​​​​​​​​​​​Russell High School

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East Point Pool

Let me count the ways. I loved the East Point pool because I was little and it was gigantic – a man-made cement lake sparkling like a mirage on a hot summer day, lazy clouds moseying through the blue sky above us.

For a nickel or a dime, I could freeze my tongue with a peach push-up; or a frozen Milky Way bar on a stick; or delicious, stale, butter popcorn.

The outside juke box blasted songs, usually “Wooly Bully” while Ronnie Ray danced to it over and over again.
Older women in bikinis ( 14 or 15! ), who I was too shy to look at directly.

But I loved to swim – the shallow to the deep end like a southside Moby Dick. Above water I could hear my friends calling out to each other, and I could hear “Wooly Bully”; but submerging, all was watery silence, like I was back in amniotic fluid, and if I listened hard enough, I’d hear the thoughts of God.

Back to the surface, I felt like I could tread water in that magical pool – forever!

Steve Cartwright