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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The more things change . . .

The more things change, the more they stay the same in that they constantly change.

I met a man and his wife last month, they stopped me on the street to tell me they live in North Carolina, but read the Grapevine every day. They originally were from the Grove, in fact, the man told me that his grandfather was one of the first homesteaders of the Grove. He opened the Kress 5 & 10 in 1933 and they owned and still manage buildings and stores in the Grove.

The man was telling me all about the Grove back in the day, which was well before his time, but I guess his grandfather and parents told him of the way it was. He told me that the area all near the 5 & 10, which is where Jaguar, the restaurant is now, was pine trees, he said it was all one big pine forest in that area, from the post office on down the block.

I have friends whose family has been in the Grove since 1931 and they tell me about having goats and chickens in the yard off of 32nd Avenue, which was basically farmland then.

The man who stopped to talk was a bit upset about the streetscape plan and the trees being removed and replaced he wasn't crazy about that and he enjoyed the fact that I would write against it in the Grapevine, but it made me think, didn't his grandfather have to remove the pine forest to put in the 5 & 10 store? And all those buildings he owns in the Grove, wasn't that the same? Didn't they have to take down trees to put them in?

I didn't tell him that, but it's interesting to think that the world did go on, even though his family removed that pine forest, and I guess we'll go no with the new smaller trees installed around the Grove. The guy promised to send me some old photos of the pine forest and what it looked like on Grand Avenue back in the 1930s. I hope he still does. That would be interesting to see.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know him he would tell stories of steve martin living in a tree in peacock park in a white suit.I knew my girlfriends grandfather who lived where homedepot and milams is on us1 and mac donald he was a cabinet maker and finished carpenter and built the jamacia in on key biscayne sold the property for 64,000 dollars in 65 where Zayres went in and was rich then. they talked of riding a bike down the center of dixie hwy with no hands rolling a cigarette.
his name was Frank Mills he was scottys neighbor gulfport

September 25, 2012 7:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel compelled to make a couple of comments. First, no it's not the same thing to take out the last few trees as the first few. worse yet, to do it expensively, needlessly and wastefully (trees cut in that day, were used).

As a final thought, those pine trees referenced were non-native trees planted by the early settlers to dry up the swampy land, and make it more habitable.

September 25, 2012 2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the 1930s there was a lot more honesty than now, all the new projects will lead to unnecessary cost overruns, gridlocks and broken promises. Just look at the port tunnel, it was primarily approved supposedly to create jobs, since beginning of the year the contractor has cut many workers to a maximum of twenty hours a week, because of cost overruns, in the end we are the ones stuck with the bill and some dude is sitting on a yacht sipping Martinis. The problem is that the majority of eligible voters are silent.

September 25, 2012 7:24 PM  
Anonymous Liz Gibson said...

I know I am old when I remember all the things people have written about . I lived where Zayre's was for a while when my Mom had our house rented on El Prado where I live now. I rented a half of a cottage from a nice old lady, in the early 60s. I went to Coconut Grove Elementary in 5th and 6th grade and shopped at the Kress until they closed.. I knew the owners as a child. There was a pet shop on I think Fuller Street, and I would go there every day after school to play with the parrot. I guess I could blame them for my obsession with animals. Used to go to Lyles pharmacy across from school and drink chocolate rootbeer. I certainly miss the old Grove for more reasons that one.

October 01, 2012 12:23 PM  

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