Weeki Wachee, City of Mermaids: A History of One of Florida's Oldest Roadside Attractions (Florida History and Culture)

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9780813030418: Weeki Wachee, City of Mermaids: A History of One of Florida's Oldest Roadside Attractions (Florida History and Culture)

In the postwar explosion of domestic tourism, Weeki Wachee  spring offered the quintessential vacation fantasy, a city of colorful mermaids in a natural crystal spring right off the West Coast highway in a sparsely inhabited Florida. In those early days, the mermaids had to stand alongside the highway to flag travelers down, but once word of their charms got out, travelers headed south to playgrounds in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and Tampa found Weeki Wachee a tantalizing detour from the grueling two-lane road connecting vacationland with the work-a-day world to the north. Vickers shows how that local novelty became a stellar international attraction.

Founded in 1947 by Walton Hall Smith and Newt Perry, Weeki Wachee and its featured attraction, mermaids, combined the allure of pinup girls with the wholesome talents of variety entertainers to create a daily schedule of underwater acts ranging from eating bananas and performing ballet to staging underwater musicals. For nearly 60 years, these mermaids with their underwater talents have attracted crowds of vacationers, film crews, and celebrities. Drawing on extensive archival research as well as interviews with dozens of mermaids and other park employees, Vickers traces the park's rise to prominence. Brilliantly illustrated with 250 stunning photos, the resulting work shows what it was like to be a mermaid at Weeki Wachee in its heyday.

 

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Book Description:

 "Lu Vickers has written a truly delicious, sparkling history of Florida's own mermaid city of Weeki Wachee, one of the greatest oldtime roadside attractions. Her prose is bright, sharp and funny; it makes for a wonderful, vivacious, superbly researched but never dry saga of the regular girls who transformed themselves into swimming goddesses and the tiny hamlet which got so famous even Elvis came to pay court."--Diane Roberts, National Public Radio correspondent and author of Dream State

"After 37 years at wonderful Weeki Wachee, one third of that time spent underwater, I can honestly say that this remarkable book tells the fascinating history of the spring like it was. Two fins up for Weeki Wachee, City of Mermaids."--Bonnie Georgiadis

In the postwar explosion of domestic tourism, Weeki Wachee  spring offered the quintessential vacation fantasy, a city of colorful mermaids in a natural crystal spring right off the West Coast highway in a sparsely inhabited Florida. In those early days, the mermaids had to stand alongside the highway to flag travelers down, but once word of their charms got out, travelers headed south to playgrounds in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and Tampa found Weeki Wachee a tantalizing detour from the grueling two-lane road connecting vacationland with the work-a-day world to the north. Vickers shows how that local novelty became a stellar international attraction.

Founded in 1947 by Walton Hall Smith and Newt Perry, Weeki Wachee and its featured attraction, mermaids, combined the allure of pinup girls with the wholesome talents of variety entertainers to create a daily schedule of underwater acts ranging from eating bananas and performing ballet to staging underwater musicals. For nearly 60 years, these mermaids with their underwater talents have attracted crowds of vacationers, film crews, and celebrities. Drawing on extensive archival research as well as interviews with dozens of mermaids and other park employees, Vickers traces the park's rise to prominence. Brilliantly illustrated with 250 stunning photos, the resulting work shows what it was like to be a mermaid at Weeki Wachee in its heyday.

Weeki Wachee, City of Mermaids also explores the enduring appeal of the attraction. Once people get past Weeki Wachee's once crumbling, recently restored exterior, they continue to be just as genuinely awed by the mermaids as Elvis was.

 

About the Author:

Lu Vickers is a former Kingsbury Fellow from Florida State University and a two-time recipient of the Florida Individual Artist Grant for fiction, as well as a recipient of the 2002 Astraea Award for fiction. Her first novel, Breathing Underwater, is due out in 2007.   

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Lu Vickers
Editore: University Press of Florida (2007)
ISBN 10: 0813030412 ISBN 13: 9780813030418
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Descrizione libro University Press of Florida, 2007. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 813030412

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Descrizione libro University Press of Florida. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 0813030412 New. Looks like an interesting title, learn more! We provide domestic tracking upon request. We provide personalized customer service and want you to have a great experience purchasing from us. 100% satisfaction guaranteed and thank you for your consideration. Codice libro della libreria S-0813030412

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