Oswald had every reason to be stressed on the morning of Nov. 22, 1963. His wife, Marina, and their two daughters were living in Irving with Ruth Payne, a friend who had taken Marina in after her marriage to Lee had crumbled.
Oswald, living in a rooming house in Oak Cliff, was desperate to put his family back together. He had spent Thursday night at the Payne house. The next morning, he walked a short distance to the home of Linnie Mae Randle to hitch a ride to work with Frazier.
Randle was Frazier’s sister. He was living with her and her husband.
Frazier was eating breakfast about 7:15 when Oswald showed up. Frazier finished breakfast, brushed his teeth and grabbed the sack lunch his sister had made for him.
“Lee had already been out to the car and put a package on the back seat,” Frazier recalled.
They climbed into the car. Frazier asked Oswald what was in the package.
“Curtain rods,” Oswald responded. He said he planned to hang curtains in his room in Oak Cliff.
Frazier doesn’t recall what they talked about on the way to work. It was nothing important. They might have made small talk about the weather or Oswald’s children.
“If I wanted to get him talking, I would ask about his girls,” Frazier said. “He would chuckle and tell a story. He was the type of man who would play with kids in the neighborhood.”
Oswald, 24, was an ex-Marine. Like Frazier, he earned $1.25 an hour at the school book depository. If he was focused on shooting the president that day, he showed no signs of it, Frazier recalled.
When they arrived at work, Oswald got out of the car, put the package under his arm and walked toward the depository. Frazier said he remained behind to gun the engine on his old Chevy for a while, because he was afraid the battery might go dead.
He didn’t see Oswald again.