An Oral History of A Life Lived Underwater From 78 year-old Mermaid Vicki at Weeki Wachee Springs
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We are back with Season 2! You asked for more mermaid stories and mermaid legends, so that is what we are going to be bringing you! Mermaid historians, mermaid legends, mermaid books and mermaid authors! Of course, we will also be introducing you to real mermaids from time to time, but we’ll be focusing most on mermaid stories.
In this episode, we come full circle and also go back to the beginning. You may remember that in the first two episodes of Season 1, host Laura von Holt told you all about her time at mermaid camp at the world famous Weeki Wachee Springs! If you haven’t listened to those episodes yet, you should!
While Laura was at mermaid camp last year, she became very enamored of Vicki Smith, a legendary siren who still performs at Weeki Wachee at age 78. When she returned to mermaid camp in 2018, she was lucky enough to be paired with Vicki, as well as her mermaid friend, Alison (who you met in S1 E1).
In 2017, Vicki celebrated her 60th anniversary of swimming at Weeki Wachee. Vicki performed as a Weeki Wachee mermaid from 1957-1961, beginning just days after her high school graduation. Now, she is part of the elite group of “Legendary Sirens” women in their 50s, 60s and 70s who perform monthly at Weeki Wachee Springs.
Vicki invited Laura and Alison back to her home to watch the sunset and drink wine on her deck overlooking the crystal clear Weeki Wachee River. Vicki showed them her scrapbook and took them through her many memories of performing at Weeki Wachee in the 1950s and 60s. For over 70 years, Weeki Wachee mermaids have trained each other in underwater ballet using underwater air hoses so they can perform dozens of feet underwater. It’s a unique tradition handed down from woman to woman, and a trained eye can see the differences from each teacher & when they began their instruction.
Vicki allowed Laura to record her while we looked through the scrapbook, drank wine, and listened to the radio. She talked about about the changes she’s seen at Weeki Wachee Springs, the mermaid show, and what it’s like to perform at age 17 and age 78. It’s a long interview, kind of like an oral history, but well worth your time.
Some of the mermaids that Vicki swam with are still with us, and some are now gone. But if you settle in with this episode, you’ll feel like you are right there, suspended in time, swimming right along with the Legendary Sirens of Weeki Wachee.
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This is episode is sponsored by Mermaid Magic. Get 20% off biodegradable glitter and mermaid scales with PODCAST20 at https://getmermaidmagic.com/discount/PODCAST20.
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