Cardinal Gibbons Swim Club

I’m not much on summer any longer. By the time you get to August with its endless days of 95 degree temperatures and humidity so thick that it saps whatever energy you have left as soon as you step outside, but that’s what you get in this area at this time of year, you can count on it. Now if I had a swimming pool that I could jump into when I came home from work, I could deal with it a bit better. When I lived down in Pasadena for a couple of years, the lady that I was boarding from had a large above ground pool out back, and I would make use of it when I got off of work around midnight. Although some times the water was as hot as the air temperature, at least it was wet. I recall one summer when I, my brother Rick and another friend discovered the portable pool at Cardinal Gibbons. We would sneak up there late at night, hop the fence and make use of their pool that they graciously provided for our enjoyment. Yep, we were legals hopping their fence illegally. Fortunately, unlike Motel 6, they didn’t leave the light on for us, and therefore we were able to swim undected in the dark.

Another thing I recall about Cardinal Gibbons was that for a couple of years they used to have carnivals up there at the front of the school. Doing what brothers will do, my brother Rick and I talked my brother Dave and another boy from the neighborhood named Harvey into getting on that notorious ride ‘the Zipper’. Well, we had some extra tickets so we told the ride operator to keep them on again as the goal was to make them get sick and have one or the other barf. We tried to get the ride operator to keep them on a third time, but I believe he figured out what we were up to, and wouldn’t go for it. The boys handled it like real troopers and our dastardly plans were smashed.

That was just the way it worked, with four brothers you were always trying to pull one over on the next, not quite like ‘spy versus spy’, but just trying to have some fun at their expense. I remember one time where my brother Rick and I were going to setup my brother Dave who loved hot stuff, and he would try all kinds seeking out the hottest around. Well, my brother Rick and I got ahold of some stuff called ‘Endorphin Rush’, that was beyond hot, like hellfire hot. We had it planned that I was going to mix mostly water into a glass with a little hot sauce and gulp it down like I was a real macho kind of guy disposing of this hot concoction like it was nothing, egging on my brother Dave to do the same. Meanwhile, my brother Dave would get the real deal. Well, not thinking that they would be scheming behind my back, the glasses got switched and I wound up with the hot drink and after gulping it down, proceeded to feel like I was literally dying for a bit with uncontrollable flows of liquid coming from my innards.

I somehow survived that event, and had plans on paying my brother Dave back even fifteen years later, but as he lived over in England during that time, and passed away over there, I never had the opportunity. Perhaps it was just us, but I would imagine that we weren’t the only family with several brothers that would pull stunts on each other. Even though two of my brothers are now deceased, I have many good memories of those times, and wouldn’t trade those times for anything.

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