Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Games Abby Played: Part I
An Addendum

If you look closely at the photo for this entry , at the bottom right, you will notice a gap in the tile. This is where the slide used to empty into the pool. My grandparents put the slide in when we were little kids in the mid 70’s. It was either that or a diving board. My grandparents ruled out a diving board because the pool was too shallow and the pool could not be dug any deeper unless some explosive devices were used. When the pool was originally built, the contractors couldn’t go deeper with standard machinery because they had hit bedrock, so a sliding board it was.

The slide even had a water connection so we could slide even faster. However, after a few years, the water-line deteriorated so if we wanted to keep the slide wet, we would either have to splash the slide or spray it down with a hose. It was kind of red-neckish, but it worked

After a couple years, we didn’t use the slide just for sliding. I got the bright idea of jumping directly from the top of the slide into the water. The top of the slide was between 6 & 7 feet, and was around 3 feet from the pool’s edge. In a way, we got the diving board we had always wanted.

For 20 years, we never had an accident from using that slide, even after four grandkids, extended family and friends had been using that thing. Nothing, never, nada, zilch, nechevoa. At it wasn’t for lack of trying, and considering the usage of the slide in a way the manufacturers never had intended for us to use it, that was a pretty impressive record.

That was until 1996 during a 4th of July party my mom hosted. We had a couple of dozen friends and family over. Nikki was there, and with all the people running around which included a couple of kids. Abby loved kids, company and especially Nikki, so Abby was in heaven that day.

A drunken guest, a husband of a life-long friend my cousin’s, went down the slide and just before he made it to the pool, he tipped over and smacked his head on the edge of the pool, even loosening part of that tile. It was as if the scene played out in slow motion as I look back. I can still hear him say ‘ow’, followed by his drunk, dumb-ass jokingly say that he was going to sue us. Fortunately, he didn’t, but that was enough to spook my mom. A few months later, she had the slide removed. My mom was not going to take a chance of someone else getting hurt. Next time she might not have been so lucky.

However, taking away this slide removed a source of fun and amusement for me and Abby whenever we played in the pool. Thank you, drunken and clumsy houseguest for screwing it up for me.

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