The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 12, 1976 · Page 53
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 53

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 12, 1976
Page 53
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Page 53 article text (OCR)

The Palm Beach Post-Times SUNDAY, DECEMBER 12, 1976 d d CD A fi SECTION Immokalee: Community Made Out of Contrasts MYERS pAlMBj gl IMMOKALEE 32LNAPtts tS' SSSS tout LAUDHDALE By LARRY MLYNCZAK Post Staff Writer IMMOKALEE - Immokalee High School Assistant Principal Henry Jones rubbed his chin and said, "The greatest asset of this town? It would have to be its uniqueness." When asked how well minorities were treated and reacted to in Immokalee, barber Paul Cureton said, "I guess the whites are doing pretty well." Cureton was not attempting to inject humor into the conversation. Whites are in the minority in Immokalee, a town whose population of 5,000 (which rises to 8,000 during the harvest season) is approximately 50 per cent Latin-American, 30 per cent black and 20 per cent white. Immokalee is situated amid farms community has no police The high school building is only 3 and fields of palmetto and other brush trees about 30 miles southeast yfars ld' the elementary and mid-nf Fnrt Mvp 30 milPS nnrthpast of dle schools are relatively modern. 1 1 V '-ti- MnUc IS miloe nnrth r,f the Uin P.r Te3CherS i 15 miles north of the are among the highest paid Naples, Big Cypress Swamp and 10 miles this side of nowhere. in Florida and the dropout rate is declining. Yet school officials admit there are hundreds of youngsters "Everything in life is right here." the sons and daughters of migrant Jones said. "People either love it or workers and illegal aliens who do not attend school at all. hate it. Nobody is neutral." Most of the area's jobs involve V Mr "Vy ; Immokalee (pronounced Im-mock- agriculture and are plentiful during a-lee) is the home of millionaires, middle-class people, small-farm tne narvest ana planting seasons, owners, migrant workers, hundreds But as many as lm residents are on welfare, and winos. The northern unemployed during the summer section of the community is made up months. of ranch-style homes on beautifully .... , . , landscaoed lawns. The southern sec- ords. su?h as. mer and sPlck unn ic n f fho . wetback and honky are heard tion is made of the most up run occasionally. But residents of all races and nationalities say Immokalee is free of racial strife. V 2 down slum imaginable. It has a new health clinic, but no hospital. Collier County has a Sheriff's Office in Immokalee, but the Pilot Brown: 'You Can Take the Ugliest Place on Earth, and in Aerial Photograph It Looks Beautiful' Turn to IMMOKALEE, C4 1 ' . . ' , V -' h ' . ' . Vxt .-A--, an. l i i I '.rf'- .A ' i ; Scott McClennithan (above) uses headphones provided for Be-thune School by federal aid. Collier County stockade guard C.W. Miller (right) says, 'We don't have anybody to fight for Immokalee. We send money to Naples and it never finds its way back. We have nine school buses and one spare tire for all of them. If a bus breaks down, we don't even have a tow chain to pull it in with.' Cfb C';VvV pi;-' Ovl,, HMMMBMlHMHlHHKi jfatflfalHfetfiriii ffiMgWiiafeA' M ill! IHIMIilll Ml HUM I IliUMUll till K s AMMM -M4 v r.. i On the town's growing CB grapevine, Helen Long (far left) is known as Georgia Sunshine. Bob Sullivan, 'Big Q (left) has been in Immokalee 16 years and believes the town, 'needs to be let alone to be cut loose from Naples.' "i LJ2 Staff Photos By Ken Steinhoff Touring Gold Coast by Bike: Once-in-Decade Thrill ( 0ls ml Ron Wiggins 7 would die down, even reverse itself. I heard God laugh. "On your left," a voice behind me said. Sure enough, to my left a string of riders passed, hunched over their turned-under handlebars. Purposeful people these lean and rangy like their bicycles, wearing bike helmets and the long shorts that protect the inner thigh from chafing on the seat. 1 figured out the latter by myself since my own legs were raw because my tennis shorts were too short. If only to have company for a little while, I picked up my pace for a mile or two and noticed something I didn't like my legs twinged from the effort, my breath came faster and sweat trickled into my eyes. Here it was Sunday morning and I was working. Turn to WIGGINS, C6 vous. Several others had jumped the gun, I was told, but in any case the event was a nonsponsored grass-roots sort of thing and Fort Lauderdale was that-a-way, so I vaulted onto my 10-speed Sekine and rode south on Flagler. So it happened that what I hoped to be a group experience would be a solo venture, the very thing I wanted to avoid. Those ahead of me were long gone and from the look of those who were taking their bikes from their car racks, I could expect to eat their dust any second as they swooped by. My only chance of companionship, so it seemed to me, was to ride to Boca Raton, about 25 miles via A1A, turn around and perhaps ride with any eager beavers who began the 100-mile Fort Lauderdale loop at daybreak and were finishing. A stiff tailwind literally pushed me down Flagler to Southern Boulevard ,where I I could ride my bike 100 miles or 50 miles, the poster said. It was up to me. Just show up at 8 a.m. Sunday at Currie Park and pedal off with others on "The Gold Coast Bicycle Tour." As far as I was concerned, the poster could have offered a free workout on the rack, 5 hours or 10 hours, just report to the dungeon. I say this because I once rode 100 miles in a day and it was torture. If I'm going to suffer, give me 50 miles. So why ride a bicycle 50 miles if I don't like it? The fact is, I overdid a bad thing on my last excursion. Riding 100 miles across Central Florida in 95-degree heat, 1 reasoned, could be very different from a leisurely spin down the coast on a balmy December day. "I'll try the 50 miles," I thought, and I drove to Currie Park on Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach at the appointed time only to find a half-dozen cyclists at the rendez crossed the bridge to Palm Beach, turned south on Ocean Drive and pedaled beneath the arcade of palms lining perhaps the most beautiful stretch of road in this world. Five minutes later, I broke out of the shroud of evergreen semi-tropic vegetation and came upon the Atlantic, brilliant blue to the east and bursting aqua-green on the shore. With the stiff northerly breeze behind me, pedaling was an afterthought and I probably averaged 18 m.p.h. in eighth gear. Soon the Lake Worth Pier was behind me and I was in Condominium Land where tanned and happy northerners waved cheerily as they burned their recreation leases. "This tailwind is too good to be true," I thought. "There has to be a catch." Then I remembered that at some point I had to turn around and pedal back. Of course, there was always the possibility the wind

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