Willie Sutton and Charlton Hairsuit gave up on fishing...it was too hot. Jumping on the #107 bus, they rode it to Tompkinsville. Getting off at the corner of Bay street and Victory blvd., they walked across the SIRT walkway past Madalone's bowling alley and went down the stairs to the Lyon's Pool entrance.
Like the movie theaters, it was too hot to go to the smaller local pools: Goodhue and Faber. Even the little kids were no longer satisfied to go to the wading pools at the Clove Lakes or McDonalds playgrounds...all wanted to go to the big pool: Tompkinsville.
Pooling all of their earnings from Willie's caddy fees and Charlton's kool-aid stand, there was enough money for the busfare, admission to the pool (no "Annie Oakleys" at Tompkinsville!) and a few coins left over to buy a Nedick's orange and a frozen Milky Way up on the roof.
Going inside the locker room, they obtained wire baskets to put their clothes in and debated on whether it was better to attach the brass property token with the elastic band around their ankles or around their wrists. This was one time girls had an advantage: they always put the tag around the straps of their bathing suits.
Trying to jump over the footbath at the locker room exit was always a challenge, you had to be a world-class broad jumper to clear it...neither Willie or Charlton succeeded. After jumping in and getting used to the water, both tried to swim the length of the 3 foot pool underwater. This was no mean feat for a 10year old! But it was a "coming of age" rite that had to be attempted until one got so blue in the face from lack of oxygen, that he gave up until the next time.
Now it was over to the diving pool and getting up the courage to jump off the high board. This year, Willie was determined to try a dive. However, every time he got out on the edge of the board, he chickened out and jumped feet first. He usually grabbed his legs and tucked into a cannonball before he hit the water...this way he could claim that he intentionally wanted to do a cannonball rather than a mundane dive.
After terrorizing the little kids in the wading pool by playing "alligator" it was time to go up to the roof and gnaw on a frozen Milky Way and wash it down with a Nedick's orange. The cold food and drink gave one a little chill, so it was time to lay down on the hot tile deck.
As Willie stretched out belly down on the tiles, Charlton noticed that Willie's brass tag was missing...sh*t! Where to start looking?
Staten Island WebŪ Forums Index.