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Monday, February 13, 2017

RESISTING TRUMP IN COCONUT GROVE

       Last month's WOMEN'S MARCH ON WASHINGTON was five times bigger than anyone imagined it would be. 


    1.2 million women, children (and yes, a few thousand men) stood up to the evil machine that occupies the White House.  Twenty-seven thousand of them were from Florida.



   The march's huge numbers and unstoppable energy is being channeled into state groups like "Women's March Florida" and our local "March" group led by Coral Gables attorney, Carrie Feit.  People who attended the Washington March (and the rally in downtown Miami on the same day) were invited to the march's first "mobilization meeting" in the Grove yesterday.  

 

     Over 300 people packed St. Stephens Episcopal Church for the marathon 3-hour event.  We heard from the state chairman, Emma Collum, Carrie, and Tallahassee's Lakey Love.  Coconut Grove's Ava Seymour had a few words too.  (right)  Lakey introduces Ava  

  

  At one point we broke out into smaller groups so we could have discussions on threats to civil rights, gun control, immigration and eight other big issues.

    The women attending (and the eighteen men) were encouraged to keep working with the Miami-Dade chapter of Women's March Florida as they continue with monthly meetings. Attendees were also asked to join one of the other local groups formed to resist Trump's agenda.  Here are four nearby,
1) Progressive Miami-  Grove-based, monthly meeting usually at St. Stephens Church (see their FB page).  I started this one with a couple of friends and we now have 200 members.
2) Rise Up, Florida!  Based in Coral Gables, they meet at Gables UCC monthly.  They'll be picketing Rubio's office this week.
3) Downtown Dems,  an off-shoot of the local Democratic Party, "the Dems" have their meetings in the Brickell area and sometimes at the Grove Spot restaurant.
4) Indivisible Miami, Meets monthly on the Grove Bookstore patio.
      You can get information on any of these resistance groups (including Women's March Miami) by checking their Facebook pages.  If you need more information drop me a line, bettermiami1@yahoo.com .  I'll be happy to help.

   As if a three-hour meeting wasn't enough, eight of us followed up the March gathering by going to another meeting. We learned Indivisible Miami was having its third meeting two blocks away, a few minutes after ours ended. This group is new but their enthusiasm is strong and contagious. 

    Are you unhappy with our country's new direction?  You can help stem the tide by joining  one of the groups listed above. 


 The March on Washington is long and
the campaign to "bring back the flame" will continue for another years. 

  Resist!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

SOUVENIRS From The Life of Charlie Cinnamon

   Grove legend and publicity maven, Charlie Cinnamon, died last November surrounded by beautiful things. There were his friends, members of his family, and hundreds of souvenirs from his past. Two weeks later I began helping his nephews and nieces sort out the things he'd picked up in his ninety-four years.   

   Everything out and displayed, his South Grove cottage took on the air of a Charlie Cinnamon Museum.  Here is the leather-bound book he had his sixth grade friends sign in 1933. They attended "PS 48"
in the Bronx.

 
 

Charlie must have known he was going to spend most of his life in Miami. On his "My Favorite"page the eleven-year-old noted his favorite musical piece, "Cuban Love Song".
   

I came across his high school year book, diploma and beneath that, the things he brought back from serving with Patton's Third Army in World War II. 
                                              Charlie and his big brother, 1945
 
 
 The bayonet he brought back from Germany      where he participated in the liberation a concentration camp.

On the back of this photograph he wrote "Willy, Len and myself, Meisbach, Germany, July, 1945"


Private First Class Cinnamon served as a radio operator and editor of his battery's newspaper, "The Coffee Grind".





                        On a nearby shelf stood his first typewriter waiting for him to knock out the next press release.


     Charlie loved to write and he always had something to hold his words nearby.

    He love the theater even more and he spent sixty years working as South Florida's premiere publicist and promoter.   

Theaters and actors depended on him to get the word out and Charlie never let them down.


    Everyone in the business loved him. The piles of photos we sifted through  showed it.











 

 



In many of the photographs he is with members of his family and friends long forgotten.

  



 






In the late 50's Charlie was the publicity director for the Coconut Grove Playhouse when they staged the world premiere of "Waiting for Godot". 
  In 1963, to help publicize another show, he put together the first Coconut Grove Art Festival.

    The inside of Charlie's cottage looks like miniature art festival. There are paintings all over.

 
 Many are by his friend, Ronni Bogaev



Her bathtub painting (1980) is one of my favorites.
   The paintings will find new homes but the dozens of awards Charlie received?  I doubt it.


Charlie's love and his legacy live on in the hearts  of his many, many friends. It will also continue in the new Charlie Cinnamon Scholarship Fund.
   Charlie was a longtime board member of the Florida Theatrical Association.  The "FTA" just created a fund -in Charlie's honor- to help Florida 

high school students to participate in summer  

theater programs.  From their press release,

“Charlie’s heart and passion for the arts community, especially in his home of South Florida, was unmatched and it was a true gift to have him serve on our board of directors,” said FTA’s Executive Director Larry Watchorn. “He was devoted to education for all, especially in the area of performing arts, and we could think of no better way to honor his name and legacy than setting up this scholarship fund to engage and empower young talent.” 
     
     Did you love Charlie too?  Why not contribute to the fund? Donations to his scholarship fund can be made at: www.FloridaTheatrical.org or by mail to Florida Theatrical Association, Attn: Education Department at 100 South Eola Drive, Suite 200, Orlando, FL 32801. For more information, visit www.FloridaTheatrical.org
    Out of all the "souvenirs" Charlie left us, I think he might like this one the best. 





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Monday, January 30, 2017

MUSLIM BAN PROTEST AT MIA

  Our rally at Miami International Airport went very well yesterday.  300 of us demonstrated in front of a steady line of cars passing through.  It was covered by the press so our loud chants were heard by thousands more.

  Twenty people from our Progressive Miami group participated.  We only got wind of it 2 hours before.  Francesca and I quickly posted it on Facebook, sent out  e-mails, made signs, then headed out.  










Twenty minutes later were were standing in a cold, light rain resisting the hate flowing out of the White House.
     Standing up for your rights -and those of our others- is not that hard.
It felt good be be standing up to Fascists who threaten our country.

If you can, come to our next Progressive Miami meeting tomorrow night, January 31st.  We'll fight
for justice together.
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