Thank you to Steve McDonald who had these memories on a website, with other folks contributing more memories, and Steve donated them to us to use on this site. Feel free to add more add the bottom.
YOU GREW UP IN OLD CORAL GABLES IF YOU REMEMBER:
There were still trolley tracks down the middle of Miracle Mile.
The Coral Gables bus station was near the corner of Ponce and Miracle Mile.
The Coral [Gables and Grove] Saturday morning movie was 9 cents. [Popcorn was 5¢]
There was no Miracle theatre.
The second bus station had not been built as it was a horse stable and rink for people to ride around the Coral Gables Golf Club.
The youth center was a block south of the Mile on LeJeune.
Gables High had not been built yet.
Sandy Wirth was the best looking girl in Florida. (Gables High Class of '53)
Mrs. Webb was the feared Principal of CG Elementary.
A couple of minor corrections and some other memories.
1. The trolley tracks were on Coral Way, before the 4 block name was changed to Miracle Mile. The trolleys were gone when Miracle Mile was invented, about 1952.
2. The horse stable was across the street north of the present bus station, where there is/was later a gas station. The bus station is situated on the old horse ring.
Huscamp Ford on Alhambra was diagonally across from the stables. They moved to Ponce and LeJeune and became Deel Ford.
Teel-Hodge Chevrolet (yes, our Teddy Hodge) was in the building between Coral Gables Elementary and Daniels Department Store on Ponce. They moved to LeJeune and 8th Street and became Anthony Abraham Chevrolet.
The old bus station was between Holley's 10¢ store and Whelan's Drug Store on the NW corner of Ponce and Coral Way (Miracle Mile). On the SW corner was the old Post office with Phil's taxi and a barber shop in the building. On the SE corner was Breeding's Drugs with a vacant lot and then Woolworth's 10¢. A Food Fair was later built between them. On the NE corner was the present bank building, upstairs was an airplane instrument overhaul shop and parachute repair loft.
The following Coral Gables buses exited north onto Aragon: Coral Gables Country Club, Flagler, Salvador Park, Granada, and ???. The buses that exited south onto Coral Way were Miami, San Lorenzo, University, Biltmore Veterans Hospital, Grand Ave and ??? Now this is REAL superfluous knowledge!
Alhambra Circle was originally designed so that horses could use the median. If you rode further to the NW corner of Red and Bird Road, Charlie Crandon had his polo field there.
Batista's, The Barcelona, and Coral Gables Cafeteria on Alcazar are early memories.
6th grade senior skip day was a bus ride to the corner of Douglas and Dixie Hwy to board a passenger train that went to Homestead Bayfront Park for an outing. Then we reboarded and went back to Douglas & Dixie where our parents picked us up.
There used to be a road sign on Coral Way, just east of Douglas Road in front of the Happy Hour that said, "Miami 6 miles."
A bit south of Coral Way on Douglas was the Coral Gables Hospital. It was formerly called the University Hospital where some of us were born (I was one). There was no Doctor's Hospital and the Hasta Manana had not been built across the street. Those born at Jackson, Victoria, or Riverside were born further north! Of course, those born in Homestead are a bit south.
From memory my phone number was 4-3773. Ward Cox was 4-3590, James Weir was 4-9644. County Commissioner Leslie Quigg was 4-3774. I remember his because we were always getting his calls. I'd have to think some for Doug Jones, Schroeder, Bails, John Green, Stockton Meade or Bobby Foster's numbers. Bobby's dad was our mailman.
Before the Sears Roebuck at the corner of Douglas and Coral Way, on that spit of land reaching east to 32nd Avenue, was annually held a carnival. Before I was born the Coral Gables Aerodrome was on that land. That is the reason for the coral rock dividing wall that parallels the property from Douglas to 32nd Ave. The Coral Gables Commission passed a resolution that "no aeroplanes will be flown over Coral Gables," so that killed the airport.
George Shelley and his family lived on the NW corner of 62nd Ave and Sunset in a mostly wooded area. They had a swim pool and windmill for their water supply. Last I heard George lives in Broward County.
When the World War II German POW camp was at Dadeland.
When Jimmy Sullivan the local cop became Sheriff of Dade County.
When the Ash Building at the U of M was a skeleton.
When Ponce de Leon was a Senior High School.
When there were 6 public, white high schools: Miami High, Ponce, Beach High, Miami Jackson, Edison and Tech High.
Holsum Bakery's annual Christmas Display.
The best for last. Read my book on growing up in South Miami, a town where everyone knew your name. firstname.lastname@example.org
I remember well most of those things,amazing!! Jerry Koutas
Coral Gables Riding Academy was on the property of the Coral Gables bus station.
A prison at 87th Ave and Miller road before it was the water plant.
The Coral Gables dump was across from University Hospital on Douglas Road.
The carnival rides on top of downtown Burdines each holiday season.
The Coliseum Skating rink (which became a Bowling Alley in the 60's)
Pan Am seaplane Hangars (where the Pan American seaplanes took off many times a day) at Dinner Key. [Tom McGahey remembers this; he was a PAA pilot flying these planes..Steve]
The old wood FEC train station just across the street from the Miami Courthouse. And the roundhouse at NE 35th St and Miami Avenue.
All the Banyan trees that lined South Dixie Hwy.
Coconut Grove was considered the "poor side of town".
South Miami [Larkin's Corner] smelling like fresh baked bread from Holsum.
Royal Castles on every corner and a bag full for $2.00 to take to football games at the "Garbage Bowl" on Coral Way.
When Sunniland Shopping Center was the farthest south you could go shopping before Homestead where there was nothing but farms.
Shoe stores that had machines to x-ray children's feet.
I remember sneaking with friends underneath the Coliseum, through a wooden door in the back, and playing under the huge floor in the crawlspace.
How about the car ads on TV featuring Ed "Mark 'Em Down" Lane when he would hit the side of the car and the door fell off.
Bayshore Drive was a dirt road.
The Air Raid siren on top of the Coliseum on Douglas--tested every Saturday at 1pm.
Soaping the fountain on Granada Blvd.
Kendall Drive was a dirt road.
Johnny & Mack by the Railroad Track, the world's largest and that's a fact.
Thrill Hill in the Grove where you made your car fly
Browns Airport off 104th St near 70th Ave. The land was later a subdivision developed by Earle Smalley, John Landry's father-in-law.
The steam locomotives that unloaded the horses and hay for Tropical park on 72nd near Lost Lake and the caves.
[WHO IS THE AUTHOR OF THIS NEXT ARTICLE? Steve McD]
All of this brings back memories of tales of early Coconut Grove that I heard as a child from my father and my grandfather. My mother's family came from NC and SC to Suwannee County Florida in 1825 on a land grant. My father's parents and his uncles came to Coconut Grove in 1918 from Colorado. My Grandmother's brother owned the ten acres of land on the bay behind St. Stephens Church in the Grove.
About that time, my Grandfather rented a house down on the shore of Biscayne Bay on Bayhome Drive for two years, just north of Hugh Matheson's estate. That location was very low and surrounded by mangrove swamps and tidal estuaries in those days. They were eaten alive by the insects and the land crabs roamed in such large herds that they sometimes covered the screens of the house. In order to go for walks, my grandmother stationed her older children around her armed with golf clubs to clear away the land crabs. That house was later destroyed by a storm. To get out of the mangrove swamp, my grandfather purchased a lot in the new development of Entrada in 1922 at the corner of Stuart Ave and Douglas Road. The lot was just up the rise from the low land and was purchased from Mr. Stuart, the original developer who dug the canal for Entrada before it was taken over by the Matheson Family. Mr. Stuart lived in the house behind my grandfather to the west. My grandfather built a two story stucco house on that lot and later moved to Ridgewood Road, a couple of blocks further up the rise. At that time, Douglas Road was a dirt road, which ended at my grandfather's house. My father went to Ponce de Leon when it was a junior high and high school in the 1930s. His drafting teacher, Mr. Elmer Day, later became our Dean of Men at Gables.
In the 1930s, my father and his friend utilized the St. Gaudens family marine railway at the end of St. Gaudens Road to haul and work on boats. During World War II, he served in the Coast Guard at New Smyrna Beach Lighthouse in lifesaving duty. He later operated a Coast Guard patrol boat in Miami harbor. Later in the war, he operated a submarine chaser in the Caribbean. After the War, he drove a dump truck for the rock crusher at the Hammock Lake rock pit (later called Barbarossa Park or Merry Christmas Park). He graduated from the University of Miami in Business in 1952 and eventually became Vice President of American Bankers Insurance Company in Miami.
I was born in Orlando and grew up on the 3 acre estate of my Grandmother's other brother on Poinciana Avenue in Coconut Grove. The board and batten cottage I grew up in at 3933 Poinciana Ave (corner of Poinciana and Kent Court) (now gone) was built in 1911 and originally had a windmill, well, water cistern and a tin roof. The community cross the street, along the south portion of Kent Court was called "Kentville." The other house on the property, where my great uncle had lived, also had a windmill and a wooden water tank, both of which were still there even while I was at Gables. My great uncle, a civil engineer, was a driving force in the construction of the first waterworks and other public works badly needed in the early days of the Grove. His wife founded the Girl Scouts in Dade County. A plaque was mounted in the Girl Scout Camp in the western party of Matheson Hammock in her memory.
In the 1920s, my father's two older sisters and brother went to school at Miss Harris's School on Brickell Point along with the Bell children and other early residents. Bayshore Drive was a dirt road and was accessible only at low tide. The parents in the area took turns driving the kids to school and high water was a constant subject of discussion. With my grandparent's house just down the road from the Kampong and with all these families knowing each other, my grandmother's brother and his wife were good friends of David Fairchild and his family. Our property on Poinciana had a grapefruit grove, avocado grove, a pineapple patch, banana patches, many citrus trees and both early and late baring mango trees. Because of the influence of David Fairchild, the property also had many other tropical palms and more exotic fruit trees. In 1957, we built a modern (modern for 1950) cement block house on the same property at 3770 Kent Court, just behind the old board and batten cottage.
Well, I have received some replies that piqued more memories. Steve
1. Bobby Snare lived on the corner of Riviera Drive and LeJeune. Jimmy Sindo lived a block away. We used to stage a mock fist fight on the LeJeune Bridge in front of a tour bus. The "victim" got slugged and fell off the bridge into the Gables waterway. The bus screeched to a halt and the passengers exited to see what was going on. By this time we had all jumped into the waterway (yes, it's long way down) and were hidden in the caves that were there under the bridge. Today, Bobby is an MD in Chipley, Florida and Jimmy has passed on. Villains unanimous!
2. John Gasley owned the horse stables in Coral Gables.
3. From Dick Vinal: I remember Pop flying the [PanAm] boats right across from the Coral Reef Yacht Club, where we all learned to sail. Snare had the biggest, heaviest Lightning in existence.
Brown Field is where I learned to fly in a Champ, while gassing planes for Tursair Flying School. Bails and I worked for Wally Webber at Webco; ex-PanAm pilot was owner. I bought my 1949 Ford at Johnny & Mack's. Do you remember when they cut all those beautiful Banyans down, and exposed the colored town; what we used to call it. My old phone # was 7-1094; used to get calls for Poe Hardware all the time. We even had a Party Line for awhile. I remember when Snare, Gentry and I used to ride our bikes to Ponce Junior High, and watch the blacks gigging mullet off the Maynada bridge. I remember my favorite seafood restaurant, Loffler Bros., right next to the Coral Gables bus station. Also remember that when I was going to Merrick Demonstration, we went half day on Saturday and skipped Monday.
4. Nienaber and Studeman also went to Merrick. [Studeman retired as Director of CIA in 1993]
As I recall [Steve], we had a tree fort in the vacant lot where the Miracle Theatre now exists. We being Ward Cox, Marty Martin-Vegue, Billy Studeman, me, Jacques Junger and maybe others. We rode our bikes to Coral Gables Elementary one morning and there were workmen in the lot bulldozing down trees etc. So after school, we rode to the lot, climbed the tree fort and proceeded to slingshot the workmen. Several minutes later, a block away at the police station, a police siren started up. Captain Floyd Brasher (you all remember Chief Bill Kimbrough (Tommie's Dad) and Capt Floyd Brasher...don't you?) drove into the lot, siren at full pitch and red flashing light. Capt. Brasher signaled us, "come on down boys." He loaded our bikes in his trunk and drove each of us home. He didn't ask where we lived; he knew! Needless to say, my mother observed Capt. Brasher delivering me home and unloading my bike. The Capt. knew where the discipline would come from!!!
Billy Studeman's "Blue Crabs in the Coral Theatre" story:
6. Remind me to tell Billy Studeman's "blue crabs in the Coral Theatre" and the Charlie Robinson "long-fuse firecracker in the Gables Theater" stories sometime.
THE GREAT CRAB CAPER at the Coral Theatre, circa 1951.
Absolutely Classic Bill, Thanks for the memory! Steve
Steve - We still might all be arrested if we tell the crab story. I believe the movie thriller that was on was something like "The Revenge of the Crab Monster" in B&W.
We spent the early winter even down in Coconut Grove with flashlights, gloves and paper bags collecting the land crabs near their holes. Shine a light in their eyes and they would freeze facing the light; with a glove you could appoach from the rear and grab them. We stuffed 2-3 to a bag (double or triple bagged as I recall).
We (at least 6 or 8 of us) then entered the Coral Theater with the crabs under our winter jackets. We dispersed around the theater and waited for the scary part of the movie to start; can't recall the signal, but simultaneously, at the appointed moment, we set the bags on the floor and opened the end to let the crabs (who are nocturnal) escape. Nothing happened for a while. The people near the aisle lights saw the occasional crab or two run across the floor. Someone finally went to get the ushers who came with flashlights and more crabs were seen.
Then the unexpected happened. The theater manager decided to stop the movie and bring up the house lights - big mistake. The movie was stopped, an announcement made and up came the lights. The crabs were panicking and looking for holes and the people were stampeding up the two main aisles out onto the sidewalk and onto Coral Way. The police came and we all beat a hasty retreat. We were not treated kindly in the paper the next day.
Robinson's theater exploits were legend - there was the park pigeon fed Ex-Lax and bird seed in a shoe box and let go on the balcony of the Gables theater.
The firecracker was really a cherry bomb, and Charlie thought he had perfected the long delayed fuse by weaving string (a smoldering fuse itself) into the powder laced cherry bomb fuze. His intent was to set it off in the exit alcove (behind the big old curtains either side of the screen); he would light the string, and then return to his seat and await the delayed explosion. He went forward from his seat and successfully clandestinely entered the alcove. He didn't return and didn't return and suddenly the cherry bomb went off.
The ushers quickly converged on the exit and as they approached you could hear Charlie trying to open the push bars, which he finally did (light pouring in around the curtain) and escaped down the alley as the ushers rushed the alcove. They chased him for a block or so, but he got away, but retired from the explosives for a while.
At college, Charlie and some of us held off one of the drinking societies moving from dorm to dorm for some friendly dorm trashing. We held them off with a gross of cherry bombs, Whammo sling shots and lighters from the roof of our dorm. They remained in a distant tree line for over 30 - 45 minutes before we ran out of ordnance.)
If we did these things today, imagine ......
I am sure some folks might have some different recollections on the crab story, and maybe the pooping pigeon in the Gables Theater.
A bit repetitive, but some new data also:
This forwarded list is too MODERN for me. Here's my list. Steve
You grew up south and west of the intersection of Ponce and Flagler if you remember:
6th grade skip day: ride the TRAIN to Homestead Bayfront from the corner of Douglas & Dixie, included lunch.
Death Alley was two lanes covered with Ficus & Banyan trees.
The tower was open for diving at Venetian Pool.
The trolley tracks were still on Biltmore Way.
The Coral Gables bus station was between Whelan's Drug Store and Holley's 5&10¢
The upstairs of the Coral Gables bank was a parachute loft and aircraft instrument repair shop, NE corner of Ponce and Coral Way.
Most of Coral Way between Douglas & LeJeune was woods, later Miracle Mile.
The annual carnival was on the NE corner of Douglas & Coral Way, now Sears & Roebuck.
Checker Norman's Gulf Station
The bridge did not cross the Coral Gables waterway at Ponce de Leon
Bridge did not cross Miami River at LeJeune Road.
You could ride your bicycle across the Miami Airport on Red Road.
Charlie Crandon's Polo Field at the NW corner of Red and Bird.
Phil's Taxi and the Post Office was on the SW corner of Ponce and Coral Way.
Coral Way became Miracle Mile in 1952.
Rickenbacker Causeway was built in 1948.
Charlie Crandon owned the north end of Key Biscayne, Liquoria Matheson owned a coconut plantation (now Key Biscayne residential) on the south end and had a private club in there on the ocean side.
Caves beside the rockpit along SW 72nd Ave, east of Tropical Park.
Shorty was a cook at The Shack, which was located at the south end of the Dixie Belle Inn park lot (Shorty's opened in 1951).
Across the street behind Coral Gables Elementary, towards Alhambra, Skeeter Martin's parents had a vegetable garden.
A Nursery School in a house on LeJeune where the present Burger King sits; Wayne Peck & I were in that nursery school.
The wood water tank at Dinner Key that it was forbidden to climb..ha ha ha.
Vacant farm land and woods along US 1 between Larkin's Corner, Kendall, Perrine, Goulds, Princeton, Naranja, Homestead, & Fla. City (may be out of order).
Brown's Airport, Chapman Field and Old Tamiami Airport.
Grove Theatre where entry was 9¢ and popcorn was 5¢. On a 15¢ allowance you had a penny left over. (Later, Saturday movies at Coral and Gables theatres were 14¢. Soon you had enough pennies remainig to go to the Swift Ice Cream Plant across from Coral theatre for an ice cream cone.)
The great crab caper at the Coral Theatre instigated by our own Billy Studeman.
The Youth Center was on LeJeune, where Publix now stands.
5¢ was the bus fare on Coral Gables Municipal System except to Miami. That fare was 10¢.
Hasta Manana was built across the street from University Hospital on Douglas, where many of us were born.
The Barcelona Restaurant.
Pladium 12 lane bowling alley, next door to Howard Johnson ice cream, next door to Trail Theatre.
Mac's Texaco, Ponce and 8th St.
FEC Station next to Courthouse downtown.
Christmas carnival rides on the roof of Burdines downtown.
Airconditioning in Burdines downtown!
Thrill Hill in Coconut Grove
When the Reno's lived on a hammock way past the end of Kendall Drive! Janet is still there today.
The ship that sat on Biscayne Boulevard causing the road to shift. (just north of the auditorium).
4 similar towers built: Biltmore, Roney Plaza, Miami News, and Aviation Building on 27th Ave about NW 30th Street. Only two remain.
Ice Skating at the Coliseum.
Well, my list thusfar should have bored you thoroughly. See you at the next mini-reunion in Kissimmee this Nov. Steve
Steve McDonald's memories of Christmas lights in the Gables and auto dealerships in Dade County
The massive (overpowering) Christmas lighted homes were on South Alhambra just west of Granada. Anthony Abraham, the Chevrolet dealer, started it with his "$100,000" lights on his house and in his yard for Christmas.
Across South Alhambra from Abraham was Jim Cerniglia who decided that a little competition was good for the neighborhood, so he did his own thing with extraordinary Christmas lights. Cerniglia also had a small gauge train that would ride small kids around his yard.
Abraham bought the Chevrolet dealership from Thiele-Hodge Chevrolet in the mid to late '40's. Teddy Hodge was my classmate growing up. Abraham moved the dealership to its present location at the NE corner of SW 8th Street & LeJeune from the original location between Daniels Department Store on Ponce de Leon and Coral Gables Elementary.
I used to go to Cerniglia's (Jim Jr. was my friend and we're still in contact) for their annual Christmas Party, so I was present many years at the light display. Cerniglia was a shipper of agriculture to the north as I recall.
Potamkin came along much later. Here's my recollection: Leo Adeeb and my Dad were pals. Adeeb was a car salesman at Luby Chevrolet in Miami in the 1930's. Leo was sent to some kind of Chevrolet "management" school. Leo came back and opened his own dealership on Miami Beach. Decades later he sold out to Potamkin. Potamkin then became a mega dealer throughout the SE USA.
Since I'm on a car dealer kick, here is the history of Deel Ford. Huskamp Ford was on the SE corner of Alhambra and Salzedo in what later became the Loffler Brothers Oyster House. Huskamp was partners with John Halifax. They moved south to the corner of LeJeune and Ponce de Leon in south Coral Gables and later sold out to the Deel group. (I grew up with Joan and Verona Halifax).
Clark Alexander of Athens, Georgia started Alexander's Rent a Car on LeJeune Road at the airport in the 30's. His first car was a '34 Ford, which is still in the Alexander family. Alexander's RAC became Budget Rent a Car. Clark and my Dad became friends as Dad (among other ventures) owned the Atlantic Gas Station on the SE corner of LeJeune and 36th Street. That location was the on ramp from 36th Street onto the 36th Street Expressway (SR 112) eastbound for many years (it was recently replaced by a new ramp that starts a block or two west of LeJeune). In those days. LeJeune Road did not cross the Miami River just north of 36th Street; there was no bridge over the river.
Obituary for Edward Robert Injaychock, former Coach at Coral Gables High School
Ed Injaychock, 86 of Givens Estates, died on Monday, February 22, 2010 at the John F. Keever, Jr. Hospice Solace Center in Asheville, NC. Born and raised in Wilkes-Berre, PA, he spent most of his adult life in Miami, FL where he was a coach and high school administrator at Coral Gables High School. He graduated from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL where he was a member of the football and track teams and a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity. During his coaching years, his teams were very successful winning 2 state track championships, 5 football state championships, and 4 national high school championships. Two of his track athletes were members of the U.S. Olympic teams in the 1964 and 1972 games, one winning a gold medal. Ed was a co-founder and leader of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Dade County, FL.
Ed and his wife Betty retired to the NC mountains and moved to Asheville, NC in 1985 where he was a member of First Baptist Church. He served as a deacon, an RA leader, was on several committees, and a leader in his Sunday School class. In 1986, he and Betty were volunteer missionaries with the Southern Baptist Convention serving in Nairobi, Kenya for 1 ½ years where he directed a community school. He was a community volunteer with the ABCCM Medical Clinic, Habitat for Humanity, and Literacy Council where he taught ESL. He was a former member of the Country Club of Asheville. In 1996, Ed was one of the Olympic torch bearers for a segment as it passed through Asheville on its way to the Atlanta Summer Olympic Games.
He is survived by is wife of 62 years, Betty Lee Stapp Injaychock; sons, Bob and wife Debbie of St. Simons Island, GA; Tom and wife Carol of Charlotte, NC; daughters, Peggy and husband Rex Henderson of Asheville, Carol Jean and husband Bert McLees of Atlanta, GA; eight grand children; two sisters, Regina Galvin and Rita Marie Injaychock, both of PA; along with many nieces and nephews of PA. Ed also leaves behind many friends, former students, and athletes whose lives he has touched and blessed through the years.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM on Thursday, February 25th in the Pulliam Chapel at Givens Estates, followed by a reception. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Senior Adult Ministry of First Baptist Church, 5 Oak Street, Asheville, NC 28801; the Residence Assistance Ministry of Givens Estates, 2360 Sweeten Creek Road, Asheville, NC 28803; or
the John F. Keever, Jr. Hospice Solace Center, P.O. Box 25338 Asheville, NC 28813.
Asheville Area Alternative Funeral & Cremation Services is assisting the family.