From the Photo Archive | 1979


Thirty years ago, Bud James was one of the custodians at Laura MacArthur Elementary School. All the kids loved him.

Because I was so young then, my memory of Mr. James is fuzzy. What I do remember is that he used to sing all the time, whether it was at assemblies or just randomly in the halls while cleaning up puke. I don’t remember if he was good at singing, or if he was just a ham, but it was great either way.

Every kid should grow up with a singing janitor. Thank you, Mr. James.



about 15 years ago

Golly, I wish we had Mr. James. At Harrison Elementary School in Omaha, we had Mr. Galardi. He wasn't really a singing janitor as much as a tyrannical menace janitor. Once, he was wheeling a big garbage can down the hall past a line of students, and one of my friends leaned over a little to look in the garbage can. Mr. Galardi put him in a headlock and pushed his head farther down in the can and said something like "whad'you lookin' at? Wanna get a closer look?" 
Mr. Galardi was about 4 and a half feet tall, and had arms about 4 and a half feet around. Everybody was scared of him. I'm pretty sure that's how Mr. Galardi wanted it.


about 15 years ago

BUD JAMES!!!!!!!  I ABSOLUTELY remember him, very fondly indeed!  What a total gem of a man - I remember him singing some lovely Christmas carol in the auditorium on some Super Friday before the holidays.  ( a couple years prior to principle.. Vomachka was it??  ) He ended up marrying a widow neighbor of my parents after he retired, and was a sweet friendly man until the day he died.  I loved that he eventually moved right across the street from where I grew up!

Paul Lundgren

about 15 years ago

Jon Vomachka was a principal at Morgan Park Junior High. I don't believe he ever worked at MacArthur.

Bob Hollingsworth was principal at MacArthur for many years. That's probably who you are thinking of, Dizastress.

ann klefstad

about 15 years ago

A number of the maintenance guys at St. Olaf College in the '70s were named Bud, and so all of them were known collectively as the Budmen. What is it with this "Bud" thing and janitors?

J Hall

about 15 years ago

Oh, Paul! I remember that he used to make a huge production by "accidentally" dropping those big metal trays on the cafeteria/gym floor. Oh what a great photo! Totally made my day!

Sgt. Happy

about 13 years ago

I remember he had hundreds of photos of kids on the inside of the door to the janitors closet...but he never liked me, ok so a couple times me and a couple other guys would have water fights in the boys restroom and he would have to mop it up...til HE caught who was doing it..he had quite a grip as he threw me back in to mop it up myself...grin..he was POed...for years after even when I was and adult and would run into him in the neighborhood he would just give me a sneer and I swear he would growl at me...I liked Mr. Davis better he was a fellow custodian with Mr. James.


about 9 years ago

When my mom worked the playground at MacArthur starting when I was 3, and had to bring me to work on occassion, I'd get to play on the playground all day long.  When it was time to put away the lunch tables from the little MacArthur gym when lunch was over, Bud would give me rides on the tables after they were folded into the storage closet.  It was one of the best parts of my day when I went to work with my mom.  He was one of the only people I would go with without my mom around.


about 2 years ago

He was a great man. When I was in 5th grade, he hired me to empty all the waste paper baskets on the 2nd floor. At the end of the week, he would pay me 50 cents (It was 1975 so 50 cents went a lot farther than it does now). I ended up working with him and the other custodians at the school through junior high. He also took my bother and me to a father-son breakfast at St. James Church and was recognized for bringing the most fatherless boys. He was a true saint.

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