SUMMER OF 61

Written by Nick Creasey                  

I DECIDED THE BEST SUMMER JOB WAS BEING A LFEGUARD.  SO, I MOSIED ON DOWN TO MIDLAND PARKS AND REC AND BEGGED SCOOTER AULD FOR A JOB.  I HAD NO QUALIFICATIONS AND WAS UNWILLING TO TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER.  HE SAID OK, AND OFFERED ME A JOB AS THE CLEANUP BOY AT HALFF POOL.  IT PAID 69 CENTS AN HOUR, 1.5 HOURS A DAY.  I THINK HE WAS TRYING TO DISCOURAGE ME.  BY THE END OF THE SUMMER I WAS ON THE STAND— MAKING 69 CENTS AN HOUR.

THAT SUMMER WAS AN EYE-OPENING EXPERIENCE FOR ME.  SOME OF THE CHARACTERS I WORKED WITH;  GEORGE MCBRIDE,JOHN MCELLIGOT,MIKE MURPHY, MIKE SOUTH, JOHN HOWELL. 

MIDLAND PUBLIC POOLS, AND THE REST OF MIDLAND, WERE SEGREGATED LIKE THE REST OF THE CITY.  HOGAN-WHITE, ULMER-BLUE COLLAR WHITE, WASHINGTON-BLACK, HIDALGO-BROWN, HALFF-“SOUTH OF THE TRACKS” WHITE.

WE RAN A PRETTY LOOSE SHIP, HAD A LOT OF FUN, AND NOBODY DROWNED!

I REMEMBER ONE DAY WE WERE BORED SO SOMEBODY WENT FOR SIX PACS AND WE WERE  NO LONGER BORED.  PROBLEM WAS, THE GUYS AT THE FIRE STATION NEXT DOOR GOT JEALOUS AND CALLED THE COPS. I REMEMBER MCELLIGOTT LOOKED OUT THE FRONT AND SAID “QUICK! DUMP THE BEERS IN THE BACKWASH PIT! HERE COME THE COPS”!  THE COPS FOUND NOTHING, TOLD US TO BEHAVE, THEN LEFT.  BEERS WERE RETRIEVED.  WE CONTINUED.  THAT WAS MY VERY FIRST BEER.

QUITE A CAST OF CHARACTERS ON THAT SIDE OF TOWN.  THE SELF FAMILY-ALL 13 OF THEM-WERE THERE MOST DAYS ON THE FAMILY SEASON PASS COSTING 25$.  ONE DAY RODNEY ENGLISH WALKED IN THE OFFICE,  DROPPED TROW, AND PEED ON THE FLOOR BEFORE BEING ESCORTED OUT BY JOHN. 

A COUPLE OF YEARS LATER TOMMY SNOW AND CHARLES BACHTEL WERE LEAVING WITH THE MONEY BAG AND WERE APPROACHED BY “SOME REALLY BIG MEAN -LOOKING GUYS”.  EDDIE HENLEY WALKED UP AND TOLD THEM IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS “THESE GUYS ARE FRIENDS OF MINE-GET LOST”. ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, THAT SUMMER WAS AN EYE OPENING EXPERIENCE FOR ME.

THE NEXT SUMMER I GRADUATED TO MY DREAM JOB AT HOGAN POOL

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