John F. Kennedy: A Tampa visit - former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco r - WFLA News Channel 8

JFK in Tampa: Former Tampa Major Greco remembers Kennedy

John F. Kennedy: A Tampa visit - former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco remembers

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Talking with former two-term Tampa Mayor Dick Greco at his office off Westshore Boulevard and Kennedy Boulevard is like traveling back in time.

Greco was a 30-year-old city councilman in Tampa on Nov. 18,1963 when President John F. Kennedy came to visit.

“This used to be the International Inn and old hotel and he kind of ended up here after the motorcade,” Greco said.

Greco’s business office now is in the same place where he met Kennedy 50 years ago. 

“I recall when he walked in," Greco said. "There were people that didn't know that much about him or had voted for somebody else. When he walked in the door, he looked like he was in Technicolor. Always had this great tan and one thing or another.”

The thing Greco said he remembers most, is President Kennedy's connection with people.

“Everybody started to applaud. He bonded with everybody in just a matter of seconds.”

Greco, now 80, said when Kennedy was assassinated, it held a greater impact since the president had just come to town, it was the first time a sitting president had ever been to Tampa.

“Everybody in town was so pleased the president had come in and so forth. Little did we know that know or even dream that just a week later he'd be dead.”

He joined the nation in mourning.

“He was everybody's president.”

Tune in to News Channel 8 and WFLA.com tomorrow for a story about a teacher and a Civil Rights leader's moment with John F. Kennedy.

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