Another important piece of “history” was the Dade County Science Fair. Back in the early years, it really wasn’t a fair; it was where students presented incredible projects they had built. The Youth Fair part came later. The Science Fair originally was located at Dinner Key in Coconut Grove. Due to its popularity and the traffic problems, it was moved to its current location on Coral Way.
The old Pier 5 downtown was for our Sunday excursions and to see the fish that were being caught right off our door step. Today, those old piers have been replaced with offices or condominiums.
The places that used to seem so far away, such as Cutler Ridge, I now call home. My family lives in the Lakes by the Bay community, and we were there when Hurricane Andrew hit. Andrew was not like any storm we had ever experienced. Our house, with us inside, was basically destroyed around us. If it weren’t for the downstairs bath located under the stairs, we (four of us, two dogs, bird and hamster) most likely would have been injured, or worse. Andrew took everything, but we rebuilt and stayed in the Cutler Ridge area.
My first job was with Richards in 1971 at the Midway Mall, now called Mall of the Americas. After a while, I was promoted and spent some years in the downtown Miami store, which was a classic in both architecture and layout. Before my time, it had a second floor tea room that opened to the first floor. The other interesting feature was the basement store, which was actually a basement.
I am now semi-retired from the public schools, and I am enjoying my family. The memories of the old Miami will always stay with me and I like to share them with my friends and others about the way it was. They are memories of my childhood that I will always treasure.