Congratulations to the Lady Norskies Swim Team on making it to the state tournament this year. They earned the right to compete in five events. That’s an incredible honor to a fine bunch of athletes.

At the Jefferson Sectional Tournament all three relay teams advanced to the State. Two individual swimmers also qualified, Ava Boehnig and Jenna Wills.

There’s a whole lot of digging going on at DeForest Fireman’s Park as they are installing a splash pad near the playground equipment. When it is completed, young folks in the area will be able to cool off in the new splash pad there or they may choose from the other three splash pads in the area: Conservancy Commons Park, Cradle Hill Park located off Cradle Hill Drive or the Windsor Community Park at Pederson Crossing Boulevard. If they want to really cool off, they can go for a swim in the swimming pool at the DeForest Area High School.

When I was growing up in DeForest the only way you could enjoy a cool dip in the hot summer was to swim in the Yahara River and that was not really a good option with its muddy bottom and polluted water. The three lakes in the area: Lake Windsor, Oak Springs Lake and Little Lake Mendota, are all man-made lakes and weren’t developed until after 1958.

One summer I boarded a school bus and rode to Tenney Park for daily swimming lessons, but the polio scare put an end to swimming in public lakes and pools for me. My parents kept me away from crowded lakes and pools, crowded fairs and circuses, and many fun places to go because the polio germs would spread quickly in places where people crowded together. (Does this sound like social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID?)

The only places where people could cool off in air conditioned comfort were the movie theaters and some restaurants. Air conditioned homes were very rare.

But we found ways to beat the heat. We’d play in the shade and find cool spots to lay and read comic books during the hottest part of the day. We’d have water fights with garden hoses and water balloons. Once the sun went down we would often go for a ride in the car with the windows down and maybe stop for ice cream. Before going to bed we would cool off with a shower or bath.

I know there are some folks who think DeForest should build a new outdoor pool. I think this is a waste of taxpayer money. How many days in the year would an outdoor pool be used here in Wisconsin? Look at the high cost of construction and maintenance costs of a pool. Look at the liability costs for insurance for a municipal pool. We already have a perfectly good pool at the high school. Property taxes are already too high, this would just make them higher. I think we can get along just fine without this added expense.

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