When I was 12, we lived in the Lillian Wald Housing Projects in the Lower East Side of New York City.
Every summer we’d pass the Pitt Street Pool and hear the splashing and laughter coming from the other side of the high brick wall. That summer day mom said, “You all can go to the pool today, but be careful and stay together.” We each paid our 25 cents. The girls went one way. Phil and I went the other. Our last words to each other were, ‘Last one in is a monkey’s uncle’. We tossed our clothes into a locker, snapped the combination lock shut and raced to the pool. I was in the lead and jumped in. My feet didn’t touch bottom. There was immediate shock and no time to shout, ‘Help me. I’m drowning’.
You see, I couldn’t swim, was very near-sighted and didn’t get corrective lenses until I was 14. When I jumped into the closest pool it wasn’t apparent there were no people in it. I also missed the posted ’16 Feet’ signs.
So why relate this story now?
Just recently I jumped into the middle of an ocean after having believed it would be just a kiddy pool. The story itself isn’t important.
I am ever thankful for the many lifesavers that have appeared at just the ripe times in my life.
I’ll continue to remind myself of the families discovering what it is like to live on the street in this land of follow your dream and there I was overwhelmed by a role in a play.
Silly me, huh guys?