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Friday, November 29, 2013

WELCOME TO THE MANGO REPUBLIC

 








  I've been making mango art since the 1970's.  It started with short films ("Mango Madness"et al.), thirty years of parades, and now, a new country.

   The Mango Republic really started back in '81 when I dreamed up the King Mango Strut parade.  I have designed many posters and t-shirts for the king's kingdom and his grand Grove procession.  
    This fall I began concentrating on the mango king's country itself thinking, "What is this kingdom?", "What makes its people ("the Mangoheads") happy?" and lately, "What do they wear?"

     I've come up with a couple T-shirt designs for now. Wearing these will allow Mango Republicans to show their mango pride.
  You can buy one today. 
Choose from two designs, the first one being,

 -The Mango Republic's Coat of Arms
  
  This shirt features the King's insignia, his smiling face with his motto, "Fruit, Fun, and Sun" gently caressed by mango leaves.  
It comes in both men's and women's styles.  They are made of 100% soft-style cotton (4.5 oz).   Shrinkage is minimal.  The luxurious ringspun weave feels great. 
   SIZES:  The Men's Shirts come in S,M,L, and XL, in mango leaf green, a dark khaki color.
  The Women's Shirts also come in S,M, L, and XL in the green you see, a bit lighter than the men's shirts.  The women's Mango Republic shirts run small.
  PRICE:  The Mango Republic shirts cost $14.99 plus shipping.





-Mangohead (Mango Republic Citizen's Shirt),
   Our happy Mangohead design is is also offered in both men's and women's styles.  The women's shirt come in sky blue and the men's, a very pale baby mango green.  The images are a very dark brown. 
Both shirts are made of 100% 6.1 oz. "Ultra" cotton  (pre-shrunk).
SIZES:  Men's shirts are offered in sizes S,M,L, and XL.
  

The Women's shirts come in the same sizes (S,M,L, and L). Their sizes are "true".

PRICE:  We are parting with our Mangoheads for a paltry $12.99 (plus shipping).

PAYMENT:  Cash or checks made out to "Mango Republic" for now.   In a week you will be able order online and pay, through PayPal, using a credit card.  In Florida, please add 7% sales tax.

MAILING ADDRESS:  Mango Republic, 3533 Palmetto Ave., Coconut Grove, FL 33133

ORDERING- You can order shirts by,
A)  Coming by the house.
B)  By mail (until Dec. 15, 2013) and,
C)  Online (after Dec. 10, 2013).  You will be able to order Mango Republic products online at  www.MangoRepublic.org.

HOLIDAY DISCOUNT:   Hanukkah is here and Christmas is coming.  Take $2 off the price of each garment from now until December 8, 2013.
SHIPPING:   Come by the house and we will hand you your shirts for free.  If you would like for us to send them to you, add $4 for the first shirt and $1 per shirt thereafter to cover shipping cost (USPS, UPS, or FedEx, in the U.S.).  Inquire for prices regarding shipping outside the United States.

Call or write us if you have any questions.  305-448-3775, www.BetterMiami1@yahoo.com .

Happy Holidays from
Glenn, Francesca, and the Mango Republic
 
 I thank our most excellent models, Natalia Gomez and Dylan Terry

Thursday, November 28, 2013

EAGLE IN THE 'HOOD


   Eagles are rarely seen in South Florida but one popped up in the Grove last Saturday.   Timothy Schmit, the Eagles' bassist, was in town for a concert at the Arena.He called his old friend  (musician/neighbor) Bobby Ingram and asked if he could hang out.  

   Bobby picked him up and brought him over to Palmetto Avenue for a visit.  Later, they had lunch at Greenstreets then Bobby took him back for the show.   Bobby and daughter, Bryn, attended and reported that the country rockers sound as good as ever.  
   Bryn later laughed and said, "I first met Tim when I was a little girl.  I walked into the living room and he was sleeping on the floor."
    The Eagles know the Grove and Bobby well.  They used to hang out together in the late 70's.  The supergroup recorded some of their best music at the Bayshore Recording Studio across from Dinner Key.

                     NOT CHEAP BUT DELICIOUS

    Last week we had dinner with a group of friends.  It ended with a delicious peach tart.  I asked, Who made this?" and a neighbor replied, "I bought it at our new Trader Joe's and it cost $25 a slice". 
  She explained a problem that we are well aware of,  TJ's lot was full so she parked next door at Burger King.  When she emerged with her $12 tart her car had been towed, hence, the higher price.

Reporting from the Mango Republic, 
 The Grove Guy,  Glenn

Sunday, November 24, 2013

KING MANGO MARCHES FOR THE 32d YEAR






Photo      Once a year, since 1982,  I wake up and think,  "Whoa,  I'm putting on parade today!".  Hours rush by as I pack costumes, banners and signs, checking off each item on a long "to do" list. 
   Yesterday I did those things again as it poured outside.  Francesca and I then drove through thick morning rain to arrive at the site of this year's Kid's King Mango Strut parade,  the Miami Book Fair downtown.  
   This time around every group had some sort of literary theme from saving libraries to writer's block.
  As participants showed up we huddled inside a large tent hoping the rain would stop.  At showtime, it did. 
  It has never rained on a King Mango parade.
   We stepped out and waltzed happily through the popular South Florida event.
   Here are a few photos,
Photo

As we are about to begin, the young lady inside the King Mango Mask, Anais Aleman, welcomes the crowd.

"Brown Bear, Brown Bear" -  The well-known children's book portrayed by Francesca's Pre-K students from Sibley K-8, as they prepare to strut.




Dr. Who (and his mother) 








 A very wicked witch
Photo




   Key West habitue, Ernest Hemingway 


Photo 
Nicholas Psarrakas (as Dave Barry) takes a bow









Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons






The book that tells us why garbage trucks are important,
"I Stink!"     Truck driven by Winston Park K-8 Center's
Lucas Pi.





Sofia Gomez smiling through her flower mask for the book, "The Tiny Seed".  

The goldfish behind her is her sister, Natalia.




    Curious George reaching out for some cool air  (it must
have been sweltering inside those thick costumes!)
Photo



  Four of the amazing Reading Robots and a trio of Marjory Stoneman Douglases








   We haven't taught cursive writing in public schools in years.  The 2013 Kid's King Mango Strut celebrated its passing...







Greg, the hero of the "Wimpy Kid" series. 



Photo


Bao Kasten & friend, "Please Save Us!"
Photo
    
 We ended up by a concert stage where Seattle's popular group, Recess Monkey, 

was playing. What better way to wind up this year's parade, with a dance party!

 


A big thanks to Miami Dade College for letting us be a part of the 30th Miami Book Fair International.  Also, Peter Kasten who took many of these photographs.

  Parade's Meme Ferre and Miami Dade College President, Dr. Eduardo Padron, with our festive poster.









Faithfully reporting from The Mango Republic,
The Grove Guy, 
Glenn
 (the one with the short legs)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

King Mango & Co. Steps Out at 10:30 This Morning

   We've been working on this parade for months.  The skies are clearing and we are heading out with a van full of banners, props, and costumes to the Miami Book Fair International.
  If you're in South Florida, come join us for book fair fun and the first Kid's King Mango Strut Parade. 


That's at NE 1 Ave. and NE 3 St. in Downtown Miami.

Friday, November 22, 2013

KING MANGO WANTS YOU!



   
Tomorrow, King Mango will lead a gaggle of happy children through the Book Fair in downtown Miami.
  Come join the fun.  The "Kid's King Mango Strut" steps out at the fair's Children's Alley at 10:30 a.m.
    See young robots that actually read.  Witness  The Wimply Kid finally standing up for himself, and shed tears as the Funeral for Cursive Writing passes by.
     We'll be lining up at ten a.m. at NE 1 Ave. and NE 3 St.  We hope you can come to enjoy the parade and all the other great things that the Miami Book Fair offers.

 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

8 Year-Old Dave Barry In Saturday's Strut

      Last month I asked Dave Barry if he'd like to be a guest in Saturday's Kid's King Mango Strut at the Miami Book Fair.  He said he'd like to but was already obligated to participate is a panel discussion at the book fair at the same time.
      Dave is one of our country's great humorists and a Miami resident so I did the next best thing, I held a Dave Barry look-alike contest at the school where I teach.  Considering both looks and personalities we came up with a winner, Nickolas Psarakos.
      Nick is a native Miamian who is fluent in both English and Bulgarian.  He told me his favorite pastime is "running around".   Nick will be marching with other well-known writers who have made South Florida their home.  They include Ernest Hemingway and Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
      The Kid's King Mango Strut is a new event at the Book Fair.  It will be a procession of children's groups having literary themes.   The Famous Writers will be joined by Reading Robots, Marching Libraries, and kid's dressed as well-known children's book characters.
           Rosie Cope will be Pete the Cat
 
     The parade begins at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 23, at the Miami Book Fair at downtown campus of Miami Dade College.   It starts at NE 1 Ave. and NE 3 St. then marches around the Street Fair.  Admission to the festival is $8 adults, $5 teens and seniors, and kids are free.  
    Dave Barry, Roy Blount Jr. and Brad Meltzer  talk about their latest books, in a nearby book fair building, at 10 a.m.  For more information go to MiamiBookFair.com.
    I e-mailed Dave, told him he was being replaced by Nick and included a photo.  Dave wrote back to say, "He's a lot more handsomer than me".



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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

KIDS GET THEIR OWN KING MANGO PARADE

The King Mango Strut Parade has spent thirty years making fun of silly celebrities and seedy politicians.   People impersonating these "media stars" wander through Coconut Grove like clockwork at the end of every year (they'll do it again on Dec. 29).
 
   Now imagine something different, this clever parade without the likes of Ted Cruz, Richie Incognito, or a twerking Miley Cyrus. Wouldn't that be better?  Couldn't this tired parade use an infusion of young blood? 


   King Mango will get transfused this Saturday when kids take over the 32-year tradition. Their new, improved parade , "The Kid's King Mango Strut", will march through the Miami Book Fair on November 23 at 10:30 a.m. The procession is being produced by my book fair friends and myself.   It feels good to be turning this old idea into something new.

    The King will get a fresh start in downtown Miami; his procession will have many groups of children. Their themes will be derived from the world of writing and literature.  As there are books about almost everything, it isn't too limiting.


   The children's parade will be simple and small like the Grove's "Strut" used to be.   Groups will include,  "The Reading Robots",  "A Funeral Procession for Cursive Writing", and  "Kendall's Kindle Precision Drill Team".   

   Many young strutters will be dressed as their favorite authors and book characters.   Unlike the Grove parade, motorized vehicles will not be allowed (kids are too young to drive anyway).
 
   The Kid's King Mango Strut will begin at the fair's "Children's Alley" at NE 1 St.and NE 3 Ave. at 10:30 a.m.   It will make its way around the entire fair until it winds up where it began.  Book fair admission is $8 adults, teen and seniors $5, and kids are free.






              Random Reading Robots

   Come to the book fair on Saturday.  See how silly King Mango's kids can be!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

QUEEN OF ROCKS

    We've got a lot of characters in Coconut Grove.   They come together at local events like today's Mad Hatter's Arts Festival.  One of my favorite characters is the Hatter's Queen of Hearts, Liz Gibson.
    
 If you walked through the village today you probably saw her hawking painted rocks on Main Highway.   "My designs are all original", she told me, "And every rock is special too". 
  She gets most of her smooth stones from rock businesses but added,  "Friends get them for me too.  I tell them stealing is wrong".    
   Liz cautioned me not to buy rocks from Home Depot, "They chip too much.  Your painting is ruined".



      

For twenty-six years Liz worked for the county's water and sewer department.  Now, she raises French bull dogs and paints rocks.  

She combines the two interests when customers ask her to memorialize a departed dog or cat in stone. 
   



  Today, she spent the day on the sidewalk in white face, blue eye lids, and the bulging red headpiece that made it seem like her brain was popping out.  

    Liz complained that her poofy hat was hot, 
"I should take it off.  My hair inside is pink now, just as strange as the hat.  My significant other tells me it looks like cotton candy.  I don't care.  Pink is me".
_____

Moving on to the next booth,

    My Most Amazing Hat Award went to artist, Audrey Scott.  We're old friends.  We once taught at a school for at-risk kids.  
    Now Audrey paints (canvases, not rocks) and creates stained-glass designs.  If I were her I'd sell hats too.  As you can



 see, Audrey's was the maddest of hats
 (this one began as a lamp shade). 
  
  As I headed home to write I thought how wonderful it is to live in a village with so many colorful, creative people,  folks who don't mind donning a mad hat now and then.