Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Summer Place

When I was growing up, pools were big rectangles of concrete built for adults. In fact, the Y where I swam growing up blew the whistle at a quarter to every hour, the signal for all the kids to get out of the pool so the adults could paddle around for fifteen minutes, while we sat kicking our legs and looking at the clock. It was clear we didn't belong. Swimming was for elderly people to improve their cardiovascular function. It was exercise. It was serious.
The pools here in Las Vegas are activity pools. They resemble water parks: three feet deep at most, with slides and fountains and splash buckets and beach entries. They're really fun -- when you have a two year old.
But then your two year old grows up and knows how to swim but he can't swim at the activity pools because the water's not deep enough and anyway there's no room because of all the two year olds.
There's a public pool near my neighborhood that no one ever goes to. Why knows why? Maybe most of the households already have pools. Maybe everyone's forgotten about it. Maybe it's the lack of fountains and slides and splash buckets. Whatever the reason, it's become the rediscovered pool for us. Though it's just a big concrete rectangle it's on the edge of a park, so you can float and look at trees and grass and people going by on bikes. I like the architecture, which might best be described as Fake Swiss Cottage, too. And no one ever blows the whistle and tells the kids they have to get out of the pool.

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