This blog could just as easily be entitled “Gone with the Wind.”
We moved to Fairborn in September of 1964. I don’t know what we did in those early summers but it was mostly hanging around. In the summer of 1967 we were sponsored by the Reynolds family to join Greenacres.
|Early shots from before my time. |
Thanks Rebecca George Greenwood!
Greenacres was a private swim club (that later added tennis, not that I cared) and in order to belong, you had to buy stock and pay annual dues. The “father” had to join. I get that now. Most of the families were brought by their mothers and you may have rarely seen the fathers who were at work during the day—definitely a money making ploy, but I think more, which I will get to later.
The first year was a trial period, so the family could make the decision based on whether they would truly use the pool. I think this was a sound idea; and the second year we forwent our vacation for the stock price and dues. From then on, the pool was life for me until I married in 1977, and Mom and Loren moved out to Rona Village after Dad died. Mom gave me the stock.
In the Kline household, all but Loren were beyond the swim lesson years. We did all of our chores in the morning, looking forward to an afternoon at the pool. With Loren at 3-5, mom went with us. Later, by the time I was driving, I took everyone and maybe she got something done at home (or maybe not). Dad came after work. Dinners were simple and sometimes we were back in the evening. I am glad they “made” Dad join. It made for good family times that we might not have had otherwise.
Relationships at Greenacres were unique. We kids spent so much time together it was like extended family. I know crushes went on, and I wonder if any of those crushes are reading this blog, but rarely did anything of duration come out of them. That takes nothing away from the dear friendships created though. During the school year, we would go our own ways and then pick up the following summer as if time stood still. I was not on the swim team but I know those relationships were very special also. I did take Senior Lifesaving there; can’t believe I actually passed it!
The adults had a social life too. There were “adult” parties as well as the “youth” parties, and on weekends, there were family gatherings galore. My parents didn’t get as involved with that as some who will read this; but I know that was special to those who did. (I do not want to imply that my parents did not have a social life as it may seem if you take this item and add it to the fact that we didn’t have neighborhood parties from a previous post. Nothing could be further from the truth!)
|My kids are going to die at this|
one. Circa 1969!
Alas, times change. Families change. There was a time when Fairborn could support the Rona Hills Swim Club and Greenacres Club too. However, these were not open to everyone (although there were guest privileges). Greene County built a pool, which must have taken away from the clubs. I was married by this time and my husband, as a teacher, did not want to swim in a public place where there were students, so we put in an in-ground pool. Mothers worked, although my daughter took children she babysat to the pool, and the clubs had smaller memberships.
It’s more complicated than one thing, but Rona Hills pool had a big crack in it and money could not be raised to fix it and it was filled in. Greenacres closed in 2005 and sits idle. I don’t totally understand all the finances, but I did work for a non-profit and they are all struggling. If the county pool could fill in the gap, that would be one thing. But as the county government makes cuts, that pool sits idle also.
The “Gone with the Wind” part is that there isn’t anything for kids and adults to come together that is quite like the pool experience. Families still do things together, but the activities have changed. Sports have always been with us, and many families spend their summers (and other seasons) at a sports venue. There are even more activities that are scrunched into already filled days. What I lament is the days that were more leisurely. Now everyone is working, babysitting, flipping burgers, or whatever, not just the adults. If you or your kid is not working, you are looked at as if there is something wrong with you!
So it’s not only about not having a pool to go to, it is also about the idea that everyone has to work all the time. I know many in this difficult economy must work more than one job. We have gained a concept of kids helping to provide their own needs, which is good, but we have lost the idea of just “goofing off.”
On Facebook, we actually have a “group” called “Greenacres Alumni.” There are members of many different ages. Join us there! The memories span generations. Now that I am semi-retired, how I wish it were still there! I could use the social aspect of the organization, even if I didn’t swim much. I would love to take my grandchildren.
Greenacres (or Rona Hills) Pool was only one part of our growing up years in Fairborn Ohio. Perhaps my readers can think of other important experiences.