Best Local Legend Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach 2011 - Mickey Clean
In the gritty spring-break bars by the beach in Fort Lauderdale, they call him a "fixture," a "landmark," the man who comes around to put all the regulars in a cheery mood. In what seems like another life, he taught art at Harvard and fronted one of the country's first punk bands. But now he roams these bars. For a dollar or two, he draws delightfully crude caricatures in crayon. Hundreds, maybe thousands of Mickey Clean's drawings dot the walls of drinking establishments all over town. Perhaps more than anybody, though, Mickey personifies this part of Fort Lauderdale: He's a bit dirty and vulgar but also a special kind of charming, and he's as reliable as the morning tide. He offers his artistic services and a moment of companionship to the happy and the sad alike, to the tourists and the locals, to the drunk and the sober, to the lost and the wayward. He isn't beloved by all, and he won't be around forever, but we're lucky to have him while we do.