Neighborhood: Siesta Key
Neighbor since: 1980
Barbara Glidden basks in the sunlight of her Siesta Key home as she flips through old photographs of herself in New York, Mexico and the Caribbean. Her scrapbooks are filled with ticket stubs, flyers and advertisements for Lays, Pepsi and Alka-Seltzer featuring Glidden with jet-black hair and crystal blue eyes.
As she goes through the ads, she tells a detailed story of what it took to make each one and what it was like working for ad agencies such as James Walter Thomas Co.
Glidden moved in 1960 to Sarasota when she was a junior in high school. Her mother, Jessie Dunn, now 100, was the first art teacher in Sarasota County.
After high school, Glidden attended The American Musical and Drama Academy in New York, where she studied acting and dancing for two years. She went on to work as a fur garment model and a cocktail waitress and singer at the Gas Light Club in New York, before moving to Mexico to be a dancer.
While in Mexico, Glidden joined a small ballet company and performed with famed Spanish singer-songwriter Julio Iglesias.
After her six-year adventure in Mexico, Glidden went on to be a showgirl on a cruiseliner.
She returned in 1980 to Sarasota, where she worked as a personal trainer and aerobics instructor until 2010.
Although Glidden is officially retired, she says she will always be doing something.
“My passion is travel,” Glidden says. “I love the freedom of my choices now. I am really looking forward to travel and all the artistic endeavors.”