Podcasts

Interview with Seminole alligator wrestler, Richard Bowers

Interview with Seminole alligator wrestler, Richard Bowers

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(0:56:15; 42MB; C83-109 and C83-110)

Recorded on May 4, 1983 by folklorist Doris Dyen in Hollywood, Florida

Transcript of the Introduction

Welcome back to the Florida Folklife Collection podcast series from the State Library and Archives of Florida. As summer fast approaches, and many families prepare to make their way South to vacation in Florida, chances are good that many vacationers hope to see a real live Florida alligator, either in the wild or – more likely -- at one the numerous roadside attractions found throughout the state. Therefore for this installment of the podcast series, we decided to feature this interview with Seminole alligator wrestler Richard Bowers, one among the thousands of oral histories found within the vast Florida Folklife Collection.

Recorded onto audio cassette on May 4, 1983, we hear folklorist Doris Dyen speaking to the twenty-eight year old Bowers at the Native Village, located in the Hollywood Seminole Indian Reservation in Broward County. In the interview, Bowers discusses the craft of alligator wrestling, its 20th Century origins, and the historic relationship between the Seminole peoples and the infamous Florida alligator. For more information on Bowers, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and the Florida alligator, please visit the Florida Memory web page.

But for now, let’s gas up the family station wagon, load up the kids, and let’s take an audio vacation to sunny Florida, the land of 'gators and the Seminoles…