4/22/2013

Swimming Pool

The community swimming pool is the center of summer activities, and had been for decades...over 8 in fact.  It doesn't matter how old I get, this still gives me a bit of excitement:
The swimming pool was built in the 1930's.  Residents who were unemployed had to pay a $5 road tax or owe the town 5 days of labor on the streets.  Some of these workers paid their debt by working on the swimming pool.  The Small Town owned the pool in the beginning, but the Parks & Recreation took over at some point.  This is what the pool looked like upon completion:
(For photo credit, click on picture)
The dimensions of the swimming pool are the same today as they originally were: 275 feet long and 100 feet wide.  There is a rock wall with a fish head on it; water comes out of the fish head.  The fish head is another original feature of the pool.  2 men made it in a basement and donated it to the pool.   The tower in the above picture has changed some through the years.  For safety's sake (and to prevent law suits, I'm sure!), the tower now consists of only 2 boards.
Jolanda Jansma
To this day, a song will come on the radio and I'll be taken back to a hot summer day at the pool.   In my mind, I'll see the towels and blankets spread out in the grassy area that slopes down to the pool area.  I'll smell the suntan lotion and the different smells coming from the concession stand.  I'll hear the radios blaring and the kids laughing and squealing.  My feet will remember the hot pavement and how I used to have to hop onto the grassy areas as I make my way down to the pool.  I'll remember the days of learning how to swim in the shallow end, making my way down the brick steps once I got brave enough to go in on that side of the pool.  I'll remember how cold the water can be when I first got in it and eventually being brave enough to go into the deep end with the "big kids"; then finally jumping off of the 1st, 2nd, and then 3rd diving boards, but never, ever being brave enough to jump off of the tower (which was above all of the boards).  I remember my first job:  working in the basket room during the summers.  I remember the drama of my high school years.
Summers were centered around that swimming pool for almost all of the kids from the Small Town.  Today, that same swimming pool is front and center for many local kids.  My 2 oldest were lifeguards, and spent their time between that pool and the other Parks & Rec pool in the Twin City.  You can drive by on a hot day and see the pool crowded with people.  Some people still slow down as they drive by to look for someone they know.    You can still hear the squeals of kids as they slide down the slide, which has changed a bit through the years:
(For photo credit, click on picture)
The swimming pool is situated between the bridge and the duck pond, and down the hill from the middle & high schools.  It definitely continues to be the center of summer life!


(For photo credit, click on picture)

12 comments:

  1. Isn't it nice to recall all of those happy memories that helped to shape us?

    Tamara

    http://penpaperpad.com

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  2. We've had some fun times at that pool with our girls when they were little too. I feel the same about our neighborhood pool from my growing up days. Lots of happy times spent there!

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  3. I was able to take my kids to the pool I went to as kid too. It is fun to share those memories and watch them create their memories at the same spot.
    Lucy from Lucy's Reality

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  4. What sweet memories you have! When Is saw the photo with all the slides and diving boards, I thought....there is no way anyone could get away with that now. :)
    We had two different pools we went to as kids and one of them was steps from the beach. And it was filled with salt water. I'll never understand who came up with that idea.

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  5. Those older pictures of the pool look like lots of fun!!

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  6. Love the history lesson behind it and your personal walk down memory lane! The city pool was definitely the hub of entertainment when I was a kid, too! Down here in Texas, where there is a city pool (small considering the size of our city) the subdivision have their own private pools for the residents. We just received our notice in the mail, pool opens Friday, May 3. The kids are revved up. ;)

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  7. We didn't have a pool in my home town (although there is one now). The only pool in DD's home town when she was growing up was one that requires a membership ... something I couldn't afford as a single mom. :-(

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  8. There you go, again, bringing back all kinds of warm memories for me! We had a pool in our neighborhood that was a lot like yours. That's where everyone would hang out in the summmer. I can smell chlorine and it takes me right back.

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  9. Sounds like wonderful summer memories.

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  10. community facilities always make for wonderful childhood memories. I well remember the chronic ear infections every summer, compliments of our local pool :)

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  11. community facilities always make for wonderful childhood memories. I well remember the chronic ear infections every summer, compliments of our local pool :)

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  12. Beautiful memories of bygone days of childhood. I enjoy being transported to those less complicated times. You do a great job of painting the picture.

    Thanks,
    Annis

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