Wednesday, September 07, 2005

'American Beach' Lady Dies

Photo courtesy of Nowhere Productions
"We've got a crazy kind of rich in this country," she said, indicating a high-rise condominium being built down the beach. "They pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to live in a little box where you can hear your next-door neighbor every time he flushes his toilet. That's the same thing poor people do."

Wednesday, the Jacksonville Times-Union is reporting that MaVynee Betsch died of cancer earlier this week. She was 70.

Ms. Betsch was a graduate of Oberlin College and an opera singer in Europe. After retiring, she made her home in the Amelia Island community known as 'American Beach', where she had been raised as a child. She rose to national prominenence as an environmental activist when her battles to preserve the beach against developers were featured in the best-selling book American Beach by Russ Rymer.

A forthcoming documentary, The Beach Lady, features her life and times. She also is profiled in the current issue of Sierra, the monthly magazine of the Sierra Club.

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