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Tribes of the Corridor Discussion » Miami Tribes 1940's -present » New Miami, Alvin's & Michigan Gallery « Previous Next »

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Miami TribeE k traskos7-01-14  7:41 am
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Laura Grimshaw
Posted on Sunday, July 22, 2001 - 6:53 am:   

When I was in high school our neighbors in Troy located behind our house were the Ropers. Mike Roper's folks and my folks, Mary Ann and John Eccles, are still friends but Mike's moved away years ago. My folks are still there.
Most people know me as Laura Sharp but I don't identify too much with that name as I was Eccles and/or Grimshaw for much longer.
I loved reading Mike's take on The New Miami.
Mike and I knew each other before either of us knew the Cass. He was a friend of my first husband, James Sharp from Rochester.
When I got out of high school early one of the conditions of being able to leave was to be enrolled in college so I enrolled at Wayne State. Mike helped me a bit by showing me around some, most notably bringing me into Alvin's deli.
Flash not too far forward and Mike opened up The New Miami with George and I think one other guy. I'd have to go back to see if he mentions the name. I don't think that person hung out too much.
I was breaking from my husband and rented a room from Carol in a huge old Victorian right around the corner from The New Miami. Mike and Carol were dating then. For some reason I think Ralph Rinaldi lived there too, but later. Carol was quite creative and a little eccentric. That's exactly what I loved loved loved about the Cass - finally I found a bunch of people who didn't fit into the norm. I felt like I fit in with them, not the people from the place I came from.
Later I hung out with Suzy Wahl and Laura McGuire a lot. The three of us worked at Porter Street Station near Tiger Staduim - is it even still standing? At that time I lived in the Valson (sp?) apartment building on Fourth Street.
I've jumped around a lot but if I have to pick one tribe only I'd say it was The New Miami that was my introduction to the Cass Corridor but I hung with Bobby and Laura (even sang !?!? one time with the two of them) at the Song Shop (the name of which was an inspiration for the name of my new store in Oakland called PaperSong). I did a calligraphic menu for the Song Shop.
Henry Normile and I were briefly dating and broke off just weeks before he was shot so I was a familar face at Cobbs too. Better memories of Cobbs are of The Lyman Woodard group playing music and other jazz. Plus, jazz at Suzy Wahl's restaurant around the corner from Alvin's (where I worked for her as a waitress and during which time I was dating Joe G.) Lots of jazz memories with Joe and Frank Isola. How the hell are you, Frank - remember me?
But the Michigan Gallery holds a special place in my memory. My dad was the accountant for them (I got him the gig) for many years, I sold some art there (two bronze sculptures and a watercolor as I recall) plus the biggest and brightest memory is of meeting my current husband Gary at a showing of his posters. (He had just split with his wife but she made sure to spin the story so that I came out the bad guy-not true. We were both very respectful of her.) He lived across the street at a studio building (Izzy's Sells for Less). When he moved out about a year later I made sure the space went to my dear friend Anthony Williams.
Well that was a trip down memory lane.....
Stephen Goodfellow
Posted on Monday, July 23, 2001 - 10:48 am:   

Dear Laura,

So good to hear from you, I'm sorry the distance is so far between us, making a quick trip to the bar for a good chat a rarity.

Thank you for a lovely remembrance - I see myself in a lot of the places and situations you mention - a flitting shadow weaving in and out of the images you have brought forth.
I've placed your writings at: - complete with as many links as I can manage for now - there are still gaping holes in the information, but I intend to improve on them as more information becomes available - you wouldn't happen to have a picture or pictures of yourself, would you? I'd love to place them on the site - got pictures of to many damned men at the moment, not enough women :-)
You are also placed into the Michigan Tribe:
As well as the Miami Tribe:

Any time you want to ad something else, please go ahead!
Stephen Goodfellow
Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2001 - 10:35 am:   


Significant updates have been completed on the New Miami page, thanks to Michael Roper:
Laura McG Freeman
Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 11:30 am:   

Hey Laura, I WILL always think of you as sharp! I am finally getting it together to add some to your post about the old days when we belonged to the tribes of any bar that was in the corridor with music--jazz, rock and roll, country--we didn't care. The Miami was super hot after George left Cobb's, taking the Shadowfax with him. Was it around '76? They had a big stage and a big dark dance floor where you could really let your hair down after a night of waiting tables; and we did! It was for sure the best music anywhere in the world. Bill Hodgson, Dave Chambers, George Kornick, Dave Opadick and Bobby McDonald had some kind of magic going there that those of us who were diggin on it will never forget. The three of us, Laura McGuire, Laura Sharp and Suzy Wahl, would get off work at the sports bar near Tiger stadium and go right there in our stupid mini-skirt overall outfits. I will have to find a photo of us from the days and send it to you Steven! Love and Peace, Laura (McGuire) Freeman
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