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Thursday, May 24, 2018


        I like visiting the post office. I take pleasure in buying colorful stamps, chatting with neighbors, and the idea that you can still send a valentine to Seattle for fifty cents.
      Of course, it may not get there. Consider what just happened to me.

        A friend in Hollywood, Florida, mailed a car title to me a month ago. 
It should have taken two or three days to travel the 22 miles. It took ten days to get to my home in Coconut Grove.
        I signed it and sent it back to her by certified mail, which, they said, would cost four bucks and take two days.  After four days had passed with no delivery, I went on the USPS website to track it. I learned  the my envelope had been delivered to a post office in Gainesville.
       The next day the clerk at the Grove post office told me, my envelope had left Gator Town and was now "in transit".   When I was not delivered two days later I called the USPS help line.  A robotic voice thanked me for calling and said "...the expected wait time is 3 hours, 40 minutes".  Read on, it gets worse.
      I couldn't wait any longer, my friend needed the title. I went to the Gables title agency yesterday and paid $104.00 for a new one. I am planning to hand-deliver it.
      Today, 14 days after I sent off the certified letter, it was delivered two doors down. In two weeks it traveled 100 feet before arrived at the wrong, return address. A snail, dragging my envelope, could have gone that far in half a day.
    My neighbor was kind enough to walk it over.  I considered going back to the post office to get my four bucks back but I figured they had probably lost that too.

Saturday, May 19, 2018


     With yesterday's shoot-out at Miami's Trump resort and the latest school massacre in Texas, we needed some quick,temporary relief.
Why not blank out at a Jimi Hendix concert?  How much can you mourn with Purple Haze pounding in your ears? 

    Of course, with Jimi being dead, we did the next best thing, we went to hear his little brother's band replicate those soothing, psychedelic sounds.

  Dylan & Leon

    Leon Hendrix was at HistoryMiami to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of Miami Pop, the pre-Woodstock festival I attended long ago. I went there the day it rained even though tickets were expensive, six bucks.  

    Still, I had a good time hearing John Lee Hooker, Canned Heat and Jose Feliciano. I recall walking  around Duane Hanson's sculptures of dead soldiers and motor cyclists and thinking I lucky I was to be standing in Miami rain.

    But last night the weather was perfect as we celebrated the past and the liberating 60's. 
Many wore tie-dye.
   Our history museum's "Miami Rocks" exhibit, which includes photography and memorabilia from the 1968 event, will be up through September.

   As an added treat, to get to it you walk past the history of Miami's parades which features none other than Coconut Grove's own version of Jimi Hendrix, King Mango.

         After the concert Leon met with his new fans. To the left is King Mango's best friend.


    And you thought Rick Scott was bad? 
Publix is promoting gun-totin', illegals huntin',
NRA lovin', Adam Putnam to be Florida's next governor.
Maybe it's time to give  our business to Trader Joe's.
 My friend, Warren, put together
the information sheet below,  He's with the local chapter
of the Gray Panthers and has been pushing for
social justice here since the 70's.

Publix Just Went All In With the NRA and Bigotry. Parkland Survivor Calls Them Out.

If you live in Florida, you know Publix. It’s a large, regional grocery chain with the overwhelming majority of its stores located here in the Sunshine State. It’s typically more expensive than other grocers, and they don’t do discount cards like other stores. Yet people here don’t mind paying. We didn’t. We shopped there pretty much every other day.
Not anymore.
The Tampa Bay Times reports, the much-loved supermarket, its heirs and past and present leaders are bankrolling the campaign of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam at unprecedented levels.
Florida state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam
No other Florida candidate has ever come close to that kind of subsidy from Florida's largest Fortune 500 company. Its most recent contribution, a $100,000 donation on April 30, was the largest, too, according to the latest campaign finance filings.
The CEO, the director, chairman, and the founder’s family have also made significant personal contributions. 

Simply put: Adam Putnam is a vile human being. First of all, he 
is one of Trump’s loudest backers in hate speech against immigrants. His campaign promotes Trump’s false claim that millions of “illegals” are voting. In fact, on his website, which Publix has helped fund, he asks this fear-mongering question:


Putnam doesn’t care much for legal immigrants, either. 
He fought against bilingual ballots and any type of bilingual assistance at the polls. He voted to make it easier to discriminate by easing restrictions to the Voting Rights Act, and yet supported a “stricter” voter ID law—even though Florida already asks for your driver’s license when you vote.
If you want to get a taste of his racist mindset, look no further than his own video for what Florida “can and will be”: lots of guns and white people. (He even tried to copy Trump’s dog whistle slogan)
This is what our state can be and what our state will be when I'm your Governor! #FloridaFirst
— Adam Putnam (@adamputnam) 6:15 PM - Feb 12, 2018
So yeah, let’s talk about him and the NRA ...
That pro-gun violence group that just declared war on the survivors of the Parkland shooting are strongly behind Putnam, who loves them right back:
The liberal media recently called me a sellout to the NRA. I'm a proud #NRASellout! Sign below if you are, too. 
— Adam Putnam (@adamputnam) 8:27 PM - Jul 25, 2017
Despite our state’s proclivity for mass shootings, Putnam pushes for open-carry. Putnam opposed the most milquetoast changes to Florida’s infamously lose gun laws, such as raising the minimum age to buy a gun—a proposal even Trump supported. He put out a statement opposing a popular bill that would have allowed concealed carry fees to go towards our overburdened trauma centers from all the mass shootings.
The provision also would have allowed people who filed incomplete forms to get a concealed permit regardless.
This provision was buried on the bottom of page 98, between verbiage for oyster harvesting and water vending machines. The bill’s sponsor, Florida Sen. Kelli Stargel, said Adam Putnam personally asked legislators to try to sneak that awful provision into the bill. 
Publix has received quite a bit of backlash for throwing themselves behind Putnam. They even put out a tweet that said they don’t give “financial support” to the NRA. 
They just give a lot of financial support to their puppet politicians.
David Hogg wasn’t having any of that.
Guess I’ll be getting my chocolate chip muffins elsewhere from now on. Common @Publix 
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) 4:32 PM - May 15, 2018
The Orlando Weekly noted that Publix has been supporting him for decades---and Putnam has returned the favor. 
It should be noted that as Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture, Putnam once removed failed Publix health inspections from the public website, and then changed the labeling from a failing grade to "re-inspection required," reports the Times. 
If none of this is enough for you to consider shopping a little less at Publix and a little more at Winn-Dixie, Trader Joe’s, Aldi’s, Whole Foods (which has gotten a lot cheaper since Amazon bought it), or better yet, the Hispanic-owned retailer Sedano’s, I’ll give you one more thing to consider. 
Publix continues to be the key holdout in refusing to join the Fair Food coalition for better wages and working conditions of our impoverished farmworkers. Even freaking Walmart and McDonald’s joined. How exactly can you oppose spending one damn penny extra on a pound of tomatoes but have no problem giving hundreds of thousands to a racist, NRA-lunatic?
The Parkland survivors have made a lot of headway here, and I admire them greatly. It pisses me off to see them undermined by my own grocery store up the road. 
Unfortunately, we have a long fight ahead of us and Florida will continue to be at the top of the list for gun carnage. There will be plenty more makeshift memorials to lay flowers down.
But I will no longer be buying them at Publix. 
If you agree, let them know,
Publix Twitter
Publix Facebook
Phone: 800-242-1227 

   And here's something that our friend, Marya, sent us today:

     Publix has chosen not to join the Fair Food Coalition.  It provides for better wages and working conditions of dangerously impoverished farmworkers. It's a commitment that even Walmart and McDonald’s have made yet Publix chose to donate $650,00 of their profits to pro open gun carry candidate for governor, Adam Putnam. 

    As of today, I have stopped shopping at Publix. 

    Regardless of your political affiliation, I ask you to consider joining me. Across party lines I have many friends and family who agree agree that anti-immigrant vitriol, fear mongering and senseless gun laws are endangering our children and our economy. 
    For non-partisan references on above topics, I share these links,,

Marya Meyer,
Coconut Grove

Sunday, May 6, 2018


        When the sermon ended the art show began at Plymouth Church today. Thirty  artists, young and old, displayed their wooden bowls, 
paintings, and cupcakes to the congregation.

    The North Grove's Uta was there with her assemblage of the unusual.

Wine cork necklace

 Uta's Matchbox Art

I hocked a few fish, snake plants, and painted coconuts.

    Outside antique cars were lazin' in the sun. I was crazy 'bout this 1950 Willys Jeepster.    Unfortunately, my dad had the boring hardtop model. Once our family climbed in after a movie and it would not start. When my father mentioned that the key slot felt funny, we realized we were in a stranger's car.
1939 LaSalle

    After an hour we packed up and went home.  Much of the money made selling Little Shop of Horrors cupcakes
-and everything else- went to support the church's youth summer program.

PS:  In you're looking for painted chicken bones, Uta's the one.

Until the next'n,

Yes, I look a little wacky here but posing with a painted chicken bone can bring out the silly in you.


   The South Grove people's park continues to make progress.  I asked the city manager to help us a month ago.  Emilio Gonzalez approves of our project and said he'd set us up with some decent park benches, the kind that that don't put splinters in your butt.
     Charlie Cinnamon's historic house still stands. Two months ago the City of Miami told the developer/owner  (Andrew Raskin) that he must preserve it.  Raskin responded by suing the City for the right to tear it down.  He wants to replace Charlie's 1919 cottage with a pool for the huge $5 million box he plans to build next to it. He could have the pool, his giant box and Charlie's charming house on the double lot but he says he will not consider it.

    In a world of Raskins we still have flowers. Its raining again and the pink rain lilies have popped up to tell us so.  

    The butterfly garden is thriving as well. Next to it a battle rages between the good native plants and the bad invasives. Neighbors take turns pulling out the snake plants and potato vines. While they are a healthy and green, they behave like fascists plants wanting to smother everything around them.


 The "woods" is a fun place.  We show movies in the clearing next to Charlie's cottage. There's also  tether ball and ping pong

                                                       snake plants 


    But most folks go there to chill, to relax in a rare, cool, green space.  

    The green quiet is what we love most about Charlie's Woods and the park we're building around it. Come visit anytime.  Parking is free and soon, you probably won't even get a splinter in your butt.

NOTE:  The new exhibit on "The Life of Charlie Cinnamon" opens next month at the Jewish Museum on Miami Beach.  It runs through September 19th.

Saturday, May 5, 2018


        Our country is a mess but there's good news.  One by one we are electing new representatives who don't support liars, Trumpcare, or porno queens.  
     And locally, aren't you tired of the Republican dynasties running the show?  Who needs another Corrolo, Diaz-Balart  or Diaz de la Portilla in office? 
     There's an election coming up on May 22 to choose a new district 5 county commissioner.  Francesca and I want you to vote for our talented friend, Eileen Higgins. 
     She is a good person. If you don't live in Eileen's district, please contact your friends who do.  Tell them to "Vote Eileen" today  (voting by mail has started), or, in two weeks.
     She's running for office for the first time but has been active in civic affairs for years.  Francesca  and I met her when the resistance movement rose up after the presidential election.  Right away we thought, "Wouldn't it be great to have this bright, energetic person representing us?".
    We hope you will support our Brickell neighbor.  Eileen is the only Democrat running.  Her district  runs through Little Havana, Brickell, and parts of Miami Beach.  

     Her primary opponent is Republican Alex Diaz de la Portilla. He has more political experience but who needs more of the "same old"?  We need new people, new ideas, and more women representing us. 
     Thousands of people will be receiving their Vote-by-Mail ballots this week. We need to remind them to vote for Eileen if they care about transit, housing affordability, and attracting higher paying jobs.

    We've got to dig ourselves out of this fetid Republican pit. By voting for Eileen Higgins (and telling your friends in her district to do the same),  you've got a shovel in hand.
     Please give her your support.

Sunday, April 29, 2018


      I was honored to be an artist at yesterday's Love Burn, an evening of music, fire, and poetry on the beach at Virginia Key.

    It was a six hour mini-version of the Nevada's annual Burning Man Gathering and an O,Miami Poetry Festival event.

   Like the big one in the desert, there were sculptures and costumed participants. I drew bad portraits, an art form I have perfected over many years.



I enjoyed drawing Sam the best.  His smile was infectious. 

Here's the moment when I handed him his drawing. 

   I love my two-minute chats as I draw new friends. 
    Most had never been to Burning Man and I explained, "See the wings burning behind me? They're three feet tall. At Burning Man they'd rise up thirty feet.  The flames would core a hole in the sky and probably sear your eye brows".
   When I got home l  learned Larry Harvey, the 70-year-old visionary who started Burning Man, had died a few hours earlier. I knew he'd had a stroke three weeks ago. One of his many friends sent this out,
         Larry was never one for labels. He didn’t fit a mold; he broke it with the way he lived his life. He was 100% authentic to his core. For all of us who knew or worked with him, he was a landscape gardener, a philosopher, a visionary, a wit, a writer, an inspiration, an instigator, a mentor, and at one point a taxi driver and a bike messenger. He was always a passionate advocate for our culture and the principles that emanate from the Burning Man experience in the Black Rock Desert.
As he told one of us recently, Larry liked to create “scenes” that made people consider the world in a new way. He was extraordinarily successful at doing just that.
The Burning Man Project has lost our original Founder.

   I've drawn bad portraits in the desert for the last two years. I never had a chance to draw Larry's. If I had, I expect it would have made him smile.