With Halloween, coming up, we got this Postcard From a Friend:
Regarding Halloween this year, I would like all the fun-seekers to give half a moment's remembrance of Greg Gillingham, a native Grovite who started the Coconut Grove Halloween Street Party some 30+ years ago, way before CocoWalk appeared, and destroyed much of the remaining Grove ambiance.....sadly, MayFair was first destroyer.
Where once, (now MayFair) was a supermarket, a laundry, a truly noteworthy restaurant called, "The Country Store," and several other small businesses that genuinely helped make a community, now there is a flailing, would be office building and pseudo renovation that cheaply un-does what the original architect and developer, Ken Treister placed his ego upon.
Yes, times and places change. Mutability is the only constant.
Greg's party was a great success, so much so that the City of Miami shut him down for a year or two and forced the event to Deering Estate. Sadly, Greg died of heart attack in his sleep in Uruguay where he had stopped on the round the world trip he was taking in his own airplane. (His younger and quite attractive lady co-pilot did not comment on details).
To round things out, Greg was instrumental in starting and supporting Mary Luft's longstanding and well acclaimed "Tigertail Productions." They both lived on Tigertail at the time. (Greg worked as a roofer most of his life, until his grandfather died and bequeathed him much of the property the Ritz-Carlton now occupies.)
Feel free to send in Coconut Grove observations (good or bad) and we will run it as a "Postcard From a Friend." Any observation, long or short, if it's not good, please try not to use names of people or places. Email address is to the right, you can email your "postcard" there. We'll keep it unanimous.
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