Childhood Summers at the Neighborhood Pool
When my sisters and I were growing up we soaked up the sun in our mini backyard pool. The pool was big enough for three kids and one panting puppy. After a few hours of fun that involved more water outside the pool than in, we would trek back into the non-air conditioned house with grass clippings stuck to our feet. With the look of exasperation, Mom marched us to the tub for a bath – which never made sense to a little girl. (I do the same thing today to my kids.) Then she would dump our pool for fear of growing mosquitoes – Illinois’ state pest. (Me too. Except I water the garden with the pool water. Bryan would be very upset if I killed the grass.)
When we were old enough mom would allow us to ride our bikes to the neighborhood pool. The adventure involved two semi-rusted bikes. Michelle road her Rustoleum gold colored bike while my second hand three speed blue bike road with her. We would petal as fast as possible to create the much needed breeze until the rail road tracks. Being girls, we stood up on our bikes because the crossing was rough. Then came the big intersection which we crossed without the aid of a walk signal. The neighborhood pool was only 50 feet away. Flashed our sewn on metal pool passes and pranced to the cooling waters. To fool the lifeguards checking if we took a shower, we would quickly turn on the shower, sprinkle our feet and then quickly turn it off. The pool was waiting for us. The only fashion downer was we wore dad’s white tee shirts over our bathing suits. The thought was to prevent a sunburn. Sunscreens have come along way since the 80s.
At the pool we would see friends from the neighborhood and school. During safety break everyone would run to the snack bar for a treat. Then back into the waters until closing time. On the ride home, to prevent us from getting a sunburn or a summer chill mom crafted a coverall that involved folding a beach towel and one cut. The best part was our cover also served as a towel that did not get tangled up in our bike gears. I loved my orange and red “disco” cover that lasted for years. Mom had the greatest problem solvers at her finger tips.
The rusted bikes, swimming covers and sunburns are long gone but the memories are still alive from the old neighborhood’s swimming pool. I wonder if my sisters remember these details?
What were your childhood summers like? Did you swim? Read what other spinners wrote below.
Sharon, The Mayor