Review: Weeki Wachee, City of Mermaids

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Weeki Wachee, City of Mermaids: A History of One of Florida’s Oldest Roadside Attractions by Lu Vickers (2007).

You might remember that I spent a little time learning to swim like a mermaid. For my birthday my mother gave me this history of Weeki Wachee Springs and their famous mermaids. And it’s even signed by the author to “Mermaid Mina”!

It covers the history of this unique attraction from underwater entertainment before Weeki Wachee opened, through the glory years of the City of Live Mermaids, to the decline into kitch, and the recent (successful) Save Our Tails campaign. Many mermaids and others intimately involved with Weeki Wachee contributed interviews as well as memorabilia.

Hardly a page goes by that doesn’t have photographs, postcards, or ads from all eras of Weeki Wachee’s history. I was particularly thrilled to see some of the Former Performing Mermaids and pick out the wonderful women who trained us to swim and pose in a tail.

I know I said I had a lot of burlesque books to review before moving on to other topics. This book does have pictures of Bambi the Mermaid and Julie Atlas Muz in a tail. Does that count?

It’s obvious from this book that those who worked at Weeki Wachee, especially those who have swum in its crystal-clear waters, consider it a magical place. I have to agree — sometimes I still dream of the spring and my short time as a mermaid.

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Published in: on 29 February 2012 at 11:46 am  Leave a Comment  
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