stat counter

Saturday, March 11, 2017


       I have visited most of the little-known, kitschy tourist attractions in the book "Weird Florida".  I've witnessed the dancing mermaids of Weekee-Wachee Springs, The Singing Tower, and Miami's own Coral Castle. What I never expected was to discover a "new" off-beat landmark myself.


 Last Tuesday I joined the picket line outside Senator Marco Rubio's Miami office.  I met a woman there who asked, "Our group is going inside to meet with the senator's assistant. Would you like to join us?" I eagerly accepted and headed there at the appointed time.

      Rubio's office is inside a big blue building on NW 36th Street, a half-block from 45's golf course. Signs clearly state that it is the world headquarters of the American Welding Society. I was impressed to walk in and see a wall filled with 95 portraits of the society's past presidents. 

They were etched on metal plates, possibly with tiny welding torches.

       In the middle of the grand entrance to our senator's office was an impressive brown statue of a goggled man about to join two pieces of metal together. This, I later learned, was the Tomb of the Unknown Welder.

The glass doors on the right lead to Senator Rubio's office.

 A security guard filled me in,
  In 1986 a building under construction collapsed in Sarasota, Florida. Many people were injured and unfortunately, one was killed. It turned out that he was an undocumented immigrant, highly skilled in the welding trade. He had been working using an alias so his true identity could never be verified.  

   He now kneels for eternity just outside Senator Rubio's office. While the senator supports kicking people like him out of the country, The Unknown Welder isn't going anywhere.

Note:  a few alternative facts may have been used to create  this story.  I could not verify the security guard's identity either.  
    This fake news thing can be lots of fun but surprisingly, the story below is real. 


    On Tuesday, -while I was picketing- a Miami defense attorney's pants burst into flames. Steven Gutierrez, 28, was defending an accused arsonist. As he  was making his final argument before a jury alleging "spontaneous combustion", the lawyer's right pant pocket caught on fire. The attorney survived but his client did not. He was was found guilty of intentionally setting his car ablaze. 
   Gutierrez blamed the incident on a faulty e-cigarette. 
They don't call us Flori-duh for nothin'.  

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


    Sunday's art show is what  every community should have, small events that get us out of the house, places to enjoy our friends, music, and the sun peeking through the oaks. Yes, there was a good bit of art on Gifford Lane too but that's what it took to make it happen.
                                          Uta with egg carton

My softball buddy, Hank, wore his 21-year old KMStrut t-shirt.  It praised the City of Miami 's 1996 Telethon, "Give So Others Can Take".  Note: I am pointing at the shirt (not giving it "the finger".

     It's the Grove's greatest party filled with creativity and color. And the cucumber punch?  Thirty-five bottles of gin were drained in four hours. Few drank too much and the proceeds went to charity.
I sold six fish, some Mango Republic t-shirts, and Dave Villano actually walked away with that crazy cat sculpture. 


I retired last June and miss my 


The beautiful Toledo sisters      former students.  Some came to visit and it was a joy to see them again.
  Maanas Daswani will be my primary care physician someday

  The five-hour festival made thousands of people happy in Coconut Grove last Sunday. We need 
more creative, non-commercial, punch-filled events like this. Life is too dull without them.

Friday, March 3, 2017


     People talk about "The Old Grove" and how great it used to be here. They refer to the slow-paced village of the past where people paid more attention to each other than they do to their cell phones now. 
   There were many more artists in Coconut Grove then. Some would painting plein-air in the shade of ancient oaks that Grove developers now cut down daily
    You can find this  magic again on Sunday. It  happens once a year on an oak-shaded block in the Center Grove.  It's the Gifford Lane Art Stroll and it will take place on March 5th (Sunday) from noon to five p.m.
    Why not come and see what all the fuss is about?
    There will be sixty artist selling their wares plus four live bands, and some serious hula-hooping. This is the 19th year for one of the Grove's best kept secrets.  I've been in the show since '2002

   This time I'll be selling my usual fish,

Tattooed Wahoo

 Uta gave me a gourd six months ago and said, "This seems right up your ally".

and this amazing new sculpture, "The Screaming Skeletal Cat From Hell".  He screams, chatters his jaws nervously and everyone spending $25 or more (for the cat and anything else) will get a free beer. 

    I will also draw portraits badly for anyone who will fork over a dollar.  Sharpee tattoos? $2.  Four designs, no waiting (unless I happen to be drawing on someone else's arm when you ask).

    You probably know that I left the country after November's election.  I now reside in The Mango Republic. It's leader is a mango (not a bozo) and at Sunday's stroll I will be selling my new nation's t-shirts. 

      Francesca will be there too selling her scrumptious banana bread. Sales benefit St. Albans Day Care Center.  

    It's all good fun and I hope you can join us as we party in the Old Grove on Gifford Lane this Sunday afternoon. We'll be in booth #1 across from the tennis courts.
Location:  Gifford Lane is just east of SW 32 Ave. and parallel to it (running north and south).  It is two blocks north of Grand Ave.
Ride a bike, walk, or park where ever you can.