This is a special memory from my own childhood.
My sister Judy and I always wanted to have a swimming pool. We certainly had plenty of room for one. There were at least two springs on the farm. One was hidden under the back porch. They found out about it when Judy put her foot through a crack in the cement floor. Pieces of cement started to fall in and we heard it splash into the well below!
There was another well out behind the barn. It had an opening that was maybe 12 inches across. We made up our minds one hot summer that we could turn it into a swimming pool. We got a shovel and a trowel and started to try to widen it. On a hot, humid summer day in Michigan, this project did not last long and we gave up the idea.
When we both started skating competitively, it meant attending events out of town. It also meant staying in a hotel/motel! We would have to be at the rink very early in the morning, which wouldn’t allow for driving there in the morning. I remember us talking mom into staying at one of the motels that had a big outdoor pool – it even had a diving board!
We had never been in a real swimming pool before and I think Judy and I spent hours in there that night. We finally went back to the room because my feet were hurting. We were thoroughly water logged and our fingers and toes looked like plumped up prunes. The bottom of the pool had been very rough and I had managed to peel a layer of skin off the bottom of my big toes. I started to panic when they started bleeding. I think the sight of blood was the only thing that made us get out of the pool when we did.
Judy’s toes were fine but mine sure weren’t. There was no way I was going to skate the next day. I was lucky to be able to get my shoes on and walk. I was in big trouble; fees had been paid; costumes had been made. We wore socks in the pool after that.
I’m not sure what competition I was practicing for in this newspaper clipping and it isn’t the best of quality but notice my hair is short. I wonder if I cut it short because I couldn’t get my long hair under a swimming cap and they were always required. Or, it may just have been to avoid more hair dryer torture.