Thursday, June 30, 2016

BryonySeries Throwback Thursday: Joliet Beach Club

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Woods, Water & Michigan, Part 2

Summer, to me, is synonymous with water.

Our Joliet backyard always had a wading pool. The first was a round and inflatable. I close my eyes and I'm sitting in it with my little sister and nine month old cousin, who maddeningly splashes water on us, despite our shrieks.

The second pool felt like a “real” pool, shallow and rectangular with corner plastic seats, but wide enough to glide across the bottom. Weekend fun meant the Joliet Beach Club. I wasn't allowed to splash past the rope because I didn’t know how to swim, so I jealously monitored the lucky kids who jumped off dock into the deep water, far more fun than the waves that barely tickled my chin. So instead, I contented myself with leaping off my father’s shoulders and delighting in his mock Woody Woodpecker laugh.

One of our neighbors was the manager at the Joliet Beach Club, and he would periodically call fifteen minute “time-outs.” During those times, the sun beat on the wet suit that clung like plastic wrap to my body. I scooped wet sand onto drooping sand castles and annoyed my mother, who never swam, but sat on a lawn chair in her suit and sun glasses, with frequent checks on the time.

Occasionally, that manager would also summon a swimmer, by name, to the office. My father told me those were the bad children, the ones who shamelessly broke the rules. One day, to our horror, my sister and I heard our names booming over that loudspeaker. Instead of flying to the office, we sat quaking on a beach towel until our neighbor came out to us. In a solemn voice, he told us that since we had been so good, we could each take home a bucket of sand and a bucket of water. I glanced sharply at him to see if he was serious, then saw my father trying not to laugh.

1 comment:

Joliet Dave said...

Lots of memories at the JBC...