SANFORD, Fla. -- Sanford, Fla., shopkeeper Harry Rowan stopped sweeping cigarette butts and leaves from the sidewalk in front of his antiques boutique to greet a small knot of passing preschoolers, offering them "high fives."
One by one, the little children, white and black, gave his palm an enthusiastic smack.
"Of all the towns to get the label of a bad place, it shouldn't be Sanford," said Rowan, 79, who has lived in the Seminole County seat for more than 30 years. "We all get along here."
But Sanford -- which calls itself "The Friendly City" and boasts a picturesque lakefront, a historic downtown with brick streets and a splash park for kids -- clearly has an image problem now.