Twice-Told Tale

The Student News Site of Lake Highland Preparatory School

Twice-Told Tale

Twice-Told Tale

One County: A World of Cultures

Sarah Finfrock
(Above) The founding of Belle Glade is rooted in the richness of its fertile ground. The city’s official slogan, “Her Soil is Her Future,” nods to the Earth’s gift to the Glades. The Glades Area (including Belle Glade, Pahokee, and South Bay) earned the moniker of the “Winter Vegetable Capital of the United States,” during World War II. Its farms supplied canned and frozen vegetables (harvested partially by German prisoners of war) in the winter months when the rest of the country suffered from extreme freezes. Today, the focus has shifted from winter crops to sugar cane. U.S. Sugar Corporation now runs the town. Every breath you take in Belle Glade reminds you of their presence. A slightly sweet, burnt smell lingers around town, as a core aspect of the Glades’ identity. A standard practice in the industry is field burning before harvest to remove excess brush, sending large plumes of smoke into the air. Despite this, air quality remains relatively high in the populated areas of town.

Palm Beach and Belle Glade, Florida share one similarity: their official jurisdiction of Palm Beach County, but this is the extent of their similarities. The city of Palm Beach is the wealthiest city in the state of Florida. It’s known for its glitzy estates and Gilded Age developments. The town is overrun by wealthy New York transplants looking to escape skyhigh tax rates (cough, cough Donald Trump). On the West end of Palm Beach County, lies three of the top five poorest cities in Florida: Pahokee, Belle Glade, and South Bay (MSN News). Like agricultural cities across the country, the area has struggled to balance liveable wages with the cheap prices of their overseas competitors. The median household income in Belle Glade is just $28,028. Drive an hour and a half to the island of Palm Beach, and this number will grow to $169,003 (World Population Review). The county of Palm Beach is not unlike the rest of America. It represents the same economic disparity just on a magnified scale. Two cities, on opposite sides of the same county, tell such different stories. Being so vastly different, one wonders if these cities can find some common ground.

(Above) The culture and attitudes of Glades’ residents were shaped by its agricultural roots. The city of Belle Glade for over a hundred years has provided the food that keeps America fed, yet the city has a poverty rate above 50% (World Population Review). One can’t help but recognize this societal paradox. Despite this, a sheriff I spoke to there put it best: “The people want opportunities, not handouts.” The Boys and Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County, perpetuate this perserving mindset by motivating students to study hard and earn college scholarships. Their annual program, Youth of the Year, awards a full-tuition scholarship to one high school junior or senior from each of the seven teen-clubs in the county. A lavish dinner is then held to celebrate the finalists’ accomplishments and determine the one Youth of the Year, who will additionally receive free room and board. The 2022 winner, Jermaine Lovely of Belle Glade, gave an address at the dinner, speaking honestly on his own previous faults. He told everyone how he shifted his focus towards academics and started writing his own future with the help of the club. (Sarah Finfrock)
(Above) A natural consequence of the Glades’ hardworking culture is an unwavering athletic prowess. More Super Bowl players come from Palm Beach County, mostly the west end, than any other county in the country. Annually, Glade Central’s and Pahokee High School’s football teams compete in the “Muck Bowl.” As many as 12,000 fans attend. (Sarah Finfrock)
(Above) Floridians like to say about their state, “The further north you go, the further south you get,” but the Glades area didn’t seem to get the memo. Although the area tends to vote slightly Democratic, there are still many Southern aspects to its identity. My personal favorite happens to be their food. Many mom-and-pop restaurants serve the standard Southern delicacies of fried chicken, banana pudding, fried okra, and sweet tea. A great choice for food, Dixie Fried Chicken bustles around noon with workers on their lunch hour. Wild roosters roam the sidewalks of Canal Street, MLK Blvd., and Main Street. Their crows welcome visitors into the Belle Glade city limits. The community is tight knit. It seems like everyone knows everyone and is willing to lend a helping hand. (Sarah Finfrock)
(Above) La Goulue, a popular restaurant inspired by French cuisine, made its way to Palm Beach after it boomed in New York City. La Goulue is open for brunch, lunch, apéro (a French tradition that occurs an hour before dinner, where a snack and drink is enjoyed), and dessert. Some of La Goulue’s most ordered dishes include their award-winning signature dish, Le Soufflé au Fromage, and Notre Pain Perdu, a homemade brioche French toast. (Rebecca Reif)
(Above) The Breakers, a luxury Palm Beach resort, was founded by Henry Morrison Flagler. Flagler helped make South Florida a place where people want to vacation, and Flagler’s heirs still own The Breakers. This resort is home to many premier restuarants, and the rooms start at a little over $1,000 per night. (Rebecca Reif)
(Above) While Belle Glade and Palm Beach both fall into the same county, their real estate and architecture vastly differ. While walking through another high-end shopping center, houses for sale are advertised throughout. One of the “cheapest” houses was priced at $3.5 million, and the most expensive going all the way up to $40 million. For architecture, Palm Beach is a Mediterranean and Spanish Colonial revival style, influenced by Addison Mizner. (Rebecca Reif)
(Above) A notoriously polarizing figure, both in Palm Beach and worldwide, Former President Donald Trump and his reportedly $2.5 billion net worth call Palm Beach home. His wealth is not unusual on the island, as he is joined by 56 other billionaires, including Charles Schwab and Daniel Gilbert. (Sarah Finfrock)
(Above) Shoes ‘N’ More embodies the type of shopping found all throughout Palm Beach, with its higher end items and boutique style shop. To fully emobody this high end shopping experience, they offer personalized shopping experiences. Beyond the designer brands available such as Dolce Vita, Shoes ‘N’ More also has unique styles and pieces that can only be found at upscale fashion boutiques. This is the trend throughout the entire row of shops located around Shoes ‘N’ More, which all sell exclusive clothes, home goods, and art. (Rebecca Reif)
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About the Contributors
Sarah Finfrock
Sarah Finfrock, Director of Photography
Sarah Finfrock, grade 12, is the Copy Editor and Director of Photography of Lake Highland Preparatory School's Upper School newspaper Twice-Told Tale, and Editor-in-Chief for the school's literary magazine By Any Other Name. Finfrock is also an avid tennis player, starting on the school's varsity team and serving as captain. She also has a passion for giving back and volunteering, as she acts as a volunteer tennis coach, builds with Habitat for Humanity, and teaches English to orphans in Nzerekore, Guinea. Finfrock is in the process of authoring and publishing a book to cover the fundamentals of engineering for underserved public schools as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award. In the future, Finfrock hopes to work in architecture and real estate development.
Rebecca Reif
Rebecca Reif, Editor-in-Chief
Rebecca Reif, grade 12, is the Editor-in-Chief for Lake Highlands’ Upper School newspaper Twice-Told Tale, and Director of Photography for the literary magazine By Any Other Name. Outside of Lake Highland, Reif enjoys photography, playing the guitar, and participating in competitive dance, actively taking various styles of classes and competing at a national level. To give back to her community, Reif frequently volunteers at Second Harvest Food Bank, where she makes meals and sorts food for underprivileged families, and also teaches younger kids dance. As a way to learn more about the business world, Reif also started her own online reselling business, which focuses on current fashion trends. Ultimately, Reif hopes to pursue a career in the medical field, while also still engaging in journalism and business affairs.

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