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Thursday, November 26, 2015

TRAVEL, Around the block or around the world, either one works

Sometimes I am asked, "Why do you like to travel so much?"
This article from the Journal of Consumer Psychology answers that.  

We think because our brand new TV will last longer than a cruise to Bermuda, that the happiness we felt at purchasing the TV lasts longer, too. Unfortunately, that isn't the case.
"One of our enemies of happiness is adaption," says Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University who's been researching the correlation between money and happiness for decades. "We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed, but only for a little while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them."
Because our new TV is right there, it makes it easier for us to adapt to it. But slowly, it starts to fade into the background as an electronic wallflower of our lives. Trips we took, and experiences we've had, start to become part of our identities.
Think about it: Which had a greater impact on you -- that video game you got as a kid, or the family vacation you took to Greece? You know, the trip with stories that can still make you and your siblings laugh when reminiscing.
"Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods,"

said Gilovich in the study "A Wonderful Life: Experiential Consumption and the Pursuit of Happiness," published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


      We get a new city commissioner today. Ken Russell gets sworn in at noon.  We have high hopes that he'll help us preserve what we love about Coconut Grove... the village charm, our old buildings, and a certain sense of community.
     He seems to be heading in the right direction. In the last two weeks I've seen him laughing at a concert, riding his bike on the Mystery History Tour, and playing a ukulele rather well.

     Ken Russell (dark glasses) presented with the Key to the Mango Republic last week
    He won't be making decisions that please everyone but if he listens to us and keeps an open mind, that will probably be enough. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015


     God smiled on King Mango  last Sunday. She held off the rain long enough for us to pull off the 2015 King Mango Strut on Wheels.  It was called "The Magical Mystery History Tour".   (Photo above by Steve Parr) 
75 of us rode bicycles merrily through the Grove and South Miami.  
Bicycle pioneers Wilson Larkins and Kirk Munroe were special guests.  

Wanting to be more like them, most of us grew mustaches.
 Our Grand Marshall, Herb, even grew a mustache on top of his mustache. 

    Before we got rolling, I presented keys to the Mango Republic to our three poitical friends attending, Phil the mayor, "X-man" the county commissioner, and our new city commish, Ken.  (photo by Lolly)

 Grove musical legend Bobby Ingram stepped out of his bungalow to give words of advice to our new Miami commissioner, Ken Russell.  

Down the street Herb Hiller and Charlie Cinnamon -founders of the Grove's Goombay Festival and the Coconut Grove Art Festival- waved as we glided by. 

 Commodore Ralph Munroe told us about his historic home, the Barnacle, now a state park. I'm not identifyin' the bugle-blowin' fish head.  

Our tour guide led us up Stewart Avenue to visit the Marjory Stoneman Douglas house. When the Mother of the Everglades died in 1998 (at the age of 108) she left it to the state.  It sits forgotten, unknown, and unloved, the residence of a park ranger.      (4 photos above by Elvis Cruz)

 Here I am telling everyone about my neighbor, John Lilly.  The neuroscientist (and Tim Leary's best buddy) kept a dolphin in his backyard swimming pool.

  The guy with the mango tree sprouting out of his head is Ken Russell, the Grove's new city commissioner.  It's about time we had someone working for us with a sense of humor.

Our parade was like a circus on wheels.

Gina's dolphin bike had a sound system made it sing like our oceanic friend.

 Ocean scientist John Barimo was over the top as ever.

  King Mango's Mystery History Tour ended at the University Metrorail station where were were greeted with coffee and bagels.  

 Whoopee.  It was fun! 

I'd like to thank everyone who dared the rain last Sunday to make our latest King Mango event a big success.


Thursday, November 12, 2015


    Wilson Larkins is back in Coconut Grove. 120 years ago he would pass through delivering fresh milk by bicycle. His dairy farm was just south of Cocoplum Circle.

 His friend, Kirk Munroe, has returned as well. The popular late-1800's writer started our country's first national bicycle association.

These two bicycle heroes will be honored in the Grove's bicycle parade on Sunday, Nov. 15. 
"The Magical Mystery History Tour", will be lead by me (Glenn Terry).  I'd like everybody to to wear costumes, decorate their bikes, and bring the loudest boom box you can find. It'll be like the Strut on wheels. 

The bike parade will first gather in Kirk Munroe Park at 9:00 a.m. (the tennis facility next to Coconut Grove Elementary), begin at 9:15,  and wind up in South Miami.  There will be a bike decorating workshop in the park earlier, from 8:30 to 9 a.m.
    The tour will visit many of the Grove's historical sites including the Barnacle, Plymouth Church, and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas House. 
      Playing the role of Mr. Larkins will the enthusiastic Danny Lovett.  
Danny owns the popular bike shop, "Revolution" on Main Highway.  


North Grove bike enthusiast, Murry Sill, has taken on the role of Kirk Munroe. 
It's a perfect match as both men have amazing mustaches. 

Commodore Ralph Munroe (Alyn Pruett) will be greeting us at his home, The Barnacle, on Main Highway.  Kirk Munroe's wife, conservationist Mary Barr, will be portrayed by Grove attorney, Yvonne Grassie.

     The tour is free, sponsored by Bike Coconut Grove and the Mango Republic.  It is a part of
"Wheels", a five-day bicycle festival which begins this week.  For more Wheels information go to their website, .     (above, our six-mile route)
 To learn more about the Grove bike tour, contact me at .  

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

It's Veterans Day

   I'm never sure what to say when someone wishes me a "Happy Veterans Day".  It's hard to be happy or smile with images of war fog my head.

    There are better ways to convey our appreciation for those who served. The West Grove does it with an annual parade.

   A small contingent marches six blocks to the old Grove cemetery. 

  After songs are sung and thankful words are said  


everyone goes home. 

As I left I stopped to chat with the Richmond Heights Middle School band director, Leslie Cooper. 
Her marching band had just played their hearts out in 88 degree heat


The Grove resident told me about her struggles to keep her kids in lessons, uniforms, and instruments.    I thanked her and promised to donate my spare trumpet.


Sunday, November 8, 2015


Save the date: Sunday, Nov. 15, 9 a.m.  

Months ago I was asked to 

create a unique bike ride for a major South Florida event,

Sunday, November 1, 2015


      Yesterday's preparations for Halloween went as usual. Our neighbors on Irvington Avenue had decorated yards and 



and were putting skeletons into a blue car that asked, 


"How do you know
your next Uber driver won't be a zombie?"


We prepared on Palmetto Avenue as well. Francesca put out our pumpkin, 


     I hung Mr. Bones,



and placed the palm tree from Hell next to the gate.


Our cat did her part adding a  
dead mouse to the mix. 

  As twilight faded we took seats next to our candy table and waited. 
   Kids are rare on our two-block street. We were the only house of 28 celebrating the holiday. The rest were locked up and dark.

      Finally, around 7:30, we saw our first customers, a mother pushed a wheelchair up Palmetto Hill (our street has a slight incline).  Her son sat dressed in a hospital gown.  The kid's legs must have been tucked inside the seat somehow. His lower legs were bloody stumps.

     When I asked cheerfully, "What happened to you?" he replied, "Diabetes. Too much sugar. They had to amputate my feet".  
     I gave him an entire bag of Snickers hoping he would quickly go away.

     Ten minutes later a couple stopped by with their young gothic princess.  Francesca inquired, "And which Disney character are you?"  
    We we taken aback when the little girl began to speak. Her teeth were black,rotten stumps. With a heavy lisp she told us she was a future Tim Burton movie character that will strike terror into the heart of Big Sugar.
    When we offered her candy she sneered, "Don't feed me that crap. There are perfect teeth behind my fake ones. I aim to keep them that way". 
We gave her the apples we had been saving for ourselves.

    As the angry princess left the Fat Family approached in stretch golf cart. The five of them began singing the holiday refrain, "Oh give us some figgy pudding!". They did it three times before adding, "but chocolate will do!". 
  Each wore placards that read things like, "Running up health costs like there's no tomorrow!", "Keeping doctors busy" and "Michelle Obama's worst nightmare".  We poured all of our remaining Hershey's kisses into their bulging bags as they accelerated off.

     We were ready to bail when we saw another group approaching. Three teenagers were pushing a young, unconscious man lying on a gurney. Assuming he was in a diabetic coma we yelled, "We're outta here!", jumped inside our locked gate, and ran.

    Halloween is too scary for us now. Next year we're going to be like our neighbors.  We will chain the gate, turn out the lights and watch TV in the back bedroom. If kids egg our house, fine, at least they'll be getting some exercise. 

(Another Version)

       The scenario  above is true or a least, somewhat true.  I kept it real up to the part about the amputee .

       Francesca and I miss the kids' holiday that was stolen by parents, big business  and belief in urban mythology.  
Still, we try to orchestrate our own simple version.  We put out decorations then
fill a bowl with things that do not cause diabetes, obesity. or tooth decay.  This year it was jack'o'lantern tangerines and sunflower seeds.

      A dozen costumed kids came by.  Most were nice enough but others, like the rude young Batman, looked at our offerings and asked,
 "So where's the candy?" .

   We tried to explain but he wasn't having any of it. 

It was like talking to a pumpkin.



     One of the coolest things about my art teacher job is that, at times, I get to be a kid again.  On a good day, being surrounded by thirty 10-year-olds can do that to you.
                    Mr. Terry, surrounded by his students

    I've always made my own Halloween costumes.  When I was eleven I donned a yellow raincoat, poked two holes in a box and put it over my head.  Instant robot.

 I did the same thing with my students this week.  Our school cafeteria's food comes in boxes; they toss out dozens everyday. We turn them into masks.

   After we completed them we had a robot parade walking stiffly around Winston Park Elementary. 

   We had a happy Halloween.  I hope you do too.