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Cocaine Cowboy loves Wynwood Art

Amidst the throngs of street artists and their admirers filling the surreal gardens of Wynwood Walls on Tuesday night was another kind of street veteran - Mickey Munday, who became famous (or notorious) in the Miami documentary "Cocaine Cowboys" as a pilot who transported coke for the infamous Pablo Escobar in the '80s. A uniquely Miami guy at a uniquely Miami party. "I never stopped having fun," said Munday, who sports flowing white hair and a wide-brimmed hat, surveying the chattering crowd. A projection on one wall at the party read "Fear Less," but Munday didn't need that instruction. He called running cocaine to Miami "millions of times" and serving jail time as part of his enriching experiences. Now he's got other ways to enjoy himself. "I love Wynwood. They encouraged graffiti - that's smart." Fun used to include designing super lightweight kevlar boats to run more coke more quickly and telling Escobar he was "stupid" for not maximizing his shipping schedule ("four guys left the room when I said that.").

Former cocaine cowboy Mickey Monday and artist partner Maurizio Raponi at Wynwood Walls Tuesday night.

Now it means more creative activities, like making the "Love Lock" park next to his North Miami home, where people put padlocks dedicated to love, and using his welding skills to make metal sculptures. Munday was at Wynwood Walls with Maurizio Raponi, an artist and metal shop owner who is his partner in the Star Gallery, on 71st Street in the Little River district - a good fit for the industrial area turning trendy art destination. "You're supposed to get old and not do things," said Munday. "Back then I had money to do what I wanted. Now I have time on my hands. I don't have a job, and I'm older than dirt. When the cake comes out, they can't fit enough candles on it, so they just set the whole cake on fire."

Jordan Levin