This article about NCWN/NetWest member Bob Grove appeared in the December 18, 2013 edition of the Cherokee Scout newspaper. Bob is the facilitator of the NetWest sponsored Prose Critique Group that meets the second Thursday of each month at 7 pm at Tri County Community College near Murphy. I knew Bob was a man of many talents, but I learned even more of them from the article.
Here it is, in its entirety, courtesy of the Cherokee Scout newspaper and writer, Dwight Otwell.
By DWIGHT OTWELL
Brasstown – Bob Grove moved to Cherokee County and began teaching in 1978, but he soon began his own business that would become one of the most respected in the industry.
After 35 years, Grove Enterprises, a standard in the shortwave and radio equipment business, closed at the end of November along with his longtime magazine, Monitoring Times.
“Judy and I decided to finally take real retirement,” the Brasstown resident said. He will be missed. “Grove radio has been a national institution to shortwave and other radio enthusiastsfor many years,” Bellview resident Hugh Williamson wrote to the Cherokee Scout. Grove taught science and math for two years at Hiwassee Dam High School beginning in 1978. He had been living in Florida and became disillusioned with the fast growth and crime.
“I was establishing the business,” he said. “I loved the kids, but it became clear that my destiny was to go into business for myself.” It began as a mail order business for radio receivers of all kinds. Its specialties are radio scanners, shortwave receivers, antennas, database and control software, listening accessories and a full spectrum of publications. Grove Catalogue is mailed to the company’s database of customers each year.
However, Grove is a man of many interests. It took him six years to get a four-year college degree because he changed his major 12 times. He taught a wide variety of subjects in public schools – including every science, English, journalism and creative writing.
Grove grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and taught in Ohio and then Florida. He was named director of the South Florida Museum & Bishop Planetarium in Bradenton, Fla. He later went back into teaching, but became curator and interim director of a museum in Palm Beach County,Fla.
Grove was noticed by a local ABC television affiliate and began working a few jobs for them before being named public affairs director. He hosted some programs and was seen on air by more than any other person in southeast Florida. His favorite guest was famous movie star and dancer Ginger Rogers, who he called “delightful.” His most irritating guest was Eddie Albert,actor and star of the television show Green Acres. “He was just snarly,” Grove said of Albert. “He looked around at the studio and asked, ‘What is this – the city dump?’ ”
His memories of his time at the studio are both touching and humorous. Grove gave tours of the facility, and one day some kids were fascinated at the height of the transmission towers. Grove pointed to the tower, and at that moment lightning hit it. The kids asked him how he did that.
Grove hosted the television show Now World and was known as Mr. Science. Grove and wife Judy had always cared deeply for animals and wildlife. After moving to Brasstown, they had a tree cut down that had a nest with squirrels. A wildlife official told Grove they weren’t allowed to keep the animals, but they could designate them as the Brasstown Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. “We have kept anything that walks on two or four legs,” he said, including hawks, owls, deer, oppossums, groundhogs and mink.
Grove and Judy gave talks to schools and groups. Once, Judy was telling a group that you can’t get close to wildlife because you have to eventually set them free. You can’t make pets of them. Just then, a squirrel they had rehabilitated ran up, jumped on the table and onto Judy’s shoulder. Grove was surprised that they have received well wishes from hundreds of present and former customers and subscribers who sent in congratulations about their retirement.
“It is very gratifying. There were no negative comments about our closing,” he said. Although both Grove Enterprises and Monitoring Times are being retired, the chief editor and practically all of the writers will begin a new magazine, Spectrum Monitor, on Jan. 1.
Grove is 75, but he isn’t going to just sit back in an easy chair. He will write for the new magazine and do original writing for publications and more books. He has already written an e-book, Misadventures of an Only Child, which he calls his autobiography. It’s for sale at Curiosity Shop Bookstore in downtown Murphy.
Grove will also continue teaching adult continuing education classes. Through John C. Campbell Folk School and Young Harris (Ga.) College, he teaches local geology, including field trips with students. His latest enterprise is being president of the new Mountain Community Orchestra. The orchestra is assembling serious musicians from the region and hope to begin performing after the first of the year. “I don’t play an instrument. I am a drummer,” Grove quipped.
At today (December 18, 2013) at the folk school, Grove will do his annual reading of A Christmas Carol, which is a special arrangement by the author Charles Dickens. Grove will do the entire reading himself, in costume. He said it’s fun but exhausting. “It is all British, but I have no problem with that,” he said."My father was born in England. I love life, and I have had a great time of it.”