Swimming lessons. The very thought sent shivers down my spine. I couldn’t wait for school to end, but I dreaded the advent of having to spend an entire morning for three weeks at Jordan pool. Rumours swirled around the pool deck that someone had seen an actual chunk of ice floating in the pool that morning. Charlie McBain swore that he saw the life guards dump bags of ice in the pool – then again, Charlie had also claimed that the life guards were really former convicts. I had passed through ‘red’ last year, and was now in ‘maroon’ – whatever that meant. I wasn’t thinking of the colour as much as the state of being ‘marooned’ on this wretched pool deck on a Monday morning with the prospects of having to spend a couple hours submerged in a hypothermia inducing pool. As I huddled with my fellow ‘maroonies’ (morons?) I looked around the pool deck. A heavy fifteen foot chain link fence surrounded the pool deck. The tall lifeguard chairs served as the watchtowers to this compound. There would be no escape. I looked beyond the chain link fence to my mother sitting with a group of ladies in their nice comfy lawn chairs – they seemed to enjoy this unfolding horror, just as the Romans enjoyed watching spectacle unfold in their coliseums.
In this day and age of futuristic space aged minivans with all the fixings, the 1980’s station wagon seems like something out of the Smithsonian. It was a very unique vehicle. The first thing that struck you about the station wagon was its length. It was at least thirty feet long. The classic wagon’s were two-toned. The bottom was wood panelled and the top was a solid colour. The wood panelling gave off a sense of class (or maybe that it was very flammable). The spoked rims were encircled by classic white-walled tires.