't know whether it was going to be a burlesque or not-- I don't quite recall.
Mr. Griffin.
Did you ever hear him mention anything about a Playboy Club?
Mr. Rossi.
No; at least he didn't-mention that to me in regards to this, or, he may have been thinking something about that--that may have been the reference to the girls or something of that nature, because it wasn't going to be just a burlesque type of club. It was going to be a lot on the higher scale and he wanted to know if I would be interested in it. I told him that, again at the present time I wasn't interested but not to exclude me, if things changed or time permitted, that; I would consider looking into it further, and if it was worthwhile I would, or if I could afford to, I would participate in it.
Mr. Griffin.
Did he want you to invest some money in it?
Mr. Rossi.
Not necessarily; Jack was always pretty nice to me. He had made me offers a number of times to locate my brokerage office up in his Club area--he had some spare office space there and he says. You are welcome the space anytime you want it, desk, or equipment." Then at the time I had been looking around for one or two other coffee or snackbar locations, and he informed me that he had equipment up there in his club- -kitchen equipment and so forth--and he would be more than glad to give it to me. He was very generous; he said, "If you want it, just take what you need." He said, Anything I've got you can.. have." I have never really done anything special for, or given Jack anything of any nature it's just that possibly I understood him a little bit better than the average person. We have something in common, as I say, from our childhood days.
Mr. Griffin.
What exactly did he want you to do with this club?
Mr. Rossi.
Oh, nothing; he knows I'm pretty good as a manager or as an operator--my background has been with food and entertainment. He knew. I under-
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