Recs and Reads
By Anne McKay Garris
Once upon a time, in a lovely little town beside the Gulf of Mexico, there was an Olympic size swimming pool. It was the only pool in town and exceedingly popular. Members of the community, which extended only as far East as Missouri Avenue at the time, came together at the Big Pier Sixty Pool for parties, swim meets and just simple fun. It was different, somehow, from swimming in the Gulf. Most of the nearby tourist accommodations were small, with no room for swimming pools, so "City Fathers" (there were no city mothers at the time) decreed it must be good for tourism. In fact, most motel guests could obtain passes from their motel management.
Years later, when the City Fathers (and probably some Mothers by this time) decided a playground and concession stand were more needed than the pool, they removed it, promising the people of the Clearwater Beach community it would be replaced somewhere else on the Beach. But they eventually went their way, as these people do, and the promise was lost in the mists of history. Only the people of the Clearwater Beach Association remembered. And when the time was right they went to City Hall and asked where our pool was . .. . when it would be built.
"You don't need a pool, out there!" was the response. "You have the Gulf of Mexico."
"Yes, but . . ." responded the Beach Association, "you promised and we do need a pool for children's games and exercise and swim teams and swim team practice and, yes, pool parties."
"Nobody will use it," complained the city officials.
Eventually the battle was won and Clearwater Beach now has its new, modern and very usable swimming pool with deep water lanes and shallow water areas and wonderful, modern pool toys.
It opens for the 2009 season on March 23. The cost to use it is six dollars or less, depending on your age and the kind of Recreation Pass you use. Hours, for now, are from Noon to 5 p.m., Mondays through Sundays. It's a great place for a party for any age group. You can rent the whole area for your group, after hours. Check it out. It's a fun family place.
Meantime, the large rooms at the Clearwater Beach Recreation Center are finally finished, with enhanced views of the water and wonderful floors for the dancers and exercisers and zumba-ers. Check the schedule to find which of these groups you can schedule to join.
See you at the pool!
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