Review: Weeki Wachee, City of Mermaids

Dear Constant Reader,

Vote for the Boston Babydolls!

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.

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

My summer vacation

Dear Constant Reader,

While the rest of you were relaxing on the beach this summer, the Boston Babydolls were touring New England with Madame Burlesque, bringing you the finest in classic burlesque (and a little history lesson). Thus, I didn’t take my summer vacation until September.

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved mermaids (who doesn’t?). And the chance to *be* a mermaid? I couldn’t turn that down. Which is how I found myself at Weeki Wachee Springs in Florida. They’ve been presenting mermaid shows since the 1940’s, but only recently began offering mermaid lessons for adults.

First thing we got fitted for our tails and sent off to the Mermaid Lagoon (on dry land) for a photoshoot.

The rest of the weekend was spent in the Spring. It’s amazingly clear fresh water and abounds with friendly wildlife. The turtles swam alongside us and would eat bananas from our hands. But it wasn’t all frolicking with the fish… Being a mermaid is hard work! We learned how to swim in our tails and how to pose for pictures underwater. It was exhausting, but so worth it.

And here’s Mermaid Mina!

Published in: on 14 October 2011 at 10:03 am  Leave a Comment