EVERY DAY FOR AN HOUR OR TWO BOB CRAIG HEADS OUT IN HIS PONTIAC SOLSTICE CONVERTIBLE WITH HIS NIKON D300 TO FIND INTERESTING SITES TO PHOTOGRAPH AND POST ON HIS “I REMEMBER VERO BEACH WHEN AND NOW” FACEBOOK PAGE. HE HAS TAKEN OVER 10,000 PHOTOS SINCE HE BEGAN HIS FACEBOOK GROUP SINCE 2011.
For example, how about this one?
Sexton Plaza / Posted on September 3, 2016
Or this one?
Halloween at Lowe’s / Posted September 3, 2016
Depending on his mood, Bob may, or may not, offer commentary with his photographs. In one case, with this photo he did, and received 43 comments from members of his I Remember Vero Beach When and Now group.
Here is his commentary:
“First visit to the new Cumberland Farms store, across from Kmart. I went to get details on the gas discount card program. Mid-day, and the lot is almost full. Walking inside, the place is packed with colorful patrons, most milling about a bewildering array of sugar drink-dispensing machines. One new flavor caught my eye: “Sucka Punch.” Hmmm. Also, a staggering (although not “massive,” lol) representation of snack items, and fast foods. Some not microwaved are glistening with juices, rotating under heat lamps; mostly hot dogs, and a few curious-looking stuffed taco tubes.
This unit is self-serve, and men are eagerly using metal tongs to load little cardboard boats with their choices. “Two for $2.50. Fresh hot buns underneath. FREE TACO CHEESE, AND CHILI. Help yourself!” After placing the selected dogs and buns in the tray, they hold them under a chrome spigot, with a manual push-pump lever to dispense gobs of favorite … toppings.
Walking back to the front of the packed parking lot, spied two young men hanging out with a motorcycle in the handicapped zone. One of them spotted me eyeballing the bike, and began to walk toward me. “Hey, Big Dog. Hey, Big Dog, You. Come here!” I hopped in my car, and sped off. Not supposed to turn left on to U.S. One, so makes for all kinds of new traffic on the north side.”
A native of Lake Forest, Illinois Bob has been involved in the development, sales and marketing of new homes and communities in Vero Beach and the Treasure Coast for over 20 years; and as a Realtor in Florida for over 40. Bob got his real estate broker’s license as a teenager in Orlando in 1974, and has been active ever since.
While he started I Remember Vero Beach When and Now as a hobby because he was bored with part-time retirement, his group was initially entitled “I remember Vero Beach When,” where he would post nostalgic photos, such as this one:
The Patio on Route One was temporarily named Toro
Then he subsequently, some time later, changed the group name to include “When and Now because having been in Vero Beach a long time, he wanted to share “how it was growing and to point out new things, such as restaurants, developments and things to do to promote the area.”
Now he takes care to share the above photo with this current one of the Patio.
“I enjoy seeing Vero Beach grow with dignity, class and good taste. Since I’ve been a realtor here for 40 years, I know the place cold.
It is a place with family values and safety. Where you don’t have to look over your shoulders. It is a premier place to live.”
He coins Vero Beach as a place where “families follow families.” What he refers to is a “generational migration to FL and especially Vero Beach. Folks very often move down from the north to be with family members that have previously moved here; and that’s how Vero is discovered. It’s a pattern I spotted in over 20 years of selling homes as a full-time Realtor in Vero. It’s when a couple says they are moving here to be close to Mom and Dad.”
While also working to promote the community, from time-to-time Bob highlights an eyesore. He says: “Its an enigma. On the one hand you have an eyesore with no one doing anything about it and on the other hand you get ticketed for having a real estate sign too big.”
Just East of the Patio on Route One – Posted September 20, 2016
It used to be an adult VHS video store.
With regard to this particular property, he says: “It is ‘the shame’ of US 1, Vero Beach, FL. as our visitors approach Vero Beach. Many of our esteemed, and influential leaders and residents, who care, should take note.”
As a 40 year realtor, Bob says he is “perplexed” that Vero Beach is the last community to come out of the real estate recession. He says this is due to Vero Beach not having an economic base.
However, “we are somewhat at risk. Should an industry or big new subdivision come to YeeHaw Junction, Fellsmere or in St. Lucie County at the edge of Indian River County, which needs a tax base, that will greatly impact Vero Beach.”
Bob says: “I know too much.”
“While the intersection at 58 Avenue and State Road 60 is currently the busiest intersection in Vero Beach, by 2020 the busiest intersection will be at 53rd Avenue and US Route 1.” He knows.
Then again, he says: “What is it about the proliferation of dollar stores of all types, referred to as today’s adult convenience stores, as well as mattress vendors seemingly everywhere…”
Really, what is it about all the mattress stores? He says “it must be because people are moving about and disposing of their own bedding and buying new ones.”
Should you wish to join Bob’s Vero Beach When and Now group please visit his Facebook page, sign up, receive daily photos of interest and join his other 1,993 members!