Miami native has roots in education


The year was 1942. My father, Don Terry, was in the Navy stationed at the Everglades Hotel in downtown Miami. During World War II, the hotel was used as a Navy barracks. He swept every floor of that building.

One Sunday evening, he went to Central Baptist Church where he met my mother, Margaret. Instead of marrying right away, he left and served in the South Pacific theater for the remainder of the war.

My parents wrote letters back and forth and each letter was numbered. Not ONE letter was lost over a period of three years. Today I enjoy reading parts of those letters. One day, I hope to write a book about their experience.

In March 1945, they were married and they honeymooned at the Leslie Hotel on South Beach. I was born a year later.

After his honorable discharge from the Navy, Dad returned to Miami and worked awhile at Eastcoast Fisheries along the Miami River. Having taught school in Texas, he applied to teach here in Miami. He taught speech, drama and band at Hialeah Jr. High., Robert E. Lee Junior and West Miami Junior until his retirement in 1975. Sen. Bob Graham is one of his former students. He passed away right after Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

Mother, a native Miamian, was a graduate of Miami Senior High, class of 1935. She worked at the downtown Burdines store and then at Florida Glass & Mirror. She also worked several years as registrar at Kinloch Park Junior High and retired from the payroll department of transportation to enjoy watching her only grandchild.

Also a native Miamian, I attended Miami Senior High, (class of 1964), then went on to Miami-Dade Junior College, Barry College and University of Miami. I taught in Dade County Public Schools for 32 years -- at Kinloch Park Elementary, Gloria Floyd and South Miami Heights Elementary, from which I retired from in 2001.

I now co-own and manage Bijoux Dance Center, 4150 SW 70th Ct., where I teach ballroom dancing. I have so many memories of Miami over the past 60-plus years and how it has changed. The skyline, demographics and spoken languages now reflect the cosmopolitan nature of my hometown.

The Orange Bowl is gone, the parade, the old zoo on Key Biscayne, the amusement rides on the roof of Burdines at Christmas, pony rides on Northwest 36th Street, the Coliseum in Coral Gables, drive-in movies, IHOP on U.S. 1, the amusement rides on Northwest 79th Street and 27th Avenue.

But the Venetian Pool and Biltmore Hotel are still are part of the scenery.

``My kind of town, Miami is.''

Read more Miami Stories stories from the Miami Herald

 <span class="cutline_leadin">Pedro Fournier</span> shows a photo of himself outside his home in Havana before fleeing 20 years ago. Fournier was among the 35,000 Cubans who fled during the Balsero Crisis in 1994. He currently lives in Miami’s Little Havana.

    miami stories

    A long journey by raft, and a lesson in freedom

    I was born in Guantánamo in 1956. I moved to Havana as a teenager to study and ultimately graduated with a math degree. In 1994, I decided take a raft to the United States.

 <span class="cutline_leadin">Quite a change of heart: </span>From left to right, daughters Flynne and Jana, Marlene Warren, and daughter-in-law Amy pose for a photo in 1995.

    Miami Stories

    Converted: New Yorker thrilled to be a Floridian

    I wanted to spend my retirement entertained with a million things to do each and every day. My husband Steve, on the other hand, wanted to spend his retired life in the sun, fishing for permit. He said, “Key West.” I said, “New York.” I was determined to remain in New York, and Steve was just as determined to move to Florida.

Rosichan family. Richard and Ellen Rosichan with daughters (L-R) Becky, Lori and Amy.

    Miami Stories

    Making a home in an exotic land

    In 1963, I made my first trip to Miami.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category