Restaurant owner shares memories of meeting 41st president

Posted at 3:34 PM, Dec 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-04 22:14:36-05

The owner of a restaurant in McGregor and his wife are honored to have met former President George H.W. Bush when he visited Crawford in 2001.

Donald Citrano who owns the Coffee Shop Cafe in McGregor recalls the 94-year-old visited the area for an Easter Sunday service near Praire Chapel Ranch in Crawford, which is owned by former President George W. Bush.

"They are just very nice people. The whole family is really nice," Donald said.

When the 43rd president visited Crawford, Donald catered for the family at the ranch and for the media. During his presidency, Donald’s wife, Valerie, helped as a photographer and a White House volunteer for the travel department. 

The couple proudly displays pictures of him and his family around the restaurant.

"[George W. Bush] honored us by coming here a few times and we just want to keep honoring him," Donald said.

Valerie not only worked for the George W. Bush but she also worked on his father's first presidential campaign in 1979.

She admired the 41st president because he encouraged people to serve others during his acceptance speech in 1988. He created an award called the Daily Point of Light Award in 1990 for people making a difference in the community. 

"I always took the 1,000 points of light to heart, of kindness and generosity and loving your neighbor," Valerie said.

While taking pictures for his son, she was able to interact with the 41st commander in chief.

"How very kind he was and he never met a stranger,"  Valerie said.

As a photographer, she was able to capture both father and son at a World Series. In addition, she took a photo of George H.W. Bush laughing in 2003 that she describes as one of her favorites.

"It was a very special day and he was joking, giggling, kidding around. Just one of my favorites," Valerie said.

The couple said they are glad they could serve both presidents. 

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