Child 'Hood

I grew up in an idyllic subdivision in my hometown called North Point.  I couldn't tell you how many houses are in it, but maybe 200?  Let's just say that for grins.  The homes were all built in from 1970-1980, and they are modest, with a little land so you're not right on top of the people next door, but there's still a coziness to it.

Our house is at the front of the subdivision, and it's one of the earliest.  As it happens, some of the women in the neighborhood had a luncheon, and it was determined that my mother has been there the longest - since 1970.

The outlined area is my neighborhood.  The red square is my house, the green star is our pool.

Many of the parents of kids I grew up with still live there.  A few kids even came back and bought houses there for families of their own.

About three houses down from us is our neighborhood pool.  When I was a kid, if you were eight or older, and passed a swim test, you could go to the pool without an adult.  I think now they have to be 16.  But I turned eight in the fall of 1982, so in the summer of 1983, I could head down and spend the day there.  Quite often, I did.  It was delightful.

Wednesdays nights at the Pool were Kids' Night.  And they would order pizza or grill hot dogs, and for a few dollars, you got dinner and maybe some games and the pool stayed open til 9PM.

We played water baseball with a foam Nerf ball, our hands were the bats and you swam the bases. We played Marco Polo.  We played Sharks and Minnows.  I was terrible at all of them.

On the 4th of July, the day started with a neighborhood bike parade.  We would decorate our rides with crepe paper, streamers, whatever and ride them around the neighborhood.  I made a "float" one year in a wagon, with all my stuffed animals along for the ride.

The pool would have a cookout, and there would be games.  A greased watermelon was placed into the deep end and we had to get it out.  Harder than it sounds.  Swim relays where you had to take off a wet t shirt and the next person had to put it on.  Diving for pennies.  And then, eventually, we'd go see fireworks somewhere.

This past weekend,  I went to Atlanta to see my mother because my sister and nephew were visiting.  We spent all day Saturday (more or less) at the pool.  I went down early with Henry because he had a new float to try out, and Laura was getting a haircut.

Just after I got settled, the parents of a classmate of mine arrived with their youngest daughter and her three kids (two-year old twin girls and their three year old brother).  Shortly after that, another neighbor arrived.  Her middle daughter is Laura's age, and her youngest is one year my junior.  Her daughter (the neighbor's granddaughter) was there. Then another neighbor came with her daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter.

And then, a whole slew of kids I never met.

The ice cream truck came.  Lunches were eaten, meltdowns were melted down, and adult swims happened.  I still feel weird getting in during those.  They call them Safety Breaks.

We stayed for a long time, and I got caught up on the Who's Who of North Point.   One of Neighbor Moms is a real estate agent, and we talked housing prices.  Everyone is delighted that Mom and her boyfriend are together - they are called the North Point Lovebirds...we talked about theater, books, movies and politics.

As is typical with my first trip to the pool each year, I got a little sunburned.

No lectures, please. I know what I did wrong.

As is typical, I was worn out by the end of the day and needed a nap.

That night, we met the "extended family" for dinner at Moxie Burger.

If you are ever in North Atlanta and want a great burger, go to Moxie.  Get the Moxie Burger - it has pimiento cheese and a fried green tomato on it, and it is delicious.

After dinner, we all went to Mom's house, sat on the back porch and ate some ice cream.

For a few hours, I was transported back to a time and place that will always be the same, and will never be the same again.



Christopher said…
Your old 'hood sounds like a pretty amazing place. I grew up in swimming pools (mostly out of swimming pools, but you get my meaning) but always had to be taken by an adult because they weren't within walking distance. There were condos on the hill above my street and they had pools that my friends and I could sneak into if we were so inclined, but somehow we never were. Having a pool you could walk to by yourself must have been a wonderful thing.
And I've done the greased watermelon game too. Never could catch it.