Segment: The spirit of Boosterism

Source: Interview with Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Videotaped at the Douglas House in Coconut Grove, June 16, 1983.

Link to Audio: SPC956_1

Length of Segment: 00:02:13

Interviewer: We were talking before about the spirit of Boosterism...

Marjorie: Oh yes!

Interviewer: the community.

Oh yes!

Interviewer: Can you tell me something about that?

Marjorie: Well everybody was in a new little town, everybody felt that it had to grow, my goodness, it had to have more people.  There is a clear way about that kind of Boosterism.  They feel it can be a big city was as if they didn't quite believe it and they had to work awfully hard to bring people down, and they worked so hard and now we can't stop them.  They didn't realize that the people are outgrowing the city, so the city is getting to be, almost old-fashioned in some ways.  I mean, inadequate, inadequate is what I meant to say.  The city is now inadequate to the numbers of people that come pouring in; well, the whole state is getting that, but particularly South Florida. And in spite of everybody being for it, in those days I don't quite believe they think that it would have happened.  They had to work at it, so they advertised and the Chamber of Commerce was doing all kinds of things.  And they go on now by the way they go on now by bringing the tourists down.  Oh my, you've got to have tourists you know, and all that.  It’s silly because this town has never stopped growing and it has never caught up with itself.  It hasn't had time to, really, to grow quietly as a city.  If it’s got to grow, it should have a quiet slow growth in order to build itself up properly as a city, which I think fails in a great many ways because it’s grown too fast, and it’s continuing to grow too fast.

Interviewer: Do you think its possible for the city to grow more slowly under these conditions?

Marjorie: Well, not under these circumstances, no.  We had no idea that after the Second World War, people would flood down here to that extent, but I think it was what we'd been speaking about a while ago, it’s because life is easier here, and because of the sun.  And now of course, with air conditioning they can stand the summers.