Mayor of the Nude Beach

So he's naked and in his seventies. He's still the coolest guy you'll ever meet.

Sadly his pole vaulting recently hit a wall when a new manager at Miami Dade College's north facility told him he would not be permitted to vault because of his age.

Naturally the mayor enjoys a healthy constituency. Take, for instance, Joe and Nancy Wikowski, who were overjoyed to spot their hairy good pal. "We love Larry," Nancy says in the selfsame New York tawlk Fleischman employs.

"He's great," Joe agrees. The nudist couple migrated to Larry's nearby condo complex after retiring from a savagely clothed life in Virginia.

Joe, a squat man with the city's unmistakable tough-guy features, recalls growing up in a lower-middle-class Brooklyn neighborhood not far from Larry.

"We didn't have childhoods," Joe says. "Times were hard. We had to grow up fast. Now we get to play around in the sand all day."

Retirement for the Wikowskis is all nude cruises and sun. But, like Larry, they fear the hand of fundamentalists coming down on their naked little paradise like a hammer from God. "They closed up two nude beaches up there in Roanoke," Joe says, his sunny face turning cloudy. "Look at this beach; it's the only place you see people."

Fleischman concurs. All that flesh might as well be gold for the county's underfunded parks department. He pays just $48 for his annual pass as a senior. Casual visitors cough up $5 per day in parking fees. On the weekends, the trio explains, you'd better park before 10 a.m. Otherwise you can't get a spot.

Asked about his officially defunct unofficial mayoralty, Fleischman seems to appreciate the continued goodwill of his constituents. He likes being the un-mayor.

"It's a good entrée to meet people," he says. "It gives you a reason to walk around and talk to people. Otherwise I'm just a naked old man on the beach."

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