Cape Kids — City Leaders: Joe Mazurkiewicz, former Cape Coral mayor, consultant
“When I came to Cape Coral in 1968 the first place we moved to was on Shelly Parkway off of Del Prado Boulevard — and that was the boondocks. That’s where the bus would turn around; we were at the end of the bus line. I rode my bike, or walked, or hitchhiked anywhere I needed to go around the city. It was very open, very friendly, and very safe. It was always a very inviting community — easy to make friends. It was amazing how quickly myself and my family were accepted into the community.
“My dad always had a dream of living in Florida, so he quit his job at the factory, came down, bought a franchise. We ended up in Cape Coral because we were looking at houses in Naples, and driving over the Cape Coral Bridge, my mother said, ‘This is where I can raise a family.’
“Cape Coral was always growing rapidly. When we moved here there was less than 10,000 people here. It has really come a long way. The growth has always been there — predominantly residential in the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, early ’80s — and then throughout the ’80s we started to see a turn where we got a few more services and some good sized retail establishments to the area so you didn’t absolutely need to leave town to get everything you needed. That was a big change.”
— Compiled by CJ HADDAD