Monday, August 24, 2015

High Point Pool

     On Monday, I spontaneously decided to go spend the afternoon at High Point Pool. This was heavily influenced by the hot and humid 90+ degree August day and the fact that I still had a week before returning to work as a teacher. I put on my suit, grabbed my towel and a novel and called my mom.

     "Want to join me at the pool?" I asked my mom on the phone.

     "Great idea but I have to do a few errands. I could meet you there by 2pm," she replied.

     "I think I'll head up there now. I'll just sign in as you. The lifeguard at the desk didn't seem to care last time," I reminder her.

    "OK but call if they give you a problem."

     I ended the cell phone call and headed to the pool where my mom is still a member, paying the Senior Citizen single-rate for our once family membership. (And where her family members are technically suppose to accompany a member to the pool and pay a guest fee to enter.) As planned, I just signed in using her name and walked right in while the lifeguard manning the desk never looked up from her cell phone.

    It seems too weird to me to pay a guest fee to enter this pool, a pool I know my way around quite well. This is where I spent every morning during the months of June and July from the ages of 6-18 at swim team practice. It is also where I returned most afternoons after a quick trip home to have breakfast, pack a lunch and grab a dry towel and my Nancy Drew novel.  It is where I'd swim for 45 minutes straight - playing Sharks and Minnows in the deep end or Marco Polo in the 3 feet area or Jump/Dive/Twist off the diving board. Then sit out for a 15 minute break announced by the lifeguard's whistle.

   It is also where swim team meets were every Saturday and where Sundays were the best. Krispy Cream donuts were served and we could bring rafts into the pool. At least one night during the summer, the pool stayed open late for Movie Night. They set up a big screen and rented a reel-to-reel movie and showed it with popcorn once it got dark. On the Fourth of July, they had a Penny Dive and a Greased-Watermelon Race.

   After about an hour of reading my novel and taking dips in the pool to cool off, my mom arrived. Back in 1966, my parents and a handful of neighbors had the idea of chipping in to build a community pool. Land was available at the top of Woodland Drive. My mom suggested the name - High Point since the pool was at a high point and my dad was born in High Point, NC. Now 50 years later, this community pool is well maintained and has a large membership with a long waitlist.

   Neither my mom or I live around the corner from this pool anymore, but we can't imagine not having a membership. So my mom pays a single, Senior rate and she might go two or three times during the summer only. Yet, as I sit with my mom today at the pool that she and my dad and their friends helped start, I can't imagine a better place to be on a hot, summer day. I can't imagine summer without High Point Pool.


  1. How nice for you and your Mom to be able to spend an afternoon together in a place steeped in so much family history.

  2. Sally, your writing brings back a flood of summer memories. That is what truly good writing does -- it starts a conversation with each reader, as if you are sharing stories over a cup of coffee. Thank you for writing this piece!

  3. Beautiful slice Sally. I loved all the pools I drove my kids to for all the practices and the meets they competed in. Something about the smell of chlorine.

    1. How did I forget the chlorine smell? When I revise my story again, I need to add it in and the strange greenish colors blond-headed friend's hair turned!

  4. I spent several summers working as a lifeguard at Earl Haig Pool. Your post brought back fond memories, the sights and sounds of the pool and the whiff of chlorine in the air.

  5. Wonderful to hear about these memories, Sally, and that you can still make them at the same place 50 years later. Happy times!