Tuesday, June 9

Why aren't you in the pool?

After World War II ended, things in Hazard began to return to normal. Gasoline rationing ended, bananas returned to the grocery stores, and soldiers were coming home. My father bought a car. It was a 1946 Hudson Super Six and it allowed us go visit relatives in Prestonsburg. We even drove to Viper to have picnics and swim in the river.

Lawrence O. Davis, a friend of my father, started building a new house. He owned a plot of land on a hillside about a block from Baker Hill. The house was to be a showplace with its own swimming pool. As far as I know, there were no homes in Hazard with a swimming pool.

Mr.Davis decided to build the pool first and hoped to have it finished by the time his son, Bobby, came home from Germany. But Bobby never made it home. He was killed in an accident before he could leave Germany.

The pool was finished, but the house never got started. Mr.Davis gave the land, and the swimming pool to the city. It was to become Bobby Davis Memorial Park. The pool quickly became a gathering place. Swimming lessons were organized and picnic tables were brought in. Concrete walkways wound beneath large beech trees. There was talk of tennis courts and maybe someday a library.

Mr. Davis often sat near the pool watching neighborhood children playing in the water. One day he noticed a young boy who was just standing around watching the activity. Mr. Davis asked him why he wasn't in the pool, and the boy said he didn't have a bathing suit.

Hearing that, Mr. Davis handed the boy a ten dollar bill and said, "Go downtown and buy yourself a bathing suit." A short time later, the boy reappeared with a new bathing suit in his hand. He paid 98 cents for it. He handed $9.02 to Mr. Davis and headed for the bathhouse.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this vivid memory and picture!