Skin diving fever set in like crazy on a very hot day when I'd gone to our local G.I. Joe's store. The store was very new in our neighborhood, and for sporting goods it just couldn't be beat! It was a very hot summer day, and I was sweating heavily from the ride. It felt fantastic to step into the air-conditioned store and cool down. I was completely entranced by all the camping gear, the tents set up on the floor, fishing poles, sleeping bags and all manner of gear needed for the great outdoors. What brought me there in the first place was an expedition looking for a knobby tire for my Stingray bike. What I discovered next made me forget all about a bike tire...
While in the store I was immediately halted by a huge display ad for snorkeling and diving equipment that had me hypnotized! It showed a diver in blue water with tropical greenery growing beneath the surface. It was all too incredible and I couldn't quit staring at it! It was even better than any of the diving scenes in any Tarzan movie.
There was such beauty, and mystery, and adventure in the shallow waters of that portrayed underwater paradise that I could not lift my eyes from that awesome store display. On the shelves below were all sorts of snorkeling gear such as masks, fins, and snorkels.
Our First Outdoor Pool
Being an avid "Sea Hunt" fan, I was thrilled by anything underwater. That spring we'd gotten a plastic backyard splash pool with port hole windows along the sides in order to get a glimpse under the water. It was about 3 feet deep, and not big enough to swim in, but it was wonderful just the same.I purchased a mask and snorkel set and a set of Voit swim fins. For the first time I understood what it was like to actually breathe underwater! It felt a bit heavier, and my snorkel had the old ping-pong ball top that prevented a person from taking in water whenever they went below the surface.
Public Swimming Pools
There was nothing like the dancing sunbeams on pool water when it was filled with thrashing kids yelling and having fun. There were times when my friends and I made the long ride on our bikes to the local outdoor pools, or the indoor pool at David Douglas High School. My favorite was the pool at Creston Park. It was a grand place, not only in beauty, but size, with plenty of tall trees, shade, picnicking areas, and rolling hills.
On those hot summer days it was great to look at the giant blue swimming pool with sunbeams dancing off the rippled surface. Kids yelled and splashed in concert, and the entire park was like a summer paradise. The large outdoor swimming area was surrounded by concrete decking and a cyclone fence. From atop a grassy slope, low-hanging branches of towering evergreens nearly obscured the beautiful blue of the water. Often, cool breezes would sail across my bare shoulders softly rustling pine needles. The heat of the day was softly accentuated by the rich scents of chlorine from the pool water and the fragrance of clean manicured grass. The admission was fifty cents, and our Moms gave us each extra quarters for a sno-cone or ice cream after.
Those were marvelous days, when it was safe to ride a few miles on our bikes with our swim towels tied to the crossbar of our bikes.