The staff of Florida Bonded Pools on Beach Blvd. circa early 1960′s in front of the business and their wonderful sign of world famous swimmer and movie star Esther Williams in all of her 30 foot tall glory. I stopped by the business to find out more about the sign and had a great conversation with Jeffrey Clarkson, the second generation of the Clarkson family to own the business. He filled me in on a little bit of the sign’s history. His father, W.E. Clarkson was the national marketing representative for Esther Williams who at the time had a signature line of pool dealers around the country. He decided he wanted his own business and bought the Jacksonville pool business in the early 1960′s from the original owner who started it in 1957. The Esther Williams sign was in place until it was taken down and replaced with a new sign in the 1970′s. Unfortunately Clarkson could not remember the company that removed the sign so we don’t know it’s ultimate fate but I can report that as of this posting, the real Esther Williams, who was born in 1921 or 1922 depending on the source is still around, living in Los Angeles, CA and selling a line of retro styled swimwear that harkens back to her silver screen days.
As a side note, Jeffrey Clarkson said his father got the contract and Florida Bonded Pools built the first two pools at Disney World for the Contemporary Hotel which are still in use today but Disney would not allow them to use that in their advertising.