My Brain, Peanuts, Remembers The City Pool

 

Waitsburg City Pool or Gawdawful like it
The Waitsburg city pool (or gawdawful like it)

 

A Swimming Pool Fool

When I was a little girl, I was a swimming fool even though the pool in our little town left a lot to be desired.  First of all, it wasn’t heated or filtered so they had to drain it every week and refill it with water they piped in from the South Pole.  Not being a filtered pool, you’d think we would have all gotten a horrible disease like typhoid fever, leprosy or at the very least, Polio, but the water was either too cold to sustain microbial life or nobody could ever stay in long enough to catch anything.

The Magic of Turning Nine

Until I was in the fourth grade, all my summer mornings were spent begging and pleading with my mother to take me to the swimming pool.  But when I turned nine, she decided I was old enough to go to the city pool on my own. So every morning I’d get up and kill time by playing hide and seek with the neighborhood kids until the magical hour of 1:00 o’clock when the city pool opened.  My mother would fix me a tuna sandwich and make me wait half an hour before I could head out to the pool lest I get a cramp and drown. For some reason known only to 1950-ites, the most dangerous thing a person could do in the fifties would be to down a tuna sandwich and then dive directly into a body of water.  You would get a cramp and you would drown.  Period.  End of story.

leading cause of drowning in the 50's
Leading cause of drowning 1950-style

The Art of Towel Rolling

The towel you brought to the swimming pool said a lot about how well your parents had their acts together. The parents who had their acts totally together bought their children their own beach towels every summer with a cute picture of a whale or a beach umbrella emblazoned across its front.  Other parents who didn’t have their acts quite as together didn’t mind if their child brought whatever towel happened to be hanging on the towel rack that day.  And then there were the  parents who didn’t have their acts together at all.  These were the parents who were big believers in sun-dried kids.

My parents fell into the middle category.  I would take some dingy towel off the towel rack everyday and fold it in half length-wise and roll my swimming suit up in it.  Then I would put on my thongs (which is the fifties speak for flip-flops)  and I’d head out across town to the city pool to join the small group of children who were also addicted to the swimming pool as much as I was.

The Regulars

Looking back on it now, there were about five of us who came every single day without fail.   Most of them were sun-dried kids and for a while I forsook my towel to fit in.  (I’d tell you their names but I’m not sure they had any.)  Anyway, we would simply find a dry spot on the cement and lay there until we got hot enough to brave the frigid waters of Antarctica for another ten minutes of splish-splashing hypothermia.

Jackknifes, Cannonballs and Cutaways

Most of my activity at the pool was waiting in line to go off the diving board.  My  ‘go to’ dive was a jackknife.  My friend, Susan Weber, was a whiz at a dive called the cutaway. While us girls worked on our dives, the boys were perfecting their cannonballs — a dive that never made any sense to me because why make a big splash if you can’t see it?  But I do remember the boys who were a little on the hefty side being much better at the cannonball than their skinnier counterparts.

After Swimming Hunger

I have never been hungrier than I was in the fifties.  Being a kid lends itself to a lot of hunger.  The hunger you feel from only eating one bite of breakfast before school and counting the seconds until lunch.  The hunger you feel after waiting for lunch to find that you are too finicky to eat hamburger gravy and sandy butter sandwiches. And then there’s the  hunger you feel after school from being too picky to eat a decent breakfast and lunch.

Seven Bowls of Cheerios

But the hunger I felt after swimming all afternoon in the city pool beats them all. It’s the kind of hunger that only seven bowls of Cheerios swimming in a soup of sugary milk can satisfy.  Sitting at the kitchen table, eating Cheerios with the late afternoon sun pouring through the window and knowing that after you finish your last bowl, the Three Stooges will be on.  Does life get any better than that?

I think not.

Cheerios from the 1950's

Until next time . . . I love you

37, Me and The Big D

Welcome Dear Readers to Linda Vernon Humor 2.0!  

Oh happy day! The time has come to start writing again.   The main thing that has happened to me since I last wrote, 1016 days ago, is that I am now divorced from my husband of 40 years who I always referred to on this blog as 37.

You can read about 37 and all the fun we used to have here if you’re curious (but I wouldn’t bother if I were you).

So why did 37 and I get a divorce?

I’ll spare you the gory details, because I honestly don’t know them.  Suffice it to say, it was a mighty big surprise to me when 37 came home from work one night and sat me down and explained he didn’t want to be married anymore. I can’t even remember what he said.  I only remember his explanation didn’t make much sense.  But he wrapped it up in 40 minutes before he left to go to a hotel — so one minute for every year we were married.  I don’t know if he planned it that way, but he is an engineer, and they are known for being precise.

You can read about 37 being an engineer here (but I wouldn’t bother if I were you).

 37 dropped off the face of the planet and is now rumored to be living on the planet’s neck and shoulders (or possibly lower)

I’ve only seen 37 a couple of times since he left.  It’s all very unreal, Dear Readers, and it has taken me 1016 days to get my bearings figured out. (I was a D student in bearings class.) But I’m happy to report that I have decided to have a ball with the rest of my life anyway and that includes writing humor. Because I’ve found that it’s hard to be depressed when you are trying to think up funny stuff.

Divorce Helpful Hints

So what have I learned from going through a divorce after 40 years of marriage?  I’ve learned how to go out on dates.  I’ve learned how to drive places I normally would have never dreamed of driving. I’ve learned how to  open a jar pickles with my own strength.  Okay not really.  But I have learned not to buy pickles anymore. I’ve learned that it’s nice not to have a man in the house who eats  all the potato chips before you get any and much more which I will write about from time to time.

Anyway, thank you for coming to check out Linda Vernon Humor 2.0.  And I look forward to connecting with all of you!

Until next time . . . I love you