The Legend of
LUMPY SUE

oN THE DAY AFTER a fine Thanksgiving in the early
1960s, a fat Massachusetts cop named Officer
Obie slid into his police cruiser and set out to
investigate a malicious pile of irritating garbage
which, according to an eyewitness, had been
dumped on state land by a band of hung over
hippies. Using his sharp but rural detective
skills, Obie would conclude his investigation on
that very day by pulling his .38 on a skinny litter-
bug named Arte Guthrie, earning himself in the
process a lengthy stay in folksong history.
Although the fact is little known, one of the
people who helped Arlo pick up that stank
Thanksgiving garbage went by the name of
Lumpy Sue. In a 60s sort of way, she became
radicalized on the spot as she cursed and
scooped the end products of our consumerist
society. Her consciousness continued to evolve
through the disco and punk eras, and she evenĚ
tually became an underground folk hero in her
own right without ever really explaining the
origins of the nickname "Lumpy." The hippest
people in the country have long passed down
the tales of her late night conversations with the
ghost of Joe Hill, how she nursed to proper
health thousands of orphaned children at
Chernoble, and her heroic rescue of seven
dolphins enslaved by navy scientists. In those
olden times, back before it was illegal for miners
to buy spray paint, her fans went to a lot of trou-
ble to scrawl her name on highway overpasses,
often right below "Clapton is God.
Lumpy Sue came to North Miami Beach in
1982 where she was instrumental in founding, in
her own selfless and historical way, the annual
acoustic music fest in Greynolds Park which
appropriately bears her name. The event will be
held for the umpteenth time this year on theFriday,
after Thanks Giving, and will feature many sched-
uled musicians and Open Mic performers who
will take the stage to carry on the standards set
by Lumpy Sue. There's a rumor that Sue herself
is coming to the gig if she can pull herself away
from her gourmet health food store and soup
kitchen in Fort Myers.