The news today had a lovely article celebrating the life of one of Weeki Wachee's mermaids, Frances Gioe, who died May 15 at the age of 77. Her ashes will be scattered by her family today at Weeki Wachee, returning this remarkable lady to the place where she began a lifelong career as a performer and aquatic dancer.
The year the park opened in 1947,16-year-old Frances Gioe became one of the first Weeki Wachee mermaids. Her talent for aquatic dance led to movie roles in Esther Williams movies and in the TV series Flipper. She performed in Paris for the Moulin Rouge. Retiring in Florida, she created a synchronized swim team for seniors called the Aqua Belles.
Regular Native Mom readers know of my love and devotion to Weeki Wachee. I was thrilled to learn this week that these iconic Florida performers are currently completing a tour of London.
here. Notice how the British broadcaster refers to the ladies as Weeki Wacky mermaids.
Whoever thought of sending the mermaids on a world tour is a genius!