Plenty of visitors to Lee Harvey Oswald's grave in a Texas cemetery have long wondered about the identity of "Nick Beef," the name etched on the similar-looking gravestone right next to his. Conspiracy theories have sprung up, of course, but now Dan Barry in the New York Times solves the mystery: Nick Beef is really Patric Abedin, and he is very much alive. Abedin, 56, grew up in Fort Worth, and as a young boy he saw JFK the day before the assassination when the president visited his city. The next day's assassination resonated with him so much that he bought the cemetery plot next to Oswald's as a teenager when he read a newspaper story about it being available.
Abedin would visit the site every now and then, but he didn't pick the grave marker until 1996. He chose the name Nick Beef because he sometimes used that fake byline in his humor writing. (He made it up on a lark years earlier after a friend dubbed himself "Hash Brown.") But the gravestone is no joke, he insists. Writes Barry: "It’s personal. It’s about change. The fragility of life. Something." And no, the real Abedin has no intention of actually being buried there. Click for Barry's full "This Land" dispatch.