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I spent a lot of time in that chlorine-scented pool.

Think it was built in around 1935. I was there much later, the 'Fifties.

It was a great pool. The swim-coach was Bob Gaffney. He was a lifeguard at South Beach during the war, I think I recall someone saying, perhaps him.

I used to like to swim underwater, to see how far I could swim without taking a breath. It got so that I could swim up and back underwater without taking a breath. Since I took some pride in that great feat of airlessness, and everybody said that smoking killed your wind, it was another reason I didn't take up smoking, apart from accidentally setting fire to the woods at Clove Lakes, which I can't tell you about until I check the statute of limitations for negligent arson and damaging public property. I'm ready to snitch off my confederates, in the American way of crime, if I get caught.

Going back to the Curtis pool, the thing about it was that for whatever reason, the boys swim was always sans bathing suits. Whatever modesty thoughts you had going in to Curtis, you lost by the time the first swim was over as a freshman. After that the term false modesty, or even modesty, was a thing of the past.

You also got to see what the rest of the world was made of. Little guys with big-dicks, big guys with little-dicks, young guys, old guys, black guys, some in a class of their own, and all kinds of inbetween. After awhile you just swam laps, trying to keep your mind on the count. How many laps did I do? How many left? It's hard to do, to keep swim laps straight because you're always thinking about something else, at least I was. So you count backwards. Okay, I've got to do 24 laps to do a quarter-mile, I just did six, so I have 18 left. Let's see, is this eighteen to go, or am I on number 18 with seventeen left. Let's count the other way; I've done seven now, seventeen to go. Okay, the turn, now I'm on eight, with sixteen to go.

YOu see how you can get confused. That's why I don't like to swim laps, or run laps, apart from being lazy and it takes work and dedication. I've tried stationary bikes. More mindless boredom. I've tried reading while peddling. Fergitit.

I enjoyed my time in the Curtis Pool. It was the only school on the Island that had a pool, I believe. In New Dorp I don't think they even had showers. But that's another time and another place. Today they have showers, I'm sure. I don't know what PawRichman' had. Tottenville, I think they had running water there, but I wouldn't swear to it.

The girls wore suits.

I don't know what cultural kernel had it that boys could go without suits but girls couldn't.

I wonder how it is today, with gender equality, and Title 9, or is it 12, that guarantees equal treatment for male and female in federally supported institutions with athletic programs. Do men and women both wear suits, or neither, or have they taken the easy way out and simply abolished the pool?

-rs




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