Today we're talking with 1967 Aquamaid Marlen Manzer.
Vintage Roadside: Do you remember how you first heard about the Aquarama?
Marlen: My dad came home from work one day and told me about it.
Vintage Roadside: Did you know any of the other cast members working that season?
Marlen: Janie and I went to school together.
Aquarama 1967 cast photo. (Janie fifth from left & Marlen second from right.) Photo courtesy of Marc Johl.
Vintage Roadside: Was there an audition you had to go through to get the job?
Marlen: Yes - I remember meeting Mrs. Johl and working in the swimming tank.
Vintage Roadside: In the photo above you're wearing the "Go Go" costume. Do you remember any of the other costumes you wore that year?
Marlen: We also had the Snowflake suit and the Alley Cat suit with tails and big stones on our gloves.
Vintage Roadside: Did you have a favorite costume?
Marlen: I liked the mermaid one the best, but it was hard to get into.
Vintage Roadside: Were you one of the lucky ones with your own clam shell?
Marlen: Yes. If you were looking at the stage I was in the one on the right.
Vintage Roadside: Any memories of your former shell?
Marlen: It was so dark in the shell and you had to use your air hose to open the shell. If it didn't open fast enough you would have to squeeze out so you were in time with the music.
Vintage Roadside: Was there one routine you always wanted to perform?
Marlen: Janie had a single act where she drank from a cocktail glass - one show she could not make it and I got to do the act.
Vintage Roadside: You guys performed two shows a day. Do you remember the night show being any different from the day show?
Marlen: I remember at the night show it was hard to get into our costumes because they were still damp - especially the black tights we used in Alley Cat.
Vintage Roadside: Any other random Aquarama memories?
Marlen: I remember after each show we would have to put alchohol drops in our ears to help dry the water up. Also, swimming at Aquarama made learning scuba diving really easy for me.
Vintage Roadside: Any other interesting Lake of the Ozarks jobs after your time at the Aquarama?
Marlen: The only thing close was modeling for the Tan Tar A Resort Gift Shop. They would have a fashion show on Friday and Saturday nights in the dining room and I also did some modeling for their brochures. They have one of the brochures on display in their "50 Years Celebration" case in the lobby.
Vintage Roadside: It must be fun to look back and realize you're one of very few people that can say "I was a mermaid!"
Marlen: It was pretty special.
Vintage Roadside: Thanks so much Marlen for sharing some of your Aquarama memories with us!
As always if you have any information, memories, souvenirs, or if you worked at the Aquarama we'd love to hear from you. Click here to send us a message.
Jeff & Kelly