Tuesday, July 04, 2006

so i was reading summer memories in a magazine a few minutes ago and i thought i'd share some of mine.

yesterday while rachel was at guard practice i drove the ten miles or so to union hill. i wanted to see the music city speedway, which is a drag racing track that has been in union hill as long as i can remember. it was, for many years, known as union hill drag strip, and was also the home of union hill swimming pool.

i thought of the many happy hours i spent at union hill in the pool. sometimes i would catch a ride out there several days in a row. usually i'd be sunburnt but i didn't care. it was too much fun to see who was out there. i didn't want to miss a minute of floating on the air raft, jumping from the high dive, and playing water games with all the cute guys, and there would usually be a bunch. oh! it was a thrill beyond words to see mark sloan in swimming trunks. at the time i thought someday i'd grow up to marry him. i didn't know he'd get married when i was in the tenth grade.

i played in the kiddie pool there when i was a toddler, slid down the slide into my mom's arms as a preschooler, and played in the water with my friends as a preteen and then a teenager. the jukebox played every record's a-side, then every record's b-side. i can't hear the righteous brothers' "rock and roll heaven," conway twitty's, "don't cry joni," peter frampton's "i'm in you," or that squirrely & shirley song without thinking of the pool.

in the summer of 1980 we kept hearing that "they" - whoever "they" were...the carlisle family ran the pool but i don't think they owned it - were going to fill the pool with concrete and make it a parking lot for the drag strip. i don't know if they filled it or not, but they closed the pool that year and it never reopened. there had been a horrible accident one day, i don't remember what year, but i remember it well, when a girl fell off the high dive's ladder onto her back. i don't know whatever happened to that girl, or if that was why they closed the pool, or if it was simply the cost of liability insurance and managing the pool that preceded its demise. after union hill's pool closed, summers just weren't as much fun. the other pools in the area were all right, but they weren't the same. all the good times were now good memories. sometimes they are gone, but occasionally i will smell cigarette smoke and at the same time a hint of chlorine and the memories come flooding back. of course, to really create the exact aroma, there should be the scent of ketchup and fries. to further create the ambience, the ring of a pinball machine - not a video game - should play in the background.

i drove by the drag strip and tried to look down into the "holler" where the pool had been, but i could not see anything. i felt a pain in my soul, longing for the days when i spent my carefree summers out at union hill.


rwingo1 said...

my family built, owned, and operated the pool and drag strip for many years. the drag strip was opened in 1958 and the pool was opened around 1962 or 1963. i have a lot of pictures and memorabilia if you are interested. the pool was closed in 1980 and was leveled and made into a parking area.

Marisa said...

Cool! I would love to see pictures & such. So many great memories! I knew Ronnie & Terry Carlisle fairly well back then. I lived across the road from Ronnie for several years & his daughter Ginger went to school with me. I run into all of them from time to time now, not too often though. I'm glad you posted a comment. Good to hear from you!

Shelia Veto said...

Marisa aren't Terry and Ronnie both deceased Terry in motor cycle acc yrs ago and heard that Ronnihad passed also he and I dated for a while many yrs ago.I attended Terrys funeral if we are speaking of the same men.e-mail add Seawitch0102@gmail.com

Marisa Bush said...

There was another Carlisle family in the Goodlettsville area. I can't remember if one was Terry or one was Ronnie, but one of the Goodlettsville Carlisles shared a name with one of the Greenbrier Carlisle brothers. And, if I remember right both of the Goodlettsville Carlisle brothers are deceased now. I think you and I talked on FB about this... Terry and Ronnie from Greenbrier are both still living. Ronnie recently retired from teaching at Jo Byrns High after about 40 years, and Terry lives in the Coopertown area and has at least one child at Springfield High School. There may be more than one, I'm not sure. I read something Terry posted on FB not too long ago.