For the last two decades, the brilliant lunatics who run the King Mango Strut parade have been a happy little family. Their meetings -- which were speckled with old hippie types -- felt more like a showcase of standup comedy than a community planning board. Strutters sometimes had to hoop-jump for the city, but they never let The Man bring them down too far.
Now the family is going through an awkward divorce. Founder Glenn Terry and Treasurer Antoinette Baldwin are in a tug of war over the future of the Coconut Grove-based satirical march.
Terry says Baldwin refuses to sign checks unless the Strut becomes a big, cooperate monster parade. And Baldwin counters that she won't sign them because Terry used the Strut's fund to trademark the shindig under his name.
They have both hired lawyers. "She's like a pitbull," says Terry. "If we don't find a way out of this, we won't have another Strut."
Counters Baldwin: "He's just throwing shit out there to see if it sticks." She laughs darkly and adds, "If I sound irritated, it's because I am."
Glenn Terry and a friend founded the parade back in eighties, as an alternative to the Orange Bowl. He's now a third grade teacher and columnist for the Miami Herald. After Terry's co-founder died, Balwin began to help with the organizing. The Cuban-american -- who last year marched as Sarah Palin -- was enthusiastic and good at the job. Eventually the pair registered King Mango Strut as a two-member corporation.
Then they began to clash. Terry says her vision for the parade changed, so he trademarked it in order to keep creative control. Baldwin went to a lawyer.
On January 12, attorney Francisco J. Ferreiro wrote Baldwin a letter. "It is our opinion that King Mango Strut, Inc., not Glenn Terry as an individual is the rightful owner of "The King Mango Strut."' (To date, no lawsuits have been filed.)
Terry got a lawyer, too. Last week, he wrote Baldwin an e-mail he calls "a peace agreement." In it, he asked her to "Bury the hatchet and hold each other harmless for past deeds and Actions."
The truce hasn't happened yet.
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