Season ends with bang at Elks pool
Water, sun peeking out, the smell of hot dogs and hamburgers grilling, blaring music, volleyball, decks sticky from dropped sno-cones, inert adults and manic children.
The traditional elements of summer came together this Labor Day Monday to close the season at the High Point Elks Lodge pool on Old Mill Road.
Lifeguard and pool manager Lauren Turner summed up events nicely with the word “bittersweet.” A senior at Wesleyan Academy, Lauren had a great summer — her third working at the pool — but she is ready to close the pool and focus on school.
The Elks pool was so full at the season’s end celebration Monday that admission was limited to members only, with no guests allowed. Lauren expected 250 to pile in by the end of the day.
Best-friends-forever Chloe Pate and Emily Hawn, both 10, neighbors and students at Southwest Elementary School, have spent most weekends and some weekdays at the pool.
“My favorite time is weekends because that’s when the concession stand is open,” Chloe said. “I got to hang out with my friends, and if it’s really hot, the pool cools me off.”
“I’m sad because the pool’s closing because some of my friends don’t go to the same school as me, so I don’t get to talk to them,” Emily said.
Evan Thomas, 5, who just started kindergarten at Shadybrook Elementary School, had a different perspective on the summer he spent with his friends at the pool.
“We splash each other in the water, in the deep end,” Evan said as he stuffed a hamburger into his mouth, which is missing the front teeth.
While the children splashed and played, 73-year-old Fred Johnson sat quietly under the picnic shelter and munched a hot dog. Johnson, whose skin is well bronzed, has been going to the Elks pool since 1974.
“If it’s not raining, I’m here every day,” he said. “I just like the tan, and I feel better with the sun. I don’t really care about the pool. I just like the sun and to walk and exercise.”
Beginning today, with the Elks pool closed, Johnson will return to his fall-winter schedule of spending nearly three hours a day exercising and walking at the workout center at the YMCA on Hartley Avenue.
And the kids and lifeguards will dry out and return to school.
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