Pool Time Fun

Posted in Eternal Love | 6 comments

End of the school year was fast approaching, and soon, it would be summertime.

Frank, Scotty, and I had looked at some homes on the weekends that were for sale. We liked living in Hubbard and had decided to stay a while if everything worked out, and we found a home in our price range. We loved the house we were living in, but it was not for sale because it was tied up in a will. So, we just kept looking.

Before school was out, Frank and the head coach inventoried the equipment from all of the sports then they ordered what needed replacing. Frank would have only a few responsibilities in the summer, which were helping to mow, water, and fertilize the football and baseball fields.

The last week of school, Frank came home really excited then told me that “we” had a new job that would help us make more money for the Summer.  While looking into his sparkling eyes, I could not help but smile while wondering to myself, “What?  Just what now, Mister Dimples?”

Before I could finish my thoughts, Frank blurted out, “Nancy Lou, this job is so neat.  We can work and be together all summer.  We have been asked to run the city swimming pool and, of course, I told them “yes” knowing that you always helped your Dad when he ran city pools in the summer.  How great is this gonna be?”

My Mom and Dad were teachers, so for extra income in the summer, my Dad had managed and run city swimming pools in two towns that we had lived in Levelland and Munday, Texas. As we grew older, Dad let us help him at the pool. If I remember right, Dad paid us in candy bars and Hamburgers and french fries bought at the local Burger Place. By the time I was in junior high and high school, I knew how to test the water for chlorine, etc., add powdered chlorine to the pool, sweep the bottom of the swimming pool, clean the restrooms and dressing rooms with disinfectant, and anything else that needed doing.  Also, I helped with swimming lessons and lifeguarding. I loved being at the pool all summer, but of course, I did not have a two-year-old to look after, either.

Knowing that Frank had never done this type work before, I told him, “Frank running a city swimming pool is a lot of hard work.”

Before I could say more, Frank hugged me then replied, “Lou, you helped your Dad do this before, and I know that you will help me learn how to do this.  We got this and Scotty will be right there with us.”

As my mind spun with all of the things we would need to do every day at the swimming pool, also I was flooded with memories of the great times my brothers and me had with our Dad, so I smiled then said, “Okay, Dimples let’s do it!”

Frank told me that the city would pay for all of the supplies for the maintenance of the pool, electricity, and water. We would make our money off of the season tickets, daily admissions, swimming lessons, and the concession stand which would be up to us to supply. It all sounded good to me, plus Scotty could be there with us all day. Also, Frank was to pick up the key to the gate lock the next morning, so we could all go check out the pool.

Early the next morning, Frank, Scotty, and I picked up the key for the lock on the gate then headed to the swimming pool. After we parked the car, we got out then went to unlock the gate. On the way, I noticed the grass grownup near the bottom of the fence, but I could not see the swimming pool.

Frank opened the gate then we all walked towards the pool. I thought my heart would stop when I looked down into the drained pool, which was full of leaves, trash, sticks, and not sure what else. The pool was huge, with two different separated areas at the shallow end that were separated by a concrete wall from the main pool. One of these areas was a very shallow toddler pool, and the other one was two to three feet deep for small children

Swimming Pool

Hubbard, Texas City Swimming Pool

The main pool was three to twelve feet deep only separated by a heavy plastic rope that went across the width of the pool at the six-foot mark.  There was a slope which gradually went down to the twelve-foot mark then leveled off forming the deep end of the swimming pool which had a grated drain in the center.

Frank, Scotty, and I climbed down the ladder in the shallow end then into the pool. We walked to the six-foot mark and stopped where the slope started. Oh, my goodness! There was yucky black water that looked about a foot deep in the deep end. I could see limbs, leaves, and some dead creature floating in the water. Frank started down the slope, but I stood there holding Scotty’s hand tightly, not believing what I was seeing.

Frank got to the edge of the water then turned to say, “Lou, I think we have a dead raccoon down here. It looks like the drain is blocked up with leaves and junk. I think I can grab the dead raccoon.”

There was no doubt that what Frank said was all true because I could see it with my own eyes. All I could think was, “Nasty, nasty, nasty! We need bleach, lots and lots of bleach.”

I shouted at Frank, “No! Frank, please come back up the slope and get away from that yucky black water!”

Surprisingly, Frank ran back up the slope to where Scotty and I stood. Of course, he had a big smile on his face. We all exited the pool then went to check out the dressing/bathrooms. Since these rooms did not have roofs, there was no telling what lurked inside those concrete walls. I told Frank to head in first while I held tightly to Scotty’s hand. When Frank called all clear, Scotty and I entered the men’s dressing room. It was full of leaves on the floor but other than that it was not to bad. That was until I looked into the toilets. Black! Yucky black water was in the toilet bowls. The women’s dressing room was the same. My thoughts were, “Why? Why did the toilet bowls have to be black? Hadn’t I already experienced this in La Pryor by chiseling the black yuck out of a toilet? Was God preparing me for this?”

Frank looked at my face knowing that I was not the least bit happy then smiled and said, “You know Lou, we need to make a plan. Let’s go to the house, and I’ll call the head coach and see if his daughter can keep Scotty today then we will get some rubber boots and gloves, plus a rake, broom, and your favorite “thang”, bleach. We will work together and get this mess cleaned up. You’ll see.”

Dang those dimples! How could I not love this man who never doubted for one second in his mind that there was anything that he could do or accomplish? I smiled back at Frank, then we all walked to the gate. Frank locked the gate after we went through then we drove to the house. After we arrived at the house, Frank called the head coach who told him to bring Scotty over to their home. Once Scotty was settled in at the head coach’s home, Frank and I drove to the hardware store to get the supplies we needed.

After we had all of the supplies, Frank and I returned to the swimming pool.  Our first objective was to unstop the grate covering the drain in the deep end of the swimming pool.  We put on our rubber boots, and our rubber gloves then grabbed the long-handled rake, and we also carried some cardboard boxes with us as we walked down the slope to the deep end of the pool. The closer we got to the yucky black water, the worst the aroma coming from it smelled.

As soon as Frank got to the bottom of the slope, he walked over to the dead raccoon then used the rake to pick it up.  Of course, he was smiling when he turned to look at me then asked, “Lou, do you want to stop now and go give it a decent burial in our back yard at home?”

Shaking my head in disbelief and laughing, I answered, “No Frank, what “I” want you to do is to put it in this box and close the lid then carry out of the pool.  We can bury it later.”

Smiling, as usual, Frank put the deceased raccoon in the box, closed the lid then carried it out of the pool.  When Frank returned to the deep end of the swimming pool, he decided to take the rake and use it to unstop the drain.  He raked some of the leaves and sticks upon to the slope which I then put into the empty boxes.  The grated drain started to work reasonably quickly, and Frank stood beside it to make sure that it did not stop up again. Soon the water had all drained out of the swimming pool, and we used a broom and dustpan to sweep and scoop up the residue that was left.

Since we had done as much as we could in the swimming pool for the day without a water hose, Frank and I decided to tackle the dressing/bathrooms.  My first objective was to pour bleach in all of the toilets, then Frank and I started sweeping and cleaning sinks. Evidently, since the toilets had not set for “ten thousand” years blackened with yuck, they cleaned up fairly quickly.

Frank decided that it was time to wash our hands under a faucet, take off our rubber boots, and get some lunch. We also needed to buy some water hoses to wash down the bathrooms and the swimming pool.  We got a burger and fries in a little place downtown, and once we finished eating, we stopped by a store to buy water hoses.  It seemed as though we had our work cut out for us and we would have to spend some money before we made any, but Frank kept all of the receipts, and the city reimbursed us later.

After working from dawn until dark for a week, we had scraped and painted the entire inside of the swimming pool, dressing/bathrooms, and the inside of the concession stand then we were ready to fill the swimming pool with water.

Once the swimming pool was full of water, Frank got the pumps back to working right then backflushed the filters, and we were ready to head to the Pool Supply in Waco, Texas to buy chlorine, a water testing kit, algaecide, fungicide for the bathroom/dressing room floors and anything else that we thought was needed or the Pool Supply suggested was necessary.

While in Waco, we picked up boxes of candy bars and boxes of packages of chips. Also, we had decided to sell corndogs, and french fries, which I would cook in the concession stand in an electric deep-fryer that was ours from home. Since there was a drink machine at the swimming pool, we got in touch with the company to stock it for us. They would pay us a percentage of what the drink machine made.

Finally, the day to open the gate to the swimmers came. Frank and I traded off lifeguarding and taking care of Scotty. Also, Scotty had a fan and a cot for naps in the Concession Stand. We had lots of season ticket holders, walk-ins, morning swimming lessons, and night rental parties.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we had teen nights, which started thirty minutes after closing to the general public.  I am not sure that we made a lot or any extra money that summer, but we had the best time standing by each other and creating beautiful, unforgettable memories.

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  1. Wow! That was some job to accomplish. I could never have handled anything like that. I can’t even imagine it. You two sure worked well together. Too bad it wasn’t more profitable for all the work you put into it, but at least you didn’t have time to get bored through the summer. 🙂

    • Diane,
      We had so much fun. The place was always full and we got to meet everyone in town.
      I had never seen a pool drained. They usually left them full of water, then you added a powder that would shock them back to clear.
      Painting that pool was a lot of work. But we had fun doing it.
      Thank you for commenting. Congratulations on your new book and study guides. You are Amazing.
      God Bless You My Friend,

  2. Fantastic ‘testimony’ of commitment and reality. Your way of spinning a story is priceless.
    No wonder everyone loves your books!

    • Thank you, Chuck. We worked really hard that first week at cleaning up that pool, but we always had fun. Frank was such a Special person and I thank God everyday that Frank chose me to love.
      God Bless You,

  3. I have lived in several houses with swimming pools and on farms with dams, reservoirs and big tanks so your story reminded me exactly how black water filled with rotting leaves and dead animals smells.

    Sounds like you worked hard that summer but had a lot of fun.

    • We did work hard, but, as you said, we had so much fun.
      I had never experienced the comete draining of a hugh pool like that. Usually they left the water in them then shocked them with chemicals first thing in the summer.
      We used rollers to paint the interior of the swimming pool.
      Frank and I really worked hard together at everything we did.
      Of course, we didn’t make much money that summer, but the experience was priceless.

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