corner corner Cocoanut Grove


Cocoanut Grove
by Edward Keyes | History
Registered by wingeponine38wing of Winchester, Massachusetts USA on 4/19/2016
Average 8 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by Bookworm-lady): to be read

2 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by wingeponine38wing from Winchester, Massachusetts USA on Tuesday, April 19, 2016

8 out of 10

I've chosen this as the book to send for the Local History sweepstakes. I have a somewhat personal connection to the Cocoanut Grove fire and have read everything written about it that I can get my hands on. Books about this deadly Boston fire are not so easy to find, so I was happy to get this somewhat worn copy for this sweepstakes.

Personal connection? My father (before he met my mom and settled down) was a frequent visitor to the Cocoanut Grove nightclub. On November 28, 1942, he had been out to a football game (not the one mentioned in the book) and had been planning to go to the club that evening. He decided to go home first and rest and freshen up, then go back out to the Cocoanut Grove. As sometimes happens, once he was home he lost the desire to go out so, thankfully, stayed in the house. Had he gone to the Grove that evening, he would have only had about a 50% chance of survival, so I might never have been born. That's personal enough! And my dad wouldn't have had the full life he did, including his volunteer work at the Shriners' Burns Institute here in Boston.

Fate was on my dad's side, but many of his acquaintances were not so lucky. He knew a married couple that were expecting their first child; they did not survive. As it was, he had to go to the morgue and identify his younger neighbor, whom Dad had first introduced to the club. I don't think Dad ever got over that.

A visit to almost any local cemetery reveals the horror. The cemetery in Dad's home town of Braintree has an entire section where most of the stones say 1942 and some even specify November 28, 1942, including the young couple mentioned above.

This particular book was published in 1984, and its one drawback, to me, is the lack of photos, which most of the other books on the subject have. Not that they are pleasant to look at, but they do give a sense of this horrible and preventable disaster.

And the story of Clifford Johnson still sends chills up my spine... 

Journal Entry 2 by wingeponine38wing at Winchester, Massachusetts USA on Thursday, April 21, 2016

This book has not been rated.

Released 1 yr ago (4/21/2016 UTC) at Winchester, Massachusetts USA


Traveling - finally - to the winner of the Local History Sweepstakes. I am so sorry for the long delay. Hope you like it.


Journal Entry 3 by wingBookworm-ladywing at Madrid, Madrid Spain on Sunday, May 01, 2016

This book has not been rated.

Thank you so much for this book; your personal connection makes it extra-special to me, so thanks for sharing!
And thank you for making up for the lack of photos by including some you have printed.
Looking forward to reading this, thanks again!  

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