WWilbur Vaughn was a young man when Bette Davis visited Cuba,Missouri in 1948. But on that fateful day the mega-star’s destiny would become entwined with Vaughn’s. He would tell the story of what happened that day many times, often with great humor. Artist Ray Harvey would paint a mural on the Cuba Free Press building that commemorated the events of that day. Journalists videoed Vaughn telling his story, and he would often show off the camera that he used to take the photo. Articles recounted his encounter with Bette Davis. Although Mr. Vaughn’s telling of the story draws to a close with his passing, his part in our town’s history remains for all to see.
In July 2009, two convergence journalism students visited Cuba to film and interview subjects about the Viva Cuba Mural Project. The experience was chronicled in the blog “Public Radio visits Cuba, Missouri.” Hayes Shoe Store owner Jeff Bouse, Frisco’s restaurant owner Virginia Watson, and Viva Cuba members were among some that were interviewed. Two other [...]
Bette Davis, award winning actress, and her husband cruised into Cuba on Route 66 in their Packard Station Wagon. The actress would dine at the Southern Hotel and her husband would engage in a footrace through the streets of Cuba with a local newsman/photographer Wilbur Vaughn. Vaughn’s photo that sparked the footrace would appear that [...]
from the Joe Sonderman Photo Collection I don’t know about you, but I love to look at old photos, especially ones with old signs, cars, and buildings. The above photo has it all. One can see the Cuba Theatre where Wilbur Vaughn and others from Cuba use to work. Probably a lot of budding romances [...]
In 1948, traveling Route 66, Bette Davis pulled up to the Southern Hotel in her Packard station wagon, and the town has never forgotten it. The memory remains in large part because of the photo that then nineteen year-old Wilbur Vaughn took as the academy award winning actress was leaving the Southern Hotel where she had [...]