In my print column this week, I touched upon swimming, childhood, John Cheever, Burt Lancaster and more.
Here's an excerpt:
"Growing up, I spent almost every day of the summer at a public beach called Manahan, where I took swimming lessons, played with my friends and jumped off the raft in the deep end. I also swam in a nearby river, which was colder, but also a little more exciting: fish were a frequent sight, as they glided past arms and legs, and there was a small waterfall you could swim to, and sit on the rocks or float in the swifter current.
Back then, I didn’t realize how lucky I was.
These swimming holes were a short drive from my house, and they were also free. I assumed every kid enjoyed a childhood like mine, one centered on swimming and playing with friends, and it wasn’t until later, when I was an adult, that I learned that this wasn’t the case.
Many people live in places that lack access to a good swimming hole, and although pools are an adequate substitute, they really aren’t the same. Lakes aren’t made of concrete and plastic, for one thing. Their water is fresh, rather than chlorinated, and their boundaries tend to be less defined — you often feel a little less restricted and crowded when swimming in a lake. Also, lakes are often pretty, with lovely views of trees and hills and water, and even a little bit mysterious: Swimming past the point where you can stand is a genuine and timeless thrill, especially at night."
To read the entire post, visit the DG.