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PORTLAND, Ore -- One St. Johns woman is making quite the splash around her neighborhood. She's living out a childhood dream, 50 years later.

Today was my debut and some little girl was pointing and screaming at her mother, said 56-year-old Pauline Long. Some people say, 'You're out of your mind. You're nuts, you're crazy.' Crazy? What's so crazy?

Have you seen a grown mermaid swimming in a public pool before? Well then meet Pauline who does realize she's not a real mermaid, but likes to dress up as one.

I obviously know the difference but it's just fun. It's freedom, she said. If you don't do it as a child, why not do it as an adult? Who says that you can't?

No one, apparently, at Pier Pool in St. Johns where Pauline chose to make her big splash as a public mermaid on Tuesday.

Video:Pauline the mermaid in Portland pool

Pauline met a fellow mermaid a few years back and wanted to be part of her world. So she attached two fins together, added some fabric and created her own outfit. She's now decided to swim out her fantasy at Portland's public pools.

Long plans to 'transform into a mermaid all summer long. And she's part of what mermaids call a pod. Apparently there's 23 of them, calling themselves The Northwest Mermaids.

In case you're wondering what Long's loved ones think of all this, she said her boyfriend has definately been on board. He likes to dress as a pirate. (See photo at right.)

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