Cruising your site I saw the photos of JFK's visit and thought I'd send along this one that I took that day. Confederates Rene Eustace, Frank Klepach, Don Anderson and I had "ditched" to go up to El Cajon Blvd to get a glimpse of him. Quite coincidentally I had my new East German Exacta 35mm camera with me with the free 135mm telephoto lens that came with the purchase with me that day. We'd managed a streetside position and I had said I'd hoped he'd look my way so I might get a good photo of him. Klepach and Eustace cackled and said they'd call out "Cuber, Cuber" in imitation of JFK's Harvard accent to be sure he did. Sure enough, they did exactly that, he looked, and I got this photo. I’ve known Rene Eustace since he was six months and I was a newborn. He and his mom and I met up at Rudford’s a few years back and I took the JFK photo with me. I offered the owner a print for $50 and the cheapo refused!! “OK,” I said, “go find another one!” No sense of historic value, the Luddite. -- Jim Weetman ‘64

Looking at the JFK photo reminded me of when he was here campaigning. There were 10 of us at Crawford who formed a Young Democrats group (probably the only 10 willing to admit it in such a republican time). When JFK came to town my mother allowed me to take the day off from school and go downtown to attend all the events since we had been working day and night at Democratic Headquarters for so many months before. Needless to say, it was a glorious day in my book – I got to shake John’s hand, talk with Bobby, and walk across a whole parking lot holding Teddy’s hand while we all talked with him. When I went to school the next day with my note from my mom, the school refused to accept it and I received my first and only “truant” mark on my record. Did I care?? Heck no – I was darned proud of it!! -- Barbara Bright Wilder ‘62

I was attending Euclid Elementary School, and I can remember the walk down Euclid to El Cajon Blvd. with my class to see him. It was a moment I will never forget. Thanks for the photo -- Lorna Longerbeam Odegaard ‘72


And it came to pass that Jeff Kacha, the new owner of Rudford's, was directed to this page and wanted to feature the photo at the restaurant. I was able to put the two of them together. James, who now goes by James Daigh, sends word that the deed is done. The 6 X 12 foot enlargement is mounted on the west wall of the restaurant, located at 2900 El Cajon Blvd. Jim says it is lighted at night and protected by a security camera. "Amazingly," adds Jim, "within 30 minutes of it being installed a lady went up to the installer and pointed out that her husband was the lead motorcycle cop in the photo. The owner says the locals are coming in to share their stories of that day. Cool." Jim forwards snapshots of the photo and the photographer. "I took the picture at age 16 and there it is on that wall now and I'm 64," says Jim.

I worked as a dishwasher for Mr. Rudford from September 1964 until about October 1965. I worked the Friday night Saturday shift, from 9 PM to 5AM. At 1AM the place was pretty slow -- 2AM the El Cajon Blvd bars closed and you couldn't find a seat. Thanks for the memories -- Jim Calafata ’65


Marla Daigh took the photos above, on June 8, 2012, of hubby Jim being inteviewed by KPBS' Ken Kramer. On the left, with the camera he used in 1963, Jim recreates the moment. Filming also took place inside the restaurant.. (Below) Nancy Wingo shot this close-up of the mural dedication.

Return to JFK in San Diego Page

Return to Crawford Page