Swimming, spinning and ice cream

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 29, 2005

On Saturday, July 30, I had the sheer pleasure of being one of the 200 Greenville residents to go to New York for the taping of "My Kind of Town."

That was so much fun.

Tiring, yes, but loads of fun.

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I would like to encourage everyone to watch the show this Sunday, Aug. 14, on ABC at 8 p.m.

That's all that I can say at this time.

I'll write more about it after the show airs.

Speaking of fun things to do, I was asked to be a judge for a womanless beauty pageant this past weekend.

As I was driving on the bypass heading towards home, I began to think about all the fun things I did as a kid growing up in Greenville.

First, I must say that I cannot get into the habit of calling Beeland Park The Boys and Girls Club. I am so glad that we have a Boys and Girls Club; however, that particular place will always be Beeland Park to me because that is what I grew up with.

What I miss is the concrete baby pool that used to be in front of the big pool.

Why was it ever filled in?

Even when I got to be a teenager, I loved to be able to just stick my feet in the water and walk around in the baby pool whenever I wanted to.

But, what about the monkey cage?

Do you remember the monkeys that were in the big caged area surrounded by water and baby alligators?

I think they had a problem with losing a monkey to an alligator every now and then.

Other than that, I loved to walk down there and watch the monkeys play.

And, what about the swings and the big slide that are under the huge trees full of that beautiful, eerie hanging moss?

I could swing so high in those swings and feel like I could almost touch that moss. By the way, if you have ever thought about going down that big slide headfirst, don't.

Trust me.

I don't think that wooden merry-go-round is still there. There was a wooden spinning merry-go-round that you would run alongside of and push until you got it going really fast, and then you hopped on it, and the whole thing spun you round and round.

By the way, if you have ever thought about spinning on that thing after a big meal, don't.

Trust me.

Yes, I had lots of fun swimming in the big pool, too.

I did my first belly flop off of the high dive out at Beeland Park.

By the way, if you have ever thought about……….well, you get the picture.

I must say that after the movie "Jaws" came out in the '70s, most everyone had trouble going back into the water, whether it was at the beach, swimming pool or the bathtub.

Hey, that was scary stuff.

I still feel every muscle within me tense at the thought of swimming in the deep end of Beeland Park pool after seeing "Jaws." I just knew that somehow that concrete was going to open up, and that shark was going to come up out from I don't know where, and then I'd be shark bait.

Don't laugh.

You know you thought the same thing.

Riding my bike home from the pool was always fun, unless, of course, I'd been on the spinning contraption.

Then, it got really tough pedaling up that big hill toward the courthouse.

But, a stop by the Dairy Queen to get a hot fudge sundae would always make me feel better.

I can't understand why more people don't believe in the curative powers of ice cream.

After relating all of these good times to Samson, my 21-pound tomcat, we came to the conclusion that he would have loved visiting the monkey cage.

There would have been one big problem, however; being on, shall we say, the 'slow side,' Samson decided that he probably would have suffered the same fate as some of the monkeys. Other than that, lying in the sun sleeping all day sounded mighty good to him.

Regina Grayson is a reporter with the Greenville Advocate.

She can be reached at 334-383-9302, ext. 126 or via e-mail at regina.grayson@greenvilleadvocate.com.