When I was 6 years old my parents decided to give my brother swimming lessons, we couldn’t afford for us both to take lessons so I got to sit in the bleachers and watch. donald duckFinally the day came when dad would take both Wayne and myself swimming. All the way to the swimming pool I was excited and told my parents that I was going to jump off the diving board. They told me that I had to stay in the shallow water because I didn’t know how to swim. Well when we arrived at the swimming pool of course I was wearing my swimsuit so I just ran through the dressing room to the pool. Mom didn’t swim so she was seated in the bleachers watching, dad was changing from his clothes to his swimsuit. I yelled to my mom to watch me and went straight to the diving board. She started screaming for someone to come help her son (the life guard was busy flirting with the cashier inside). My dad came running out of the dressing room his pants half off and his swimsuit half on just as I ran and jumped off the diving board. I swam to the side and told dad he should get his suit on before he came in the water. I have been swimming ever since if there is a body of water nearby look for me somewhere in the middle of it.

When I was young probably 7 years of age I was on a swimming team. I remember that my mom NEVER banaba splitmissed a swimming practice or competition. On my first meet I had to date never swam all the way across the length of the pool. (They always stared me in the deep end so when I got to where I could stand up I did.) Well on the way to the meet my mom being concerned that I hadn’t swam the length of the pool she told me that if I swam the full length of the pool I could have a banana split. So when it came time for my race we were to jump in and “warm up”, I jumped in and swam the length and back again and then swam it and back again once more. Then it was time to “toe the mark” I was so tired from swimming the 4 lengths of the pool that I lost the race. My mom in her wisdom explained that it sounded better if I said I came in 4th place, after all how many people would know that there were only 4 swimmers in the race? And by my own reckoning I was truly the winner because I had “earned” not one but five banana splits that day. My mom & dad were not sure I had earned them and didn’t allow me to have them all at once but I did finally prevail and had a banana split every week for five weeks.

As a youth I joined a “Swim and stay Fit” club sponsored swim and stay fitby the American Red Cross. The object was to go swimming regularly and to swim laps. 32 laps of the Pleasant Grove Swimming Pool was one mile. The “Official rules” gave 3 years to complete 50 miles worth of swimming. I swam an average of 11/2 miles each day and finished the 50 miles on July 31, 1965 finishing a year before the deadline. Here is a write up in the Deseret News with my picture. I remember that I disliked my picture but my mom saved it for me (I am glad she did).

About this time my parents enrolled my sister Cindy in a special swim class. This was a class for individuals who had emotional, physical and or mental handicaps. Cindy being deaf and having a mild case of Cerebral Palsy was accepted in the class. I went with her because my mom was not a swimmer. Cindy became a very good swimmer and enjoyed the swim day as much as I did. After a while I was given the opportunity to be an assistant instructor I had the opportunity of working with several boys. One of the boys had totally lost the use of his legs, I would help him climb (using only his hands) up on the diving boards where he would sit on the end of the diving board and then perform beautiful dives. He would try to get up on the high dive and could do so about twice then he would be to tired to climb up again. Another young boy was named Danny, all I knew about Danny was that he was a boy who almost instantly attached himself to me, and he and I were GOOD friends. We always had fun together and the friendship clouded over any shortcomings or disabilities he may have had. I had this opportunity for 3 or 4 years and how I looked forward to this special swim day. Years later I was find out that my high school sweetheart Norma was Danny's sister. He had passed away before Norma and I started dating.

scubaWhen I was 12, I prevailed on my parents to allow me to enroll in a scuba diving class provided by the American Red Cross. I thought it rather silly to be “scuba diving” in a swimming pool but it proved a good place to practice and learn. We certified in a pond at the point of the mountain. It was a little murky pond not more than 30 feet across but as I remember it was said to be 300 feet deep. We had to descend 50 feet and be able to clear our mask and a few other things. We descended with the “buddy system” but we had to hang on to each other because the pond was so murky we couldn’t see more than 2 or 3 feet in the water. I was excited to be the youngest certified scuba diver in Utah. I used my scuba skills often while I was in the Navy and had many fun and exciting and a few scary dives .

Now that TediAnn and I are living here at Cascade Springs I have been teaching swimming lessons the young people age 3 ~ 6 years old, so that they can play safely at the swimming pool. It is a time consuming endeavor and I will never make much money doing it but I sure do enjoy it.

Swimming Swimming
Swimming Swimming

I have recently once again taken up swimming laps I swim at the Gene Fulmer Fitness and Recreation Center. People tell me that they have never seen anyone swim while on oxygen therapy ~ I always reply that it is the only way I can swim.

Actually I don't breathe the oxygen while I am swimming due to breathing because you breathe in through your mouth and out through your nose while swimming (if you didn't blow out your nose you would get a nose full of water) so I swim the length of the pool then stop and take 5 or 6 deep breaths with the oxygen before going back for the next length.