An Afternoon At South Arm Pool Brings Memories Of A Quiet PastSaturday, July 04, 2009
After lunch of homemade pizza Rosemary and I took the two girls to the South Arm Pool in Richmond. The pool has a couple of water slides. Rebecca and Lauren were looking forward to it. Rebecca has passed her Aquaquest 9 and her instructor says that Rebecca has grace no matter what swimming stroke she does. Lauren passed Aquaquest 1 and still insists on using a floating vest in the water. But both love being in the water. As I watched the crowds, some were playing Frisbee, others were screaming in the water and young girls in bikinis were experimenting with getting glances from young boys. I could not understand how we had been persuaded to come to the place. But there was a comforting familiarity which I cold not pin down until we were driving home.
Sometime in the early 70s while living in Mexico City we discovered a way of avoiding swimming pool crowds on hot summer days. We would drive with our young daughters Ale and Hilary to a KOA (Kampgrounds of America) that was not too far (about an hour away) from our house. We would check in and pay for a day’s stay. This gave us access to their swimming pool which we always enjoyed in what now really seems like a luxurious privacy. In the pictures you can see Rosemary, about 28, and Ale, 5, on the swing. There were no water slides but this was amply compensated by the stark and peaceful quiet of the Mexican sierra. To be fair, with the advent of iPods, there were next to no loud ghetto blasters today at South Arm Pool. While drying in the sun I was hit several times in the head by errant Frisbees. Frisbees have changed. These were the size of a pizza dish.
While attempting to swim in a pool that seems to have no deep end ( public parks in no-fun-let’s-always-be-safe Vancouver have eliminated deep ends, slides, and have now banned mothers from taking their children down the water slides together) I counted the hundreds of young children there. I wondered (I inherited this from my Tío Luís Miranda who hated beaches because he said sand got into his shoes) how many were too lazy to go to the bathroom in the designated location?
Yet sacrifices have to me made and in the end it was all worth it as I watched Rebecca and Lauren laugh. I even spied the usually somber Rosemary smiling here and there.