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Sunday, June 29, 2014


    I've been teaching art for 25 years and one of our annual projects is making masks.  The kids and I use cardboard and paper mache to create magic.  I put some of theirs on the blog a few months ago.

  Sometimes I make masks myself to show 'em how its done.  
   There are so many in the attic now I thought it'd be fun to photograph and share them with you. 
A few of my students were kind enough to model.
A tip o' the hat to them. 
Here it is, 

         "Glenn's Incredible Mask Collection".

    My fish masks led Wynwood's King Mango Strut parade four years ago.

 This one's fishy too. 
It doubles as a bike helmet.

     I wore this
in February's Grassroots Festival parade.  My wings were painted palm fronds.

 I'm still working on Monkey Man. It'll take a few more hours to complete.

 I spent weeks making  Bonehead. The idea was to make a wearable skull so cool I'd want  to wear every Halloween.   I've done just that for eighteen years.


 Sometimes the results are surprising.  I created this one for my three-year-old son, Dylan, 25 years ago.  I thought he'd be the cutest thing wearing it.
   He wasn't. No one wearing it is.  
It scares people.  Every time.

    Such is the power of masks.  Mine are simply crazy ideas mixed with newspapers, paint, and glue.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Myakka River

       When school's out teachers begin to wander.  It helps us clear our heads before they call us back to work.  Francesca and I travelled the Central Florida loop last week.                                     

                                                       We stopped in
Clyde Butcher's Gallery in the Great Cypress Swamp.   It's a collection of  fantastic photographs 
depicting South Florida's vanishing wilderness.  The largest ones cost as much as a Lexis but heck, they're really good and they're signed by Clyde himself.  
   The ski'toes were too thick for the swamp walk out back.   
 We loved the gallery's tri t-shirt..
 Moving on,

    We toured Everglades City, a charming fishing far from everything.  It had funk but not enough to allow us to bring our dog into their restaurants.   We picnicked instead staying one step ahead of the ski'toes.


                                                         Everglades City  Crab traps

We visited friends on the coast, south of Sarasota.  One morning Ellen the turtle lady answered my question, "How wide are the turtle tracks you find?".   She finds them every morning this time of year and she marks the nests.

    Every evening we settled on the beach to watch the western sky.

 One morning Ward and I set off to explore what seemed like a relatively uncharted four miles of beach wilderness.
    It was fun and quite adventurous except for the numerous times my partner checked our exact satellite position on his phone.  


We occasionally found enough shade to stop and rest.   The waves were a luxurious gold, yellow-brown with seaweed.

    Trudging north we felt great, like barefoot mailmen.  When we finally reached civilization Francesca was there to drive us home. 

   The next day we headed east stopping to see Myakka State Park.
                                                                               Myakka  River

Afterwards we noticed a graceful shell-shape on the horizon.  It was center of a new national cemetery.       Thousands of soldiers are buried there already with room for many, many more.

In Lake Wales we visited with family and my mother.  Five years ago we put her ashes under this oak just south of The Singing Tower.


We lowered my older brother's casket into a grave west of town back in '07.  After the ceremony we noticed a guy on bulldozer waiting.  After we left he was going to shove dirt into the hole.  Seeing three shovels on his rig I asked him to let us bury my brother.  Kindly, he complied.
Later he added that the local Mexicans citrus workers fill their graves the same way.  
   We're back in kooky Coconut Grove now where mangoes are falling like rain.  We're packing them away and packing a few more as we prepare for next adventure.   
 Happy summer!
Fresh picked today

Sunday, June 15, 2014


           I have been attending Plymouth Congregational Church for many years.  The Grove's largest church has been without a "senior pastor" for the last two years, since Tom Niblock retired.  Today, the church announced that they have finally found a new leader for the historic congregation.

   The Reverend Alvin Bunis, Jr. of Brooklyn, NY, will be the top dog at Plymouth beginning in October.

    "Reverend Al" graduated from Harvard in 1979 and like many classmates, headed for Wall Street. In his last twelve years there he was a VP with one of its largest investment houses. 
    Apparently he discovered there was more to life than making money.  His changed seriously when he entered New York Theological Seminary.  He earned a Masters of Divinity degree in 2011. He's been ministering in Brooklyn ever since.
    His church bio lists his interests as civic work, tennis, basketball, and blues-based rock music (especially The Allman Brothers).   I don't know if we'll be rockin' at Plymouth next fall but it will be good to see new blood there.

   The new pastor is married with two kids. Wife Lyn is extremely talented as well having earned an MBA at Wharton School.  She works at a large private school in Brooklyn.

   Always in need of a shaman, I went to church twice this morning.   After the Plymouth service I headed over to St. Paul's on Douglas.  My son, Dylan (of ), had donated an edible community garden and they asked him to speak. 



  Afterwards we gathered around the collection of veggies and herbs.  The garden was dedicated to a church member who had recently departed, Mr. Louis Washington. 
    The Everglades tomatoes were ripe. I ate several and passed on the rest.

        Yesterday we attended the opening of Museum Park.     

 The controversy over David
Beckham's proposed stadium has died. The Coast Guard's incredible tall ship, "Eagle", was anchored where David had hoped to place it.

   The ship's deck was as long as a soccer field.  Maybe Beckham and his buddies would like to play there. 

   One of the coolest things about our new park is the number of huge trees moved to this previously barren land. 
The propped-up ancient oaks are magnificent.    

 That's all the news from Palmetto Avenue.         

 Happy Fathers Day,

Thursday, June 12, 2014


      A neighbor poked his head in our door last week and asked, "Are you still selling mango shirts?"

We laughed and said, "Yes".  I guess we're not the best about getting the word out about our fledgling t-shirt business.   

The Mango Republic store is online and always open.  You can step inside by typing, .
This being mango season, we're getting more orders than usual and Sunday being Father's Day, we wanted to tell you "Yes" too.

    Last month friends sent us a photo of them wearing what they described as their 
"favorite shirts".
 They were visiting a Nicaraguan volcano and it was nice to see our creations on vacation.    
Inline image 1 

Enjoy your vacation, Fathers Day, and another spectacular mango season.

From the Mango Republic,

        Glenn & Francesca

Note:  A special thanks to our models: Paula, Alvaro, Dylan and the two mangoes at the top.  They are the first from our new mango tree.  The variety?  A "Glenn" of course!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


      The twelve year wait is almost over. This Saturday, June 14,  Museum Park on Biscayne Bay will finally open.  Come join us at this grand affair from 10 to 4 pm.  It's the beautiful new public space between the Heat Arena and the Perez Art Museum. 

     You probably know that David Beckham & Co. want to build a soccer stadium in the middle of our $30 million park and boat basin.  Being there will increase your resolve to oppose this lame-brained scheme.
 While visiting you can climb hills, loll in the sun and tour the Coast Guard's magnificent tall ship, "The Eagle".  It will be docked in the boat basin, the one that soccer star wants to fill (more room for his stadium!)   
Bring a picnic, your bike, and perhaps a Frisbee.

    Public officials will be there as well (they love to be seen at "openings").  When you see them, tell them that you don't want our parks cluttered with concrete monsters.

     You can park on the street or at the Perez Museum for two buck an hour.  Metromover takes you there as well.     Being June's second Saturday, you can enjoy the museum for free while you're visiting the park next door. 

       It's important.  We've waited twelve years.  Come enjoy Museum Park.

Good News!-  Two hours after I published this Miami's mayor reversed his position on Beckham's proposed stadium.  He issued a statement saying he now thinks Museum Park and its boat basin is an "inappropriate site" for this.  A majority of the public is against it (this week's Miami Herald poll) as well. 
HOORAY.  Sometime we win one. 
It's time for DB's investment group to move on to a better place to play the world's most popular sport in Miami.   

We hope you enjoy our new park on Saturday.