Susie Pennoyer


20 Weeki Wachee mermaids posing for a photograph by sitting in a large circle. The photograph was taken sometime in the 1950s.

Susie Pennoyer worked as a Weeki Wachee mermaid initially from 1971 to 1973. She came back to join the Legendary Sirens in 1997, with whom she still performs shows. Her family move to Clearwater, Florida, from Tenessee when she was a baby. "From an early early age, I was very active and my mom tried to find an outlet for me. Put me in dance classes. So I did all the dance classes. I did tap, jazz, ballet and acrobatics. Gymnastics was my favorite so I stuck with that. I was a gymnast from the age of 6 probably until I was 14 or 15. I was active in a studio, taking classes all the time. I had two older brothers who were both on the swim team. One was a diver and one was a swimmer. And so when I was in junior high school I practiced with the high school swim team as a diver. And so I was a springboard diver all through high school. So, um, I never remember not knowing how to swim. And one of my girlfriends, I asked her what she was doing this weekend. She said 'Oh I'm going to Weeki Wachee.' And I said,'Oh what are you doing there?' And she goes, 'Oh I'm swimmin'.' So I say, 'I wanna go!' She said, 'Okay, come along!' So I went up and I applied and I got the job. So she and I finished high school. Um, we would go up there on the weekend. If there was nothing going on in town we would stay all night with one of the other mermaids, work Saturday and Sunday, come back. But if there was something happening here we would come home and we would do whatever that was and go back. And the day I graduated my car was packed. I never even went home. I left school and went right up to Weeki Wachee and into one of the cottages that they have on grounds."