“We believe that working together, here in this county as you do, planting as you do in the spring and taking your chances at what happened in the fall..”
These are words that then Senator John F. Kennedy said about Aroostook County in September of 1960, when he was campaigning to be the 35th president of the United States. It was a wave of excitement for people in the county when he made a campaign stop at the Presque Isle airport.
“I believe in the future of this country..we all do,” Kennedy said during his speech.
“It was a big deal…no politicians come to the county,” says Oscar Nelder, better known as Voscar the photographer. “He came in and he was on the truck body so I took the chair off the truck body and photographed him.”
Voscar still has slides of the many photographs he took during the event. Also in the crowd was Dewey Dewitt, who worked at WAGM-TV and radio at the time..and was sent to cover the big campaign event.
Dewitt says, “I didn’t realize that he would become a legend..all I wanted to do was get the interview over and go play golf”
Dewitt only interacted with Kennedy for about 5 or 10 minutes..but he remembers the charisma the 35th president was so well known for.
“I always admired him…I did, he kind of had a leadership quality to him that some presidents didn’t have,” Dewitt says.
On this day 50 years ago, Kennedy’s presidency and life were tragically cut short..when he was shot in Dallas, Texas. Now, all that anyone has left of him are memories. Dewey Dewitt still has and takes pride in a photo of his short experience with one of the most beloved presidents of all time.
“In retrospect, Kennedy was a great president,” says Dewitt. “Not in what he did, but what he was.”