Segment: New life in Florida

Source: Interview with Sharyn Richardson, Secretary of Friends of the Everglades and personal assistant to Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Videotaped at the Douglas House in Coconut Grove.

Link to Audio: SPC955_7

Length of Segment: 00:02:18

Interviewer: “Are you from Florida?”

Richardson: “No, actually, I’m from Georgia. I grew up in Georgia and my husband and I moved down here, because we always went to Florida, but it was basically Northern and Central Florida that we visited when we were living up there. I’d never been south of… I think, I don’t know, Orlando. I guess I’d never been south and we […] really wanted to move here, because we loved it and we used to drive for hours and hours to go, to come to Florida on vacation. And my husband put in for Florida, and the only place was Miami, so we said, ‘We’ll take it.’ and here we are. I’m real glad we came because it’s changed my life, for sure, seeing, seeing the Everglades, I mean just seeing the Everglades, going to the Everglades and seeing it.  The place is magic, I mean, it’s absolutely a magical place and that was probably my biggest inspiration just seeing the Everglades, seeing the beauty. I’d never seen anything like that before. There is nothing like that in the world and I knew then there was something wrong, and I was going to do whatever I could to right that wrong.”

Interviewer: “How long ago was that?”

Richardson: “It was about four years ago.”

Interviewer: “Had you ever done anything like this before?”

Richardson: “No, as a matter of fact, my degree is in costume design and I’ve always worked in the theater. And it’s hard work, and I decided to just play housewife for awhile once we moved down here, just until we got settled and made some friends, because we were total strangers and it never happened. It just, I mean, I never found my way into the theater again. I was, sort of found this bypass. I’m happy to be here. I couldn’t go back to the theater again. The theater is too much of a passive existence. This is where I belong, for sure.”

Interviewer: “Thank you.”

Richardson: “Thank you.”