Midge Peltier – Island Icon

Written by Coronado Historical Association Volunteer Jan Corbett

Midge Peltier’s yearbook photo from 1944

This article was originally published in the May 2021 Issue of Coronado Magazine. To read this article and more from Coronado Magazine, click here or the button below.

The monthly column, Island Icons, of historical vignettes from the Coronado Historical Association features insights and personal memories of locals. An initiative of CHA and its community volunteers, it is the product of a special archival oral history project that records the local personal histories that may be lost in the near future. This month’s Island Icon’s is Midge Peltier.

Do you remember when Third and Fourth Streets were two-way streets?  This month’s Island Icon, Margie (Midge) Robinson Peltier, recalls the days before the one-way streets were introduced.  Midge is a witty and charming ninety-six-year-old lady who was born in Grandview, Idaho on March 3, 1925.  She spent her younger years in Idaho, eventually graduating from Twin Falls high school in 1943 before moving to California.  

While attending school at Mills College in Oakland CA, Midge met her husband, Jim, on an arranged, blind date. After a whirlwind courtship of five months, they married in 1946 and returned to Michigan to be near family.  While in Michigan, Midge earned her undergraduate degree in Spanish and Music, and then went on to obtain a Master’s in Spanish from Wayne State University in Detroit. Midge has always had a love for music. She grew up with music as part of her early life and remembers her mother taking her to music and dancing lessons. She excelled at music lessons and later teaching music. She has owned four organs and plays not only the organ but the violin, ukulele, and piano. After playing 15 years of classical music she loves playing popular music on the organ.  

She has lived in Coronado for the past fifty-six years. Midge and Jim moved to Coronado in 1955 when Jim was called back into Navy active duty during the Korean War.  He was a pilot attached to VU-7 and stationed at Naval Air Station, North Island.  Midge obtained her teaching credential from SDSU & taught Spanish for six years at Chula Vista High School and also was a Spanish substitute teacher in Coronado. As a teacher, she always encouraged her students to look for the details in Spanish literature by using the Socratic method of questioning.

Saturday night dancing at the Crown Dancing Club was their favorite night out, it was a dressy evening with dinner first and then dancing to live band music at the Woman’s Club on The Strand with 50 other couples. She and Jim loved the Cha Cha. She also has fond memories of attending Navy League meetings on Naval Air Station, North Island, and leading groups that read and explored the great books of literature.

The biggest change she’s seen in Coronado is housing.  When she and her husband first arrived in 1955, there were no small houses available to rent, so they combined forces with another couple and together rented a large home.  Finally, they were able to buy their own home and have lived in two homes while residing on the island.  Midge also mentioned that many of the small houses on H & J Avenue near 3rd & 4th Street have given way to large homes.  

Midge and Jim have generously donated to both their Coronado and desert communities, supporting both Sharp Coronado Hospital and the McCallum Theater in La Quinta, where they had a second home. They shared many philanthropic activities.

Midge has always been an extremely active woman between studying, teaching, and playing music.  She said if she had to give her younger self some advice it would be to slow down her pace in order to have more time with her husband and parents. Nowadays, her friendships are what’s most important to her. She loves to travel and see new places. She hopes to be able to travel as soon as she is able. 

Island Icons is an archival project of the Coronado Historical Association. If you would like to nominate someone as an Island Icon, email us at info@coronadohistory.org or call 619-435-7242.

This article was originally published in the May 2021 Issue of Coronado Magazine. To read this article and more from Coronado Magazine, click here or the button below.

More Photos of Midge Peltier:

Midge Peltier as a teacher c. 1960

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