By: Paige Cline
I pass the town swimming pool almost every day as I go about the important business of running my traps.
The thing that strikes me most is how people swim as compared to a few years ago. It gets just as hot now and folks need to cool off just as badly. The difference is that the pool is no longer the mecca for teenagers. to be able to meet and mingle with their friends. On a hot afternoon, you always knew where the gang was. Same way with the ones as well as some adults. The kiddie pool was always full.
Many families now have their own pool. Or they swim at a friend’s house. Then there is the automobile. Some people won’t get out of their air-conditioned cars long enough to swim. Also, if folks want to cool off, they go inside, plop down in front of the TV and let the recycled air do the job.
As children, we all learned to swim in the rivers and creeks that we knew. Swimming pools were things that you saw in the movies. But, learn we did, and most learned very well. Many times we laughed about how, at one of the holiday picnics that our family attended, we would beg to go swimming. Our parents were reluctant to let us go but relented when the older guys said they would keep an eye on us. Our parents, as were others, were surprised to see their kids kicking and swimming like ducks. It was apparent that someone had been slipping off to the old swimming hole.
The old “Fligger Hole” remains dear to our hearts. It is where we learned to swim. It is also a revered place in our memories for the wonderful lazy, hazy days of summer that are so much a part of the lives of small town kids. Swimming diving and then resting in the warm sands of the natural beach he many of the problems of the world seem very distant.
“Progress” ruined the Fligger Hole. Someone got the bright idea to build a road around the cliffs. In the process, they dynamited the highest point which was above where the Board of Education building is now located. The natural ledges from which we had dived a million times were covered with rock and dirt.
The beautiful blue-green waters of modern swimming pools certainly are inviting these hot days. But, for those of us who earned their fins in their favorite swimming hole, nothing can replace the allure of a gently flowing stream, maybe with a few leaves floating by. That’s what summer meant to us when we were passing the time and contemplating our futures as we basked in the warm sun back when we were… growin’ up.
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