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Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Tuesday we headed south to Bahia Honda State Park. Yes, we had to camp next to motorhomes decorated it garish holiday lights but there was the beach.
At night it was covered with a blanket of bright stars and the next morning's sun was spectacular.

A man spent two hours
sculpting, "When I grow up I will not play in sand".

Two hours later the tide had washed it away.

Monday, December 26, 2011


We have our Oscars and Germany, its "Bambi Awards".
Every year folks gather in Wiesbaden to see who will be honored with a golden child of the forest.
They gave out a bunch last week. Lady Gaga got hers for music and our friend, Ric O'Barry, received his for outstanding environmental activism.
We saw Ric in the 'hood last night and he agreed to show us his trophy fawn. It came in a beautiful leather case and had the heft of a small watermelon.
You may know that Ric's movie, "The Cove", won an Oscar last year for "best documentary". He has been working tirelessly for forty years to free the captured dolphins of the world. In The Cove we saw how Japanese fishermen capture migrating dolphins.
The young healthy ones are sold world-wide for exhibition. When the the rest are slaughtered for food, the Japanese cove depicted
in the movie turns blood red.
Ten days ago, Ric was able to get the Empire State Building bathed in red light to draw attention to the cause. That, said Ric, was not so hard as the building's owner is a Deadhead. He is now trying to get the Eiffel Tower do do the same thing.
Here's to you, Ric, for your hard work and well-deserved award.


We hope you are enjoying your holidays. We had the boys over for Christmas. They've been good so Santa brought them road bikes.
On a warm winter's day Dylan tried his hand at turkey slicing and Francesca prepared a
wonderful meal.

Happy Boxing Day.

We wish you the best in the coming year.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


The Mangoheads had more flash mob fun this week.
As I was introducing a film at Books & Books last Tuesday, The Coral Gables King Mango Strut parade suddenly appeared.
As the audience clapped the Mango King, The World's Largest Gas Station Bathroom Key and all their friends went dancing around the store.
They left the west wing and headed east to thunderous applause. It was a hard act to follow but we settled down to watch a funny little film I made 30 years ago, "Glenn & Dave's Christmas Special". Like our zany parade, it seemed to put everyone in a happy holiday mood.

Friday, December 16, 2011


There's a first time for everything. Yesterday I fell asleep naked and woke up wearing a jock strap.
Blame it on heavy lifting.

Last month I was camping with friends on Key Biscayne. We were moving a heavy picnic table when something popped in my abdomen. After aching a few days I visited my doctor. He touched me down there, asked me to cough, then welcomed me to Hernia World. You gain entry when your intestine sneaks through a weak spot in your abdominal wall. I later read that it happens to 600,000 people every year and unfortunatly, surgery is the only cure.

It took three weeks to schedule mine. So there I was yesterday morning, disrobing in a Coral Gables hospital.
Dr. Edelman, who does these procedures every 90 minutes on Thursdays, came in to look at my lump once more. He whipped out a Sharpie and made a note, with arrow, at the top of my right leg (no, he did not write the "cut here". That was my own little joke).
Below is his note to himself).

An hour later I was knocked out and fixed up. The three holes they used to insert the light, camera, and tools are now three small slits closed with Super Glue.

When I woke up the doctor told me the hernia was big, about the size of an orange. I asked him if he had sewed the muscles back together. He replied, "We do not do that anymore. I stapled a teflon screen on the inside of the opening. That should take care of it".

After he left I pulled down the sheets. For some reason I was now wearing an athletic supporter. Peeling it back I could see that the painful lump was gone, replaced by the unseen teflon screen.
I suppose it will keep my guts in and the flies out. The wonders of modern medicine.

Monday, December 12, 2011


Eight beautiful young girls were crowned "Little Miss Mango" as the sun set in Wynwood last Saturday. As they climbed down a ladder I was left alone on the truck that had served as a stage. I wondered, "How did this come to be?"

(photo by Les Cizek)

Creating the 30th annual King Mango Strut Parade in a barren field wasn't the easiest thing I'd ever done. The food trucks we were supposed to march around had been banned by the Forces of Darkness (see entry below).

We decided to make it work by creating an imaginary street in the dirt. Our royal procession would head down that.

Using a can of white chalk paint, John Barimo and I created the boundaries of a huge, oval thoroughfare. We named it "King Mango Boulevard".

At least with a make-believe road we could separate the marchers from spectators. Looking out into the crowd I tried to figure out who was who. Most were costumed and it was clear many spectators were being recruited into groups.

One young man was forced by his friends to don a huge blue box, "The Walking Red Light Camera". By the end of the parade he looked like the happiest guy on the planet.

As I began to get the marchers organized, the song, "Thriller", shot through the air. With it came eight female zombies lurching from the crowd. Their heads twitched as they began to dance in the dirt below me.

The had great moves considering they were dead.

When the song ended I picked up my bullhorn and asked everyone to prepare for a parade. It seemed like herding cats but somehow the marchers gathered on one end of the boulevard and the spectators on the other. I thought, "This could work!"

King Mango himself, all 6'6" of him, towered in front of the 100+ procession. He slowly lowered a mango on a string as we counted down from ten.
At zero, parade captain Mike McFall shouted, "Let's move!" and the parade began to move.

Looking down from the truck bed I saw my dream parade passing by. The bevy of Little Miss Mangos followed the fruit king. Just behind them was the infamous police Lt. Pike pepper spraying a box-full of kittens.
School teachers complained about being overpaid and The Angry One Percenter's shouted, "Don't Tax Me, Bro" and "Wifi in all limos NOW!".

The rich folks got even more angry when military man,"General Disorder", clipped their heads with his flying Love Drone suspended from a bamboo stick. After that were marching slot machines, Lyin' Fish, and garbagemen collected anything signed by Romero Britto.

It was all that and more, over thirty colorful groups doing things you'd never expect to see in rocky mid-town parking lot. The procession made everyone in it, and everyone watching it, happy in some strange sort of way.
A friend later told me, "Your parade was fantastic, like watching a Fellini movie live.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


King Mango moved to the Wynwood Arts District last Saturday with a lot of help from his friends.
You may know that there was a power struggle two years ago for the right to stage the event in Coconut
Grove. Some wanted it to make it a bigger, more commercial parade (let's call them "The Forces of Darkness") while the others ("The Originals") wanted to keep it small, and simple.
Unfortunately, Darkness prevailed and the original mangoheads were forced to look for a new home. They strutted their stuff in South Miami last year then moved north to the Wynwood Arts District this time around.

They came up with a plan to
march on private property, to be a part Wynwood's Food Truck Festival. The event had been held in an empty lot on NW 2 Avenue for the last two years, a part of the district's monthly art walk.
The Forces of Darkness did their best to stop King Mango from marching a few days ago, on December 10th. Oddly, their constant complaining to City of Miami officials only resulted in shutting down the food truck festival, an event that thousands enjoy. They were unable to keep the Mango King from marching with his friends in the now-empty field.
Fruit fans began to gather there as the sun was setting. "More room to parade!" they said of the strange, surreal set-up. I watched them slowly
drift in, standing on the
back of a big yellow truck. As the parade's director, I had to figure out what do do next.

The Originals decided the 2011 King Mango Strut would began as it always has, with a beauty pageant.
Eight young girls took their places next to me on the Shell Lumber Truck. The "Little Miss Mango Contest" was about to begin for the 30th time.

Each of the contestants told the 200+ gathered why she wanted to win.
"They taste good!" was a popular response. As always, the judges deliberated and decided they all tied for first place. Each girl was crowned "Little Miss Mango" then given flowers and a glittering sash.
Everyone was a winner in this year's Original King Mango Strut.


After King Mango led his procession around the barren field they headed up NW 2 Avenue sidewalk.

(Left) Emmett attempts to sell a mattress
(Right) A member of "The Angry One Percent"

A block later a City of Miami police officers stopped their progress. She told his highness, "Your permit does not allow you to parade on this sidewalk". The officer relented when,
1) King Mango agreed to take off his mask
so he looked less parade-like and,
2) It was explained to her that the parade was over and participants were only walking to their
post- parade party at Wynwood Walls.
(Right) Queen Regina

(above) The King with his dead friends.

Some party it was. We rocked to the Gold Dust Lounge,

pioneers of surf/space music.

Mangoheads laughed, surrounded by fantastic art and their costumed friends.
Everyone agreed that the Original King Mango Strut, now in Wynwood, was great fun and a big success.

We were fortunate to have the world's seven billionth person born in Miami. Pedro and his family proudly marched in the parade then
partied with us at the Walls. Here they are
in front of a Sheppard Fairey mural.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Next Saturday, The King Mango Strut Parade will march through the streets of Miami for the 30th time . Be there at 5 PM on December 10, to enjoy the fun.
It steps out in the Wynwood Arts District this time. Strut fans should gather at the Wynwood's food truck lot, 2250 NW 2 Ave., to witness the artful zaniness.
Free parking is everywhere.

The parade begins MIami's most popular monthly event, Wynwood's Second Saturday Art Walk.

The Strut got started in 1981 when I tried to enter The Mango Marching Band in the City of Miami's Orange Bowl Parade. For some reason, the Orange Bowl Committee would not let our Hawaiian-shirted , conch shell-blowing assemblage in their spiffy, televised event.

"What the heck", I thought, "I'll start my own".
In the fall of '82 I teamed up with my buddy, Bill Dobson, and we did just that. The first Strut went well and there's been an annual King Mango parade ever since.
At 5 pm we will have the Little Miss Mango Pageant on a flatbed truck in the food truck lot. Parade Queen, Adora, will cast a spell and a gaggle of dancing zombies appear.

When the zombie slow, King Mango will come forward to drop his magic mango. This makes the parade begin.

This year's entries include a school of "Lyin' Fish", "The Angry One Percent", and a group of school teachers that swear they're paid too much. A new group of women plan to come

forward to complain about former presidential candidate Herman Cain ("Harassed by Herman") and a tiger mother, with whip in hand, will show off her two studious daughters. Eighteen more groups round out the King's procession.

At sunset (5:20) the parade will begin marching from the west end of the food truck lot. They will strut in circles, around the rolling restaurants parked in the three-acre field, until the

they are dizzy, or, 5:40 pm. The pedestrian parade then disbands so participants can travel north three blocks.

The parade will re-group at Wynwood Walls (an outdoor art gallery located at 2550 NW 2 Avenue, next to Joey's Restaurant).

The King's Procession will march around the Walls complex until 6 pm. It will then gather in the Wall's central courtyard for the post-parade party.

Miami's premiere surf band, "Gold Dust Lounge", will play. As the party begins so does Wynwood's Art Walk. Over thirty art galleries, plus restaurants and retail shops will be open for business until 10 pm.
If you're in Miami next weekend we hope to see you at the parade. Help us celebrate the mango king's birthday and put a grin on your face.