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Saturday, August 08, 2015

Her favorite year is 1972 in Coconut Grove

10 With Tom
10 questions in 10 minutes

I interviewed my friend M Peggy Quattro, a Grovite from way back. I remember seeing photos of the old Grove in her office at CocoWalk when she worked there as marketing director. She is now a social media consultant. Here are my 10 questions for Peggy:

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the "old" Coconut Grove? A scent? A streetscape? A store?
When I think of my old Grove, I think community. We were the original Art and Entertainment district! People were out and about roller skating, bike riding, walking. There was art everywhere – from the Grove House co-op, painters, sculptors, writers, photographers, architects, jewelry and clothing designers, to great musicians (local and international), bands, and singers. There was always a lot of laughter and community spirit.

What year did you arrive in Coconut Grove?  

What did you do when you first arrived? School, work?
My first job was inside the Mutiny, assistant to some VPs from Sheraton or Hilton or some big corp. Left there and soon found myself as the 3rd girl Monty Trainer hired to serve at his new waterfront Raw Bar. That was a blast! Sailors and suits sitting side by side, eating clams, oysters and the best conch ever, while drinking pitchers of cold beer and listening to Bobby Ingram sing, play guitar, and crack people up.

What street did you live on when you first arrived?
I first lived at 3245 Virginia St (didn’t everybody?) The property looks remarkably well today, but it’s gone condo now, no more college apartments (a really fun place then!)

Peggy with friend Bobby,
a photographer from Montreal,
and his dog, in Peacock Park
when it had palm trees - 1972. 
Where did you hang out? the old pharmacy counter? Peacock Park? 
I hung out at Oak Feed, Bacchanalia, Encore Room, Grove Pub, Grove Deli, the Pharmacy (famous for it’s soda fountain Cherry Cokes), Grove Club, the Last Word, Joe’s Bike Shop, Raw Bar, Yardbird Records, the I Ching, Peacock Park (especially full on Sundays when Hare Krishna fed everybody), and my favorite – the Taurus, both restaurant and bar.

Who were some of the names we might know that were in the group you ran with?
Not many of us left. Bobby Ingram, of course, and his beautiful late wife Gaye; Monty “King of the Grove” Trainer; Glenn Terry, who started the first King Mango Strut; Twig, clock horologist slash Free Love bassist; and guitarist and singer Kevin Hurley. The famous Flying Fendleman Brothers, owners of the Grove Art Cinema and home to the Rocky Horror Picture Show, then attached to the post office, are still here. Legendary artist and painter Tony Scornavacca was a Grove fave and everybody’s friend, and his son Tony Jr. remains a true Grovite today.

What would you change about today's Coconut Grove?
If I were Queen of the Grove, I’d get rid of soul-less politricks and developers who don’t appreciate the value in history or historical landmarks, who callously cut down trees and destroy our flora and fauna. I’d stop building high rises and build better roads and sidewalks. And the Playhouse, of course, I’d save our Playhouse. Awhhh, but we both know none of that’s ever going to happen.

What car did you drive? your first car?
My first car was a green VW bug. But soon, with Monty’s help, I upgraded to a 1968 red MGB convertible!

Tell me about the Taurus.
The Taurus was everyone’s go to place. The restaurant was the best – best food, best layout, best service, free parking (although we all walked or biked there.) I remember the Surf & Turf. Oh my, their lobster was the best! (Thanks for the memories, Dave.) And the bar, which is still standing, was the place to see and be seen. Overflowing with Groveites out to have a great carefree time.

It’s nice to see Maya Hatcha, Rani’s, La Bouchon, the Mutiny, Dr. Marmesh and the Grove Animal Clinic, Kwik Stop, Grove Cleaners, and Last Carrot still standing. The Winn Dixie was replaced by Mayfair and Jaguar replaced the 5 & 10 cent store.

What was your favorite year? The year you would like to go back to and visit. Why?
My favorite year was probably 1972. I loved my faithful dog Gypsy, working at the Raw Bar, my MGB, live music & dancing, the Great Coconut Grove Bicycle Race, selling corn during the Grove Arts Festival, shooting pool, Surf & Turf, Peacock Park with palm trees, and riding my bike at all hours without fear of getting taken down by an oblivious cab driver (almost happened on Bayshore recently).

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful reminiscent of the Golden Age of Coconut Grove. Unlike Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod and Sausalito we failed to safe the best of our village and sold out to the greedy developers of shopping malls, luxury condos, McMansions and chain stores. Our loss.

August 08, 2015 1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful account of coconut Grove back in the day. The future generations will be asking what happened to the wonderful community that once was if we don't try to preserve the history in all of our American communities. Protecting people and our communities should be more important than promoting big corporations. This is something most politicians forget because they are all blinded by $$'s!

August 08, 2015 3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


It still is a wonderful community. So many of us younger residents, while respecting the past, are putting the photo albums back on the shelf and moving forward.

The bohemian Grove, like Key West, was an anomaly. It was good while it lasted, but it was always on borrowed time, which I think explains how attached people are to these memories.

August 08, 2015 11:01 PM  

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