Sunday, June 16, 2013

Pool With a View


Pool With a View
By Bob West
Aug. 2001
Although there were several places along the Palouse River where kids of my generation went skinny dipping in early spring, we all considered the community pool built with federal money in 1935, as the "swimming hole" for the kids of our city. It wasn't much of a pool by today's standards, but I spent many enjoyable hours in this old cement pond. I vividly remember two incidents that happened to me, one nearly cost me my life, the other both embarrassment and enjoyment.
One day I was in fierce competition with several other guys to see who could jump the farthest and highest from the diving board feet first. It was about closing time and the lifeguard told us it was time to get out. We agreed, but we all wanted one more attempt. I was the last one to jump and I was sure I had won the contest, but I had no way of proving it as the others had left the pool. I felt a sharp pain in my right foot as I hit the bottom of the pool but didn't give it much thought.  I pushed off with my legs but didn't go anywhere. What the heck? I looked down and saw blood streaming from the top of my foot and it seemed to be caught in something.  I tried to free myself several times with no  success. I began to panic. I was running out of air. I was much too young to die. My body might not be found for days. One last chance. I crouched down as far as I could, locked my arms under my knees and pushed off with both legs and at the same time pulled up with my arms. I was free! The pool manager took me to a doctor where several stitches were required to close the wound. Mike Ogan, the water superintendent, told me what had happened. The cover of the drain was made of wood with three louvered slats. My foot became wedged between two of these and the cut was caused by an exposed nail.  The city then had a metal cover made eliminating this danger.
The first few years of operation the city rented swimming suits.  I remember they were an ugly blue or green, becoming faded from repeated washings.  There was only one style, made of cotton giving very little support to body parts. These suits were rented mostly by parents of kids visiting relatives or friends in Palouse. I did see men wearing them from time to time but never an adult woman.
One day I was lying on my stomach on the sidewalk alongside the bathhouse.  The cement was warm and the heat radiating from the building made me drowsy.  I was about to nod off when something awakened me. I don't know if I heard something, or perhaps I had some inclination something important in my life was about to happen. I raised my head from my arms and looked toward the pool. Someone was standing at the edge of the pool in a diving position wearing one of those ugly blue suits. I was unable to see this person's face, but I was certain, because of the long tapered legs and other shapely body parts, that this was the body of an adult woman. There was no doubt, when the head emerged from the water covered with an ugly orange swimming cap, that it was a woman. No man in the world would be caught dead wearing such a hat.  I was really interested by now so I scooted to the edge of the pool and sat with my feet dangling in the water.  It seemed like an eternity before the swimmer began climbing the ladder across the pool from me. Stepping over the edge of the pool she turned so I could see her profile. I was right. It was an adult female tall, curvy and amply endowed, if you know what I mean.  I remember wishing she would remove that ugly cap so I could see her face. Better.  She must of read my mind because she slowly began removing it. Do you know what happened next? Of course you don't. I'll tell you. One of her endowments fell out of her suit! Oh, I had seen these women things before.  One warm spring day I was playing mountain man on Kamiak Butte and sneaked up on and peaked on four young ladies sunbathing and frolicking around in the nude. Because I was viewing these mountain nymphs from a distance, and the fact that I was overwhelmed by the quantity of said items {8}, I failed to notice the quality.  I did, however, know that this single specimen I was viewing just a few feet away had to be in the top line of these women accessories. The Cadillac of the boob world you might say.
I was really embarrassed for this lady. I tried to look away, honest I did, but I was mesmerized. As she slowly made her way to the diving board she either shook her head or ran her fingers through her hair adding much to the enjoyment of the moment. Was she going to dive from the board? I certainly hoped so!  I was really disappointed this did not happen. She paused a moment before she turned to climb on the board, glanced across the pool, and seeing the dazed look on my face, she realized something was wrong. Looking down she saw the problem, and with a flick of her wrist she replaced this object of my admiration from whence it came and immediately dove into the water.  I hate to admit it, but I was scared of this young lady. She was bigger than I was {in more ways than one} and I was afraid she might do me bodily harm. I jumped up, ran to the dressing room, gathered my clothes and ran to the safety of my home. I never found out who she was.  I never saw her again. Oh, I might have and didn't recognize her. I forgot to look at her face.