Manchester City Library

Manchester, NH's Online Library

Manchester City Library header image 2

Let’s Go Swimming!

June 20th, 2018 · 1 Comment · Books, City Library, Main Branch, West Branch

Mom said I could swim before I could walk.  I spent many summers at an Olympic-sized pool – and loved every minute of it.  We’d play blind tag, Marco Polo, or race to see who could get to the other end of the pool first under water without taking a breath.  Yes, those were the days of serious lung capacity.  We’d bring scuba gear to the pool complete with goggles and flippers and awkwardly flap around the deck like Lloyd Bridges in the TV show Sea Hunt.

In July, all the kids looked forward to the big pool show filled with swim races, hilarious stunts by the life guards and other entertaining and lucrative events.  The night always drew a big crowd of kids who’d been in their bathing suits since 10am that morning.   We loved the contest where they would throw tons of quarters into the shallow end of a pool, lit only with dim, yellow stadium lights.  Even though our eyes were bloodshot from hours of chlorine exposure, we had razor-sharp focus as we watched the lure-like glitter of quarters spiral their way to the bottom.  Then on the count of three, about 50 of us kids would dive in, making a huge splash, and head straight for the bottom and scoop up all the quarters we could get our grubby little hands on.

After that was the greased watermelon contest – but that one was for the older kids.  This consisted of greasing up a huge watermelon with Crisco, throwing it into the deep end and whichever team managed, after thoroughly getting slimed by the watermelon, to push it out of the pool, would win.  Not as easy as it sounds!

The final entertainment would be the beautiful and sophisticated water ballet show.  This involved a bunch of 12 year old girls in our standard issue paisley or vertical striped Jantzen bathing suits, wearing sailor hats, and doing a few choreographed moves to music.  Moves painstakingly taught to us over weeks of rehearsal by the High School life guard.   We basically followed the one girl who knew what she was doing.  I actually participated in the event one year and am happy to share an incriminating photo..



Ahh, Summer.  Enjoy the magic while you can…

During rest period or if you just ate a piece of cherry pie a la mode and can’t go back in the water for an hour, check out some of the fun books on swimming below.  And remember when at the pool: “Waaaaaalk!!”

Captain Awesome Takes a Dive                     The Young Swimmer               Swimming With Giants

Stink and the Freaky Frog Freakout                Splashdance 



Tags: ·····