Weeki Wachee Mermaids

Weeki Wachee Mermaids: Thirty Years of Underwater Photography by Lu Vickers and Bonnie Georgiadis features rare vintage photographs, postcards, and publicity shots from the spring where famous mermaids—in actuality, highly trained swimmers and divers—performed underwater.

Today, Burrow Press is featuring this excerpt of Weeki Wachee Mermaids as part of their Fantastic Floridas project. It features portions from Bonnie Georgiadis’s essay “What the Mermaid Saw,” and you can read even more about her experiences in her previous guest blog post.

We’ve joined Burrow Press in this initiative—together with other publishers, authors, and Floridians—to highlight the intersection of Florida, literature, books, and the uncategorizable.

Through September 9, you can purchase a copy of Weeki Wachee Mermaids with discount code WEEKI to receive 25% off.

Discover more Fantastic Floridas at Burrow Press’s blog, and enjoy an extra look at the images below from the iconic Weeki Wachee Spring.

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Nancy Tribble Benda wears the Mr.Peabody tail she was fitted for in Hollywood, 1948. In the beginning, Weekiwachee was one word, but Newt Perry decided to split it into two words so it could fit on signs more easily. By permission of Nancy Tribble Benda.

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A mermaid prepares to feed the fish as the audience looks on from inside the first theater, ca. 1951. Author’s collection.

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Diane Fry on high-heeled pumps and a black dress for a day out in the spring, 1965. By permission of Vera Huckaby.

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Mermaid costumes first appeared in the shows in 1960. Applying the sequins was labor intensive; each was sewn on one at a time. Terry Hamlet pretends to smell the tulips in a bed of eel grass, which is difficult underwater as no sniffing is allowed, 1962. By permission of Genie Young.

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Terry Hamlet takes a ride on Bubbles the Seahorse to celebrate the “Spirit of ’76.” By permission of Bonita Colson.

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Donna Karosa (above) and Patsie Hadley Boyette perform the adagio pose as they ride the current of the spring up to the surface, 1954. Photo by Ted Lagerberg. By permission of Bonita Colson.

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Bonnie Georgiadis donned a frilly apron to do a little spring cleaning in this promotional photograph, 1967. Photo by Sparky Schumacher. By permission of Bonnie Georgiadis.

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Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Excerpt, Florida History, Florida Tourism

Author:University Press of Florida

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