BOWLING GREEN—Intermittent heavy downpours made celebrating Independence Day in Bowling Green City Park nearly impossible.
Even the municipal pool, which is usually teeming with people looking to cool off from the July heat, was quiet.
“I had several calls from people asking if we were open,” said pool manager Sheryl Mills. She first thought the pool, which sits adjacent to the park, would be busy on the 4th. But the rain, coupled with thunder kept putting the day’s fun on hold. Every time the guards heard thunder, everyone had to get out of the water for 30 minutes. And that happened a lot during the day.
Mills said there had been about six children at the pool most of the day. But by 4 p.m. there was only one diehard soul left.
“Both of my lifeguards are in the water with him,” Mills said. “Technically, they are supposed to be either in the (lifeguard) chair or waking the side of the pool. But we have one kid, whose friends all went home. I think it is pretty noble of them to get in there and play with him.”
Twelve-year-old Tyren Oberhous spends most of his summer days at the pool.
“He’s here almost every day,” Mills said.
This is Mills’ first year as manager of the pool. Her full time job is as a teacher in Louisiana.
She said she’s impressed with the lifeguards who are working with her this summer.
“Most of them are Bowling Green High School students, and I think they’re great roll models for the kids who come here to swim,” she said.
The guards were playing pool basketball with Oberhous, who was holding his own against the two larger players.
In the middle of the game, thunder rolled through the area again, and the three players had to exit the water. Cries of anguish could be heard as they climbed out of the pool, grabbing towels and heading for shelter.
Guarding the pool that day and keeping Oberhous occupied, were Jacob Grummel, who will be a junior at Bowling Green High School this fall and Hayden Finley, who will be a senior.
The pool is open from noon to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The pool is also available for rental during it’s off hours, Mills said. She rented it for her son’s birthday party last Monday.
“It was for two hours, right after the heat of the day was done. It was wonderful,” she said.
This year she and her staff had offered to provide swim lessons, but no one signed up for them, Mills said.
“We are also doing theme nights this year,” Mills added, “after regular pool hours.”
The first one will be July 13 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. It’s adults-only for those age 18 and above. There will be a second adults-only themed swim on July 19. They will have a family night swim on July 12 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and again on July 20 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. There will also be a pets in the pool themed night, too.
She is also thinking about holding a cardboard boat race at some point. Mills said she’s interested in feedback from the community about having such a race. She noted that she would explore more on how to hold one.
“I think the biggest challenge would be to find judges,” she said. “We could hold it in the morning before regular pool hours, and that way everyone would already be here to enjoy the pool for the rest of the day.”
If anyone is interested in providing input on cardboard boat races, Mills said to contact her directly at 573-253-6181.