Sales and service bring friends and joy to resident Cathy Jones

Cathy Wolfram Jones grew up in West Berlin during the occupation and learned early “how precious freedom is.” She recalled that “Going to the east was always frightening, there were Russian soldiers everywhere. Propaganda was on many of the buildings and you saw long lines of people. That was the Socialist Democratic Republic at work.”

When she was orphaned, she was given the chance to come to America. While waiting to immigrate, Jones stayed in an orphanage. During her last summer at home, she traveled to West Germany by train and noticed “a lot of commotion at the border and no man’s land. They were getting ready to close off the city. I was watching history being made and I didn’t realize it at the time,” she said.

Jones went to school in Orange County and moved to San Diego in 1977. She met her husband, Ron, in a disco where he was the DJ. The couple married six years later. They reside in La Jolla with two dachshunds, a very old Shih Tzu and a couple of cockatiels.

What brought you to La Jolla?

I’d been living in San Diego for a few years and became a La Jollan when I got a sales job at Bullocks Wilshire in La Jolla Village Square. I soon settled here with my husband-to-be.

What makes this town special to you?

That would be the people I’ve gotten to know by serving, then befriending them through 25 years of retail sales experiences — from Bullocks Wilshire to I. Magnin to both La Jolla Saks Fifth Avenue locations. I love the small-town feeling here. Walking around town means collecting smiles and a lot of hugs.

If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in the area?

I’d bring back our beloved Saks Fifth Avenue. They closed the wrong store! And, I’d get rid of all the potholes.

Who or what inspires you?

My photos of Berlin after the wall fell, especially of those places we weren’t allowed to visit during the occupation. My pictures remind me of just how very precious freedom is; something Americans generally take for granted.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

My guest list would be a very personal one. I’d invite my parents who died when I was very young ... I have so many questions for them. I’d invite my grandparents, and Ron’s mom and dad. He died before I met Ron. Like my husband, my father loved music, too. It would be a family reunion and a great party.

Tell us about what you are currently reading.

I just finished “The Shack,” a wonderful story, and now I’m reading “The Blind Side,” I watched the movie twice.

What is your most-prized possession?

My piece of the Berlin Wall.

What do you do for fun?

I love taking pictures. My business card reads: “flora, fauna and a few dogs.” And I’d have to include working at Muttropolis. I love dogs and it’s as close to doggie heaven as you can get. My two most-recent photographic assignments include the May 15 Secret Garden Tour and as a roving cameraperson for the May 23 La Jolla Dog Parade and Pet Festival. Too much fun!

Please describe your greatest accomplishment.

I think crossing the Atlantic in November aboard the SS United States as a kid, by myself, still ranks pretty high. I still have a love affair with that ship. She was the fastest ocean liner to ever make the crossing, and her record stands today. It breaks my heart to know she is rusting in a berth in Philadelphia.

What is your motto or philosophy of life?

Love God. Tell the truth. Live one day at a time ... And never judge a book by its cover — karma will get you!