Gary Grimshaw, Laura Grimshaw, ,July
15, 2001 at the Ledson Winery
poster show in Santa Rosa, California.
Photo by Gregg
When I was in high school our neighbors
in Troy located behind our house were the Ropers. Mike
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
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
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
Stadium - is it even still standing? At that time I lived in the
Valson (sp?) apartment building on Fourth
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
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
Well that was a trip down memory lane.....