Celebrating the King Mango Strut

We have a parade in our little village each year called the King Mango Strut. The last Sunday of each year the town comes out and we parody everything that’s gone on during the year – local things, politics, etc. I write the daily news for our town called the Coconut Grove Grapevine, and nine years ago, the Grapevine was one of the things parodied as the “Gripevine” – since people always felt we were constantly griping about things, here’s a little of that here.

Anyway, here is some of this past Sunday’s 37th annual King Mango Strut.

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Godspeed, Laverne

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When some famous people die, it’s like a family member passed. I don’t know why, but they are such a big part of our lives, it feels like that. That’s how it is with Penny Marshall. She was a part of the family.

From what I see on tv, on social media and from friends, I can see many people felt the same.  Chuck Todd on Meet the Press Daily, quoted a few lines from the “Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated,” theme yesterday. He didn’t say what they were, he just used them in sentences.  He said, “Give us any chance – we’ll take it Read us any rule – we’ll break it,” and that was it. Later on he said, “There is nothing we won’t try.” He just fit it into a sentence. It was his way of paying tribute, because it meant something to him.

I remember the first episode of Laverne and Shirley. I was a kid, it was 1976 and I was on the floor of our family room on our orange shag carpet. Just as the show was starting, on a Tuesday night after Happy Days at 8:30 pm, my father entered the house with my grandparents who he had just picked up from the airport, they had come down for a visit – they entered just as the show theme song started! I’m not sure what happened after that. Did I ignore them to watch Laverne and Shirley? Probably not, but talk about the worst timing.

Charles Addams; mysterious and spooky

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Charles Addams posing with a mural he painted that once hung in a Hamptons hotel. (Look magazine Library of Congress)

The Long Island Press has a nice feature on cartoonist Charles Addams. I didn’t realize there was a Long Island Press. When I was a kid I delivered the Long Island Press newspaper. I like seeing Long Island Press stretched across the monitor, sort of like the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, which has also been reborn as a website. You can read the original Brooklyn Daily Eagle online, the digitally scanned pages are here. The Long Island Press is also printed monthly. I’m in Long Island often, I’ll have to look for it.

I love the names of newspapers. Some I don’t get, like the Hartford Courant and the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

An outtake from the article on Charles Addams says, “When he was 12, a New York Herald newspaper cartoonist said he was untalented and should forget his dream of an art career.” I had a similar experience from one of the syndicate heads, I’m way more than 12 years old now, but it’s interesting how great artists (Addams, not me) are usually turned down until their time comes. How many times was Charles Schulz turned down? 80?

Being told I can’t, makes me work harder to prove that I can, which seems to be the case with Addams and Schulz.

I always liked tv shows based on comics and comic strips, it wasn’t a deliberate thing, but I realize that I love The Addams Family, Hazel and Dennis the Menace, to name a few. Whenever I see them on tv, I stop to watch.

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The Peanuts gang singing

Here are a couple of great videos of the Peanuts gang performing famous songs. This is so good. The one above is “La Grange” by ZZ Top and the one below is Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and below that is “Barracuda” by Heart.

You can see a bunch of them here, at YouTube.

Lots of superhero cosplayers

Day two of New York Comic Con was a madhouse, there were more people than I think I have ever seen before over the years. The weekend will probably be nuts!

I noticed many super heroes this year – lots of Spider-man cosplayers and lots of Batman, there was Superman and their villains, too. Lots of color. Lots of fun.