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Friday, March 16, 2018


   When writer Marjory Stoneman Douglas died in 1998 she left her house to the citizens of Florida.
   She was hoping people like you and I could visit the home she enjoyed for 72 years.  Unfortunately, we can not.
    As described by Miami Herald writer Andres Viglucci in today's paper,

Her quaint old South Grove home — owned by the state of Florida — is in poor shape, vacant and unused.  Vociferous objections from a group of neighbors worried that visitors would spoil their affluent, leafy residential oasis have foiled plans to open the house to the public, even on a limited basis.

    On Tuesday Tallahassee state park officials came to the Grove to try to rectify this situation.
   Twenty "stakeholders" were chosen to meet at the Grove Sailing Club, for a day-long session to discuss the house's future.  I was in the group because of my activist efforts in the past. Half of the people there were the house's neighbors. 
    We became the first people to tour the 1926 structure in years. Here's what it looks like,

 Marjory's house is a charming 900 sq.foot English Tudor cottage.
The front yard has been a dump since it was piled high with debris after last fall's hurricane. It is also used by the neighbors for overflow parking.


The trees that
Marjory loved
are still spectacular.
Before the tour "Jessica", a state park ranger, shared the history of the house. She lived there until rampant mold and decay made it uninhabitable.

Stepping inside we imagined what it was like when America's environmental hero lived there.

Marjory on her front steps, circa 1932.
 The living room where she did her writing
 The kitchen walls lay bare. To the right, a hole in the floor.

Marjory's bedroom
        After our tour we returned to the sailing club for a long discussion.  We concluded that the house should be restored, that Marjory's possessions should be returned to it, and the public should be allowed to visit on a limited basis.
    Later that evening the public was invited to join in. Except for a few of the
remaining neighbors, the attendees asked the State to do the same things.
It's what Marjory would have wanted.

Read more here:

Sunday, March 11, 2018


      Coconut Grove should be proud to be the home of Marjory Stoneman Douglas.  
South Florida's esteemed writer and environmental leader lived in the South Grove house that she built on Stewart Avenue in 1926, for 72 years. When she died there, at the age of 108 (1998) she left her property to the State of Florida.
     Marjorie wanted the State to make her diminutive English cottage a pubic place. She imagined future generations enjoying the afternoon sun, as she had, on her back porch. The Mother of the Everglades wanted it used to further her love of nature and environmental legacy.  
     Sadly, the State has done next to nothing to carry our her wishes. Marjory's house is now  a rental address, used as sleeping quarters for a park ranger. The public is not allowed to go near it.
      There isn't even a historic marker outside.

Most of my friends have never seen the Douglas home and many don't know it exists. It's almost as if state officials wants us to forget about our country's environmental  hero and all the good things she represented.  
    For years we've had an informal group, "Marjory's Circle", trying to goad the state into honoring Marjory and her house at 3744 Stewart Avenue. On Tuesday, you can help.  
    The state's parks department is sending down a Tallahassee team to lead a public meeting to discuss the house's future.
    It will take place at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club on March 13th from 5:30 to 8 p.m.  The public is invited.  Can you come?  We need all the support we can get.

   The house should be opened to the public as a mini-museum and restored with Marjory's furniture and possessions (they're in storage now). An appropriate marker should be placed by the road.

That would be the right thing to do.


   But there are other ideas...Some of her neighbors do not want anyone coming to the Douglas house. They want it kept secret.
    Fairchild Gardens wants it cut up and re-assembled on their back lot to give their profile a boost. Even they must know moving an old house from its original location causes it to lose much of its historical significance.
     The parks department would like to hear from you on Tuesday night. I hope you can join us to speak up for Marjory and all the good things her long life represented.

Saturday, March 3, 2018


        Two weeks ago Grovites were grumbling about February's gigantic Grove Art Festival.  You'd hear, "It's too big!", "Cost too much!", or "They tried to sell me a Buick!".

     You won't have any of these problems at the Grove's greatest art show on Sunday, March 4th.  It's the 20th annual "Gifford Lane Art Stroll" taking place where Gifford meets Oak Ave. (If you go to the tennis courts across from Coconut Grove elementary, you're there). Noon to 5 p.m.
     Just a block long in a charming residential neighborhood, it's the festival every other art show wishes it could be.

     Sixty local artists, including me, will be showing their stuff. Bands will play and Trina's cucumber punch bowl will be drained by thirsty patrons repeatedly.
     I'll be on the south end as usual, selling strange and wonderful things like,

Seed Pod Fish

Shadow Boxes


Skulls in a Box 

A delicious slice of Mahogany Carrot Cake

And for you who want the finest tools for ethnic home defense,
Maori Warrior Clubs 

Irish Shillelaghs!  (pronounced, "shill-lay-lees")

I also am offering two
Screaming Banshees.

Want to be the coolest kid on the block? purchase a Mango Republic T-Shirt!

This list is long. Sometimes I wonder how I come up with all this stuff. It's an artist's dilemma, "Do I make screaming banshees or not?".  
Francesca practices the art of baking. My wife will be selling her delectable, just-out-of-the oven banana bread.

    Like Brigadoon, the Stroll appears for just five short hours every year for those lucky enough to stumble upon it. It is located on one short street a block east of SW 32 Ave., and two blocks north of Grand. Walk or ride your bike (the free bike valet is on the south end, next to the tennis courts). You can usually park on the street within two blocks. 
    It's free and fun.  We hope to see you there.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Rally in Tally: GUN REFORM NOW!

         Nine hundred of us climbed aboard buses Monday morning to protest in Tallahassee. Upon arrival we donned orange t-shirts and marched on the Capitol.  Above, Janie Olivera and her two daughters who exclaimed, "We've never been on a bus before!"


     We tried lobbying our state representatives but most could not be found.
    Several of us attempted to visit the Governor.  His secretary, "Karol", told us he was not in.  She said she would give him our message, "Ban assault weapons now".

     Next door was the office of Pam Biondi, our right-wing attorney general.  Her assistant, Naomi, told us her boss wasn't seeing any visitors.  She wants less guns too and said she'd share our sentiments with Pam.
     Stepping into the hallway we admired portraits of our former governors.   "Wayne Mixon" was the one I'd never heard of.   
                         AND The sign said,  "John Wayne Mixon, Florida Governor January, 3-6, 1987"
I learned he was our state's leader, for three days, in 1987.  Maybe I was asleep during his reign.

    I started roaming the halls looking for trouble. I found it in this conference room. A very large sergeant-at-arms me asked to leave because I was carrying protest signs.  Before I did I took this photograph with our state senator, Jose Javier Rodriguez, seated on the left. A few hours later he was leading a valiant  charge to ban assault weapons.  His efforts failed as most of our senators are gun-lovin' Republicans who'd like everyone in America to pack a gat or two.

               This Vietnam vet let his sentiments be known

    During lunch I teamed up with a group of enthusiastic Broward high school students to form an impromptu theater company. I put on my Trump outfit, they hoisted their signs and we headed to the Capitol steps. In our performances, they put down every great idea I had! 
      As our group prepared to head home we learned Jose Javier's
assault weapons ban proposal had been
voted down.  We're being led by lunatics in Tallahassee.  In November let's vote them down and help make our country safe again.


Two tired UF students

 We thank the Phil Levine for Governor Campaign for making our
bus trip possible.  We thank you for anything you can do to aid the cause.  For instance,
YOU CAN HELP TODAY- One of the main proponents of  "Guns for everyone", is Hialeah state representative Jose Oliva.  We are having a "Die-In Protest" at his local office at noon. 3798 W 12thAve., Hialeah.  Come join us!
YOU CAN ALSO call his office at 850 717-5110.  Tell him you want to ban the AR-15 (he owns one) and to not arm teachers in the classroom.  There will be a Big Vote on these issues today in Tallahassee.

Saturday, February 24, 2018


    Miami can be a dangerous town. With this in mind, we've had Tyrolean gnomes, Hedwig and Fritz, guarding our house since 2006.   Recently, we discovered were actually disguised Russians trolls (actual names: "Nikita and Boris") who have been spying on us for years.

   After Boris 'fessed up we reduced  both of them to iron slag. We then set out to find new, scary sentries, ones  we could entrust with our safekeeping.  
We found them in Ireland. 

   Meet Erin and Colleen, our skeletal banshees who howl and gnash gnarly teeth when anyone approaches. Geez, their eyes even glow when angered.

The devilish duo even came with a shillelagh (an Irish fighting club) which we now keep by the door. We feel much better now knowing we have the finest in Irish home protection. 

   You can have it too.  On Sunday, March 4th, Francesca and I will be participating in the Grove's greatest art festival, THE GIFFORD LAND ART STROLL

   I'll be selling banshees, shillelaghs, and the usual weird stuff I make.  Francesca will
be selling her delicious banana bread. Come enjoy the show and visit us.  Its the first booth you encounter at the corner of Gifford Lane and Oak Avenue. We'll be there noon to 5.  
Hope to see you then.

A Few Other Things 
More Serious


     It's a wonderful thing having  Broward's bright, articulate teenagers showing us how to make schools -and our country- more sane and safe. 
1000 of us are going Tallahassee Monday morning to support their valiant efforts. We will march, demonstrate for better gun laws and speak with our elected representatives. 
    If you can't join us, please call these people
and tell them your thoughts. If the kids can do it so can we.


     On Wednesday and Friday at noon, we will be staging "die-ins" at the offices of our local state representatives who oppose strengthening our gun laws. Drop me a line if you are "dying" to be a part of this creative, political endeavor.  I'm at .

     Our government is broken. There has never been a more important time to take action.  Call, speak up, and help throw the bums out of office in November

Friday, February 2, 2018


Francesca and I make our own salad dressings.  I gave a bottle of my "miso" to friends in Georgia last week and today, they asked me for the
 I don't have one. I make it up each batch based on my feeble memory and momentary instincts.  I tried putting it on paper and here is what I came up with:

-Start with a third of a pint (about 5 oz.) of miso paste
in your blender (Whole Foods has it)
-Add 1/4 water to that, then toss in
-a cup of oil (olive, safflower, whatever).
-1/4-1/2 of a med. onion

-Fresh ginger, the size of a peach pit.
-2 cloves of crushed garlic (or more! Garlic is as
good as ten mothers)
-a peeled and seeded lemon (or lime)
-tea spoon of fish sauce and a
 -tea spoon of honey (more if you've a sweet tooth!)

-Now pour in 1/3 cup vinegar
-tspn of mustard (takes too long to include vowels sometimes)
   Once in a while I will add a dash of Tabasco sauce just
for the hell of it.
Turn on the blender for 20-30 seconds.

If there are herbs growing in the front yard I will throw in
some leaves of cilantro, parsley, chives, and  Jamaican hibiscus
at this point. I run the blender then just one or two seconds
for these so I can see the herb bits suspended in the liquid.
Give it a taste.
If it seems to lack something, add that.

Again, it's a guessing game writing "my recipe".  Maybe the oil part is 1 1/2 cups.
It fills up 2/3 of our Waring blender and two salad dressing

Have fun with it.  It's hard to go wrong. Whatever you make will be twice as good as the store bought stuff.


Saturday, January 27, 2018


         Our neighbor, artist Mette Tommerup, paints  big and blue. We we were there for the opening of her show last night at the Emerson-Dorsch Gallery in Little Haiti.

    Ocean blue is the dominant color as Mette's Danish veins run with Viking, sea-loving blood.

"Ocean Loop"

Mette, thrilled to see neighbor Davey show up

                     Gallery owners, Brook and Tyler Dorsch
Brook suggested that we climb the staircase to the roof deck.  We did and relaxed on huge pillows as poofy clouds drifting across our town. That was a wonderful but what really got my roof-top attention was the circus tiger cage. 

The owners explained that they have a problem with air conditioners being stolen.  Adding tigers
could make them even more safe.

You too can enjoy Mette's show, at 5900 NW 2d Ave., from now until February 24th.