“Do you remember Vero Beach when…” life was different? When life was simple? When life was evolving? When life had less conflict? Fewer homeless to uplift? When you were a child?
No matter what the circumstance, you can enjoy everything in and around Vero Beach from years ago, and from today, when you follow Bob Craig’s one of many Facebook pages, called “Do you remember Vero Beach when and now….”
A cool personality, and a busy, busy man, Vero Beach local Bob Craig has been commended on his enthusiasm for the love of the land on more than one occasion. Whether developing communities alongside his wife, Joyce, or selling others real estate properties, to managing his multiple (and I do mean multiple) groups on social media, Craig lets nothing get in his way of success. In fact, favorite quotes of his define the very premise he lives by: “Too much is not enough,” and “We know no NO.”
Originally from Lake Forest, IL, Craig moved to the Sunshine State in the fall of 1972 to start college as a Florida Gator, majoring in Business Administration and Real Estate. Proudly still a Gator Alumni, he loves to reminisce about his time at the university.
“Tom Petty and his band Mudcrutch played for free on the Plaza of the Americas the nights before classes began,” he said. And of course, in line with the rest of his endeavors, he went above and beyond the ordinary and graduated with his BSBA in 1975, remarking that he “tested well.”
Craig went on to obtain his real estate license, broker’s license, and contractor’s license before founding Robert Craig Real Estate and Construction in 1978. He left Gainesville and moved to a condo in Orlando, where he built homes in Bay Hill and got into the business of buying and brokering land in the Central Florida area. In fact, he still owns commercial land along International Drive that he recently listed to sell in the market. Assumedly, an investment that will prove to be quite worth it. We needn’t say how much his intelligence and financial speculations over the years are part of his “cool” factor.
Similar real estate savviness was proven by Craig’s father as VP of Gulf Oil Real Estate, where his project was International Drive – he sold land to Universal Studios and to Sea World founder George Millay.
“Our family timed the Disney real estate boom and busts very well,” Bob said. Also, as VP of Gulf Oil, Craig’s father developed Ocean Village on Hutchinson Island, where Bob would eventually end up spending a year of his life after marrying and divorcing a Winter Park beauty queen. After 10 years of matrimony, he moved to a beach condominium that he had previously purchased on the island after the couple divorced in 1993.
“I spent a year as a beach bum, blue crabbing at the nuke plant and catching snook,” Craig recalled. “I then took a job with Peter Robinson of the Laurel Agency of Vero Beach, to be in charge of sales in their new project, The Laurels, in 1994. Large for Vero and featuring county sewer instead of the norm, septic tanks, The Laurels consisted of four phases and totaled 112 houses.”
Not long after his initial success with the Laurel Agency, Craig met his second wife. He and Joyce were married March 28, 1999, in the gazebo in The Laurels. The gazebo was designed and built for the two by Debb Robinson. Toucan’s in Fort Pierce is where Bob and Joyce originally met one another. They went on to have two children, both now students at Vero Beach High School.
Joyce, a renowned home decorator and designer, worked alongside her husband and other members of The Laurel team, where they played a part in the development of several communities in the Vero Beach area: Laurel Oaks, Oak Chase, The Fountains at Amber Lakes, Laurel Reserve, Laurel Pointe, Laurel Court, Laurel Springs, Indian Oaks, The Grove, Tripson Trail, Cross Creek Lake Estates, Fieldstone Ranch, and previously mentioned, The Laurels.
While Craig still states his passion will always be (and always has been) real estate, a more recent passion he holds near and dear to his heart is the administration of nearly a dozen (perhaps more) Facebook groups and pages.
“I got hooked on Facebook instantly,” Craig exclaimed. “It was like an afterlife experience where you could just think about someone from your past, and voila, they’re here!”
Along with the “I remember Vero Beach when…” he also has “I remember Lake Forest when…” He added on “and now” on the Vero Beach group a few years ago to reflect the purpose and intent of the group a little more accurately. Daily, you’ll find pictures that Craig includes, past and present, and members respond and reflect on the images.
His dedication to his hometown and his home now, have given him recognition in the media world, social and otherwise. Craig was featured by Russ Lemmon (The Lemmon Lines) for his Vero Beach group in 2015, and he is in “Legendary Locals of Lake Forest.”
Other pages by Craig include: “I grew up in Central Florida,” “Pontiac Solstice Owners and Admirers,” “I remember when in Winter Park,” “Indian River Lagoon,” “Cool Old Houses,” “Florida’s World War II History,” and “Florida Amateur Gardeners and Tomato Growers, help is here!”
His mission with his Vero Beach remembrance group revolves around his strive “to direct Vero Beach to live and grow with integrity, class, intelligence, and dignity.” And when you visit his group, you will see he does just that. He doesn’t consider Facebook a distraction or a waste of time as it can be for others.
“Facebook has introduced me to many real-life new friends and business contacts,” Craig pointed out. “It’s a source of news as well of fun. There’s been a few clunkers and hiccups every so often, but overall you can see that despite any bad PR, I am still more than amused.”
And his #verolove is quite apparent. “Vero Bob” coined that hashtag as well as the tokens: “Vero Beach: The Jewel of America’s Subtropics” and “Vero Beach: The Jewel of the Treasure Coast.”
To contact Bob Craig, you can find him through any of his Facebook pages or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.