Eastside pool and inevitability

I grew up in South Roebuck. I’m intensely proud of it. I don’t know if I can articulate why- it’s merely a neighborhood on the east side of Birmingham. It’s not magical in any way, really. Unless you grew up there. Unless you rode every single square inch of it (and a few outside of it) on your bike. It is my childhood home, and my parents still live there. Every single time I go see them, I see some little something that reminds me of my childhood. A tree in a random yard that I climbed. That time we took a sled down Lance Way (which remains one of the stupidest things I ever did). The mysterious winding roads of Roebuck Springs, the more affluent neighbor to South Roebuck. And the pool.

IMG_2774 IMG_2773 IMG_2772 IMG_2771 IMG_2789 IMG_2788 IMG_2787 IMG_2786 IMG_2785 IMG_2784 IMG_2783 IMG_2782 IMG_2781 IMG_2780 IMG_2779 IMG_2778 IMG_2777 IMG_2775During summertime, I had a schedule. I would get up, go to the pool on my bike. Around 11:30, I would head home to eat a delicious mom-made sandwich, and watch I Love Lucy and Andy Griffith. Maybe some Bonanza (which came on at 1pm). Then, back to the pool. That was the regular course of things. I don’t know how many years that persisted, but I do know that when I think of summer as a kid, that’s what I think of. I remember the lifeguards. I remember the 4 different routes I could take to the pool. I remember freedom. I remember my parents never worrying about me despite no one having a cell phone, and basically not hearing from me until the end of the day. It was that different world you hear people pine about. I am getting old enough to remember it. And I understand why people lament its passing.

Eastside Pool and the accompanying South Roebuck Ball Park hold a very special place in my heart. Always will. So I go back there. Maybe every two years. I go back there and watch it decay.


This is not the part where I lament what it has become. I did that a few years ago. Then it was shocking. Now it’s more clinical to me. Now it’s watching the past fade away. The Eastside I remember had no colorful painting on the outside. All pale blue, low ceiling’ed concrete. A bike rack still sits to the right of the entrance, but a bush has swallowed it.


The last time I was here, the place was locked up tight. Which was good, because the pool was full of green slime and completely and utterly disgusting. At some point in the past two years, the pool has been drained. Recent and not-so-recent graffiti now covers it. The trees you see to the left and rear of the pool- those are new. The left side was a deck full of beach chairs next to the deep end.


Ah, the deep end. 15 feet deep, I believe? And utterly terrifying to a 10 year old. There was a low dive and a 10 foot high dive. The high dive, in particular, was a source of great concern in my life. I used to watch older kids do flips off of it. I only summoned up the courage to jump off of it towards the end of my time at Eastside. At some point after I stopped going, they had to remove it. Insurance concerns, I believe. I saw kids get hurt off of it. I saw a kid try a back flip and fall unconscious to the water. When I stood there and took this picture a memory rushed back of a panic attack I had as a child in this very spot. I saw in my mind’s eye a horrible monster rise up out of the deep end. I shuddered because I still remember, 30 years later, what that thing looked like.

Looking back towards the entrance, I remember the dragon lady. Every pool probably had one, but this old lady was a crispy brown. Wrinkled beyond belief. But she set up shop on the left side of this picture. I never talked to her but all the kids would whisper about her. On the right side, I remember listening to the Beatles 1967-1970 on my walkman, unwrapping it and throwing the plastic that surrounded the tape away in a trash can by the snack shop. I remember hearing A Day in The Life for the first time right there. Music was a big part of Eastside Pool. We would lobby lifeguards behind the front desk for what would be played. Or we’d bring our own. I had a tiny little boom box that played tapes that I’d take with me there. I’d listen to U2 or Led Zeppelin or whatever I could find.


I worked in the snack bar one summer. I kind of hated it, but you could drink all the Coke you wanted. We’d make suicides and I found a lifelong love there- crushed ice. I’m kind of surprised I have any teeth left, to be honest. I remember going to many birthday parties in this little space. Now, as you can see, that would be difficult.


There wasn’t any Banksy-inspired graffiti the last time I was here. Kids have found a way to have fun at Eastside Pool despite it’s demise.


Next to the pool was the South Roebuck Ball Park. It has also been left to its own devices. I used to walk (or ride) along a path to the right of this building to get home. A forest prevented me from doing so this time.

A company bought the land, I’ve been told. They were going to put a school on it, but changed their mind. In some way, I’m kind of glad. I like coming back here, even though it is what it is now. There will come a time in the future when money or progress or nature will destroy or swallow this part of my childhood. Maybe I’ll be sad, or maybe I’ll be happy that someone is using the land for something better. Probably a little bit of both. I can’t control what happens to Eastside or nearly anything else. That’s the comforting part of hitting your mid thirties- you become OK with that realization.


 

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66 thoughts on “Eastside pool and inevitability

  1. Those years were good for us all. Enjoyed your words. Not sure I ever went there, but can feel the life …Ensley we my area…cannot gobback there as you can to your old neighborhood

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  2. Those were the “good ole days” too. My children started going to Eastside as guest of different people until a “bond” became available to purchase. Then they would go to the pool everyday it was open from open to close. Birthday party(s) were always on the schedule. Then the baseball/softball association was also great. Everyone on the team got to play no matter their talent. It was a big happy family….and I miss it too!

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  3. We went to Community pool in Center Point but I remember the one time I went there with friends and seeing the Dragon Lady. Great memories!

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  4. In my day the Dragon Lady was dubbed the Alligator Lady and she was a fixture there in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Many great memories

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  5. I remember riding on my mom’s back while she swam laps, I remember the way too tan lady with her tin foil, I remember the swim test kids had to do every summer, … I loved that place!!!

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  6. There was a table to the left where constant games of spades were played — the cards all soggy from too much pool water. I remember feeling like a cool kid when I got a place at the table.

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  7. Unbelievable. I was a lifegaurd here when I was in highschool 1986 – 1989. Great memories of this place and it is a shame to see something so wonderful go to waste. I had removed the images of the “dragon lady” from my memory…thanks for bringing them back…not! Good times!

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  8. Chris, I grew up in Roebuck Springs, on Ridge Road (Banks was built literally in my backyard and I was among the 36 students who made up the very first graduating class – the winter before the huge class of May, 1961). Taylor learned to swim in that pool, but she won’t remember it – she was only 4 months old. East Side didn’t exist during my adolescent and teen years – Cascade filled that need for me and my peers; but my younger siblings and my mother were there constantly…and we would take advantage of it when we visited from Virginia. It seems to have gone the way of Banks High School…Thanks for the memories…

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  9. Me and my brother spent many full summers at south roebuck and eastside pool. There is nothing like playing a baseball game and heading straight to the pool. Some of my best friends I hang out with today were people I met at South Roebuck and eastside pool. Thanks for the amazing article you nailed it!

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  10. My parents still live 3 houses down from South Roebuck park on Shadywood Lane. That park was a huge part of my childhood as well and some of my best memories are at that park. When I was a teenager, my friends and I would camp out in the woods behind the park and have a blast. We spent most of our weekends there and I mean after the park was shut down. The pool was always fun when it was open. It sucks that it is the way it is now but that’s what lack of money and the city pushing people out with the direction the city was going. Most of the people I grew up with either migrated to Trussville or Shelby County. Maybe someone will do something good with that property. I hope so!

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  11. I too grew up going to this pool, I had driven by it a few times after moving away and it wasn’t that badly overgrown. It’s definitely add to see such a special part of my childhood looking like that.

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  12. Amazing article! Brought tears to my eyes! Such great memories back of my childhood which I lived at at the park and was blessed to be friends guest at the pool! My parents coached there for years and we played baseball and football there! Thanks for your insights and great pics! Sad to see it in that condition! Might have to take a trip out there before it’s gone!

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  13. I too have wonderful memories of East Side. From the freezing cold water o. Summer mornings when I took swimming lessons to swimming there after a baseball game across the street. I can still remember or bond number, 49. Those were the good ole days, early 70’s.
    I too remember the dragon lady on her tin foil mat smoking a long cigarette. What wonderful memories.
    Thanks for the article.

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  14. I too grew up at the ballpark watching my brothers games and going to the pool with my friend Amy Newman Way. Great memories! Thanks for the blog.

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  15. EAST SIDE!!!! You wrote an article about South Roebuck and didn’t mention Suicide Hill?!?! Shame on you, Chris! I still remember a certain friend spinning his ride on that very hill and ending his adventure with a mailbox in his backseat.

    While South Roebuck lacked the urban charm of my neighborhood (EAST LAKE, WE IN DIS!), I am mildly supportive of your neighborhood. I played my first year of tee-ball at South Roebuck before moving off to here and there.

    Very nice work.

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    1. I remember that! I was a passenger. We were headed to a comic book convention or something, if memory serves me well. I have had a very healthy respect for that hill, and all hills, ever since. Thanks for triggering the memory!

      Chris, you are a heck of a writer. I didn’t spend any time at Eastside Pool, but my husband grew up in East Lake and spent his summers going to Eastside. I’m pretty sure I saw a tear in his eye after I showed this to him. Bittersweet.

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  16. Ole Dragon lady in her silver/aluminum bathing suit. I can see her now with her extra aluminum sun shade reflecting sun onto her face. Thanks Chris M. I appreciated your article.My spouse came across this somehow and forwarded it to me. Great to remember the good ole days. We were living them in So. Roebuck. The days of “Thrill Hill” graffiti covered near Banks High. I too lived not far from you and WJC, So. Roebuck Baptist. Many fond memories in those days. Camping at Red Lake in Ruffner Mnt. Blizzard of 93′ shuttin down South Roebuck’s Esplanade Dr.

    But, back to Eastside Pool. I had bond #36. How i remember that, i do not know. But that pooled had the best Marco Polo and Chicken fights i have ever seen. Lifeguards always blowing whistles at the Giant Gator in the deep end. Those matches were epic. One gator, 15′ deep, approx 40 x 40 to cross with about 25 ppl on a side. I will credit an injury from that pool that took the hearing in my left ear. But, i wouldnt trade it back for those days. I remember watching some trash talk on the tennis courts and playing spades with my suicide and Air heads. (they were 10 cents a pop)

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  17. come by tomorrow we’re cleaning the park up Cutting down trees and brush and making room for community gardens. We are painting over graffiti and rehabbing the old buildings. We would love to have some of you that remember the good ole days help make it a place where a new generation can enjoy a new place to play and remember fondly.

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  18. The tan lady, Mrs. B, inspired the creation of a famous character in “There’s Something About Mary” complete with her silver reflecting tan magnifying shield as well as a new word that won a contest on “The Mark and Bryan Show” in 1986: “tanorexia”.
    Who else admits to checking the sign-in sheet to see if a crush had signed in earlier that day?
    My light blue World Traveler could practically arrive there by itself, but fortunately, I was usually along for the ride.
    Many a deep and shallow conversation occurred on those decks talking with the college aged lifeguards and friends over a game of Spades.
    The decks had distinct unofficial zones according to age and confidence levels. “Cool” teens beside the deep well toward the tennis courts, mom’s with little kids around the baby pool, Tanorexia and her friends along the long fence to the right.
    I can still remember the joy of seeing the splashes of drops of silver water against the clear deep blue sky on an early afternoon in June and the touch of sadness that crept in as the dog days of August gave way to the inevitable passing of summer and yet another season at “the Pool”.
    Chris, Thanks for retrieving this memory for us. Well done!

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    1. The tan lady, Mrs. B, inspired the creation of a famous character in “There’s Something About Mary” complete with her silver reflecting tan magnifying shield as well as a new word that won a contest on “The Mark and Bryan Show” in 1986: “tanorexia”.

      How do you know this for sure? Very interesting if it’s true.

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  19. Thank yoou! Chris I grow up on Esplanade Dr and would walk to the pool and spend all day. Still have a brother that lives on Esplanade Dr. The Good old days!!Corinne Roberts Gooch

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  20. I too spent a great many summers at this pool in the late 80’s early 90’s, and all the way up until it closed. I haven’t thought about this place in years. I’m 28 now, but I still remember working my first summer job here. $23.00 a week. I am part of the Shelton clan for those of you who remember them. It’s a little sad to see these pictures but it is no surprise. Thanks for the memories.

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  21. I grew up in Huffman and Eastside Pool was a big part of my family’s life. I worked the concession stand several summers with my sister and friend Erin. We were paid $10 a day. All the nacho cheese chips and Chico Sticks you could stomach. I remember watching the older teens learn how to drive around the circle, while we’d swim. The lifeguards always had that double whistle twirl happening and they’d call you out in a second for running. The Alligator Lady always had that layer of foil underneath her chin…commitment. Oh, how I’d love to have one more day at Eastside.

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  22. So sad that a wonderful part of so many childhood memories has been abandoned and left to others to destroy. Eastside holds many memories in my heart. Never mustard up the courage to jump off the high dive but sure did love swimming in the “deep end”, taking bets on how long i could hold my breath, and watching my newest crush of the week. Also, six years of great softball and cheerleading! SRP was the place to be!

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    1. As a resident that moved to the neighborhood after the park was abandoned, can any of you that enjoyed the park and pool tell me when and why it was closed and abandoned? Would any of you be willing to help restore and revitalize the property?

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  23. I grew up there too and I think like Chris, sadly have gotten over the shock several years ago when I went back. I still go once every year or so just to remember. Summer- Breakfast,chores, Happy Days and then the pool all day! Great memories from Banks- go Jets! SRBC- (went back there to get married 15 yrs ago), SR park, the pool- I think our bond was #54, thrill hill, picking blackberries on Ruffner mt……

    Live a few hours away now, but if I know far enough in advance to plan, would be happy to come back to help clean up. Frank- as far as I know, no-one was willing to take the helm of responsibility for the park or the pool and they have just fallen into neglect. Surely there are people in the neighborhood who would be willing to help clean up and hopefully run it. What do the kids there do for recreation? Hope some good folks there are willing to come together for the good of the neighborhood.
    Laura (Riley) Satcher

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  24. Great article, filled with lots of childhood memories! I lived that life and worked there every summer during college! Great place.

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  25. Yes remember the tan lady with sun taning shield..thought she passed at the pool but fell asleep…my friend put a mirror under her nose…yep..shes fine ;)…..Best time ever raising my kids …@ the pool 17 yrs….memories fun times n life…#150Cathy Perry..hubby board member

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  26. Wow! This brought back lots of memories. I grew up on Biscayne Drive and rode my bike to the pool every day of the summer. We played spades in the concession stand and ate those sandwiches they would heat for you in that strange looking oven. They had a name. Was it “Hot Stewart sandwiches” or something like that? You could get pizza, hamburger, hot dog, ham and cheese. We would stay all day. We broke up the day by swimming, jumping off the boards into the well, playing spades and Splash. That’s what we called it. I had never heard of Marco Polo until I got older. In Splash when you wanted to know where people were you yelled splash and they splashed at you. It made more sense to me than yelling Marco Polo. I also remember how we would try to get the life guards to close the well so we could play gator. That was so much fun. It brings tears to my eyes because when we first got our bond me, my mom, brother, and little sister would go together. My mom, dad, and brother all died between 1996 and 1999. When I think back to those days and I try to remember someone’s name or a detail that is foggy, I don’t have anyone to refresh my memory. My sister is 7 years younger, so her time at eastside pool was very different than mine. I graduated from Banks in 1982. Thanks for the memory sharing!

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  27. I grew up there as well. It’s no different from the stories I hear from older folk of how Woodlawn and Ensley once was. We all know what happened. Period!!!!

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  28. I didn’t grow up in Roebuck (or even in Birmingham, at all) but I still experienced this same childhood elsewhere. Didn’t we all? In another Alabama town, I spent long, summer days riding my bike all over. Library to check-out books. Zippy Mart to buy those over-sized Sweet Tarts I’m not even sure are sold anywhere, anymore. (I wouldn’t DREAM of allowing my kids do the same today and it breaks my heart that I cannot.) While getting to our community pool required being driven there by car because it was too far and on a busy 4-lane, I still spent long, lazy days there often starting in the freezing morning hours taking swim lessons, like one of the previous commenters mentioned remembering at this pool. I’m sorry for all of you reminiscing here with a certain, palpable sadness of days gone by. I feel it with you. And, Chris, when you said, “I remember my parents never worrying about me despite no one having a cell phone, and basically not hearing from me until the end of the day. It was that different world you hear people pine about. I am getting old enough to remember it. And I understand why people lament its passing” you hit the nail right on the head. Thank you for a wonderfully written piece which tugged even at the heartstrings of someone who didn’t experience Roebuck and its Eastside Pool. Nevertheless, I could clearly “see” everything you described and yes, I also got misty-eyed! Great job.

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  29. Awe wonderful description I swam there everyday of the summer too with my best friends! I can remember my mom letting us go up there all day without cell phones and nobody worried about you at about 11 years old. I think that is the saddest part…now 28 and I can remember the good ole days when people seemed to have less fear and evil seemed farther away. Great post!

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  30. Chris thank you so much for sharing. We never went to the pool because by the time we moved to the neighborhood it was closing and of course we had our pool. We always enjoyed the young folks and their stories of the park and pool. Thanks for the memories.

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  31. WOW !!! great article – such a flood of memories – from later 60’s to late 70’s – again from ’89 thru ’93…
    Pool well was 12 ft deep. High board was indeed 10 ft – but cut down to 3 ft board due to insurance reasons. Funny how few real injuries occurred on that high board. All these memories from yester-years, such a waste of perfectly good pool & park. I was there as a kid all thru elementary to high school and beyond – then as a married adult with baby. I grew up in Roebuck Forest on Lisa Lane – the pool was a quick 4 min’s down the old railroad bed to the pool. Oh yeah, what summers…. Play ball and tennis, then go cool off in the pool. there everyday from 9 till 8-9 at nite – only tim:e away was for a quick run back to the house around 12 for lunch, 5:30 for supper & back for evening swim.. Anyone else remember the “halo” circles around lights after swimming all day ?? Where’d those days go ? Sure didn’t worry about getting in trouble – everyone’s mom’s were mom’s. if the lifeguards sat you out more than once, the mom’s all knew each other & would “inform” your parents !!! And those 100 degree days – find the fresh cold water under the diving boards & hang out close to get cooler… the lines @ the diving boards & your feet cooking on the cement.. Lots of dancing around to keep your feet from burning..

    Chris, thanks for the memories – Bond #68 from 60’s thru 70’s.

    btw, which way did you enter the park? had to be from Shadywood side, the old road is a true jungle. I tried several years ago to fight my way in & see – but gave up after 10 feet !!

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  32. Many memories at Eastside. I was on the BEST (Birmingham Eastside Swim Team) in the late 60’s through mid 70’s . Practice began at 7 am and the water was freezing . After two hours of practice our eyes burned with chlorine .One day after swim team practice , I decided to go off the high dive like the “big kids”. I climbed to the top and began to walk the board when I slipped between the bars and fell to the concrete. I was picked up by a lifeguard. Remarkably I didn’t break a single bone!

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  33. I see this was written in October but it is being poste on FB in January! I grew up swimming at Eastside from 3rd-12thgrade, and have so many wonderful memories of playing shark and whale in the deep end ( it was Gator at Northeast Y where I was on the swim team). We played splash, chase, Marco Polo and loved to visit the babies in the baby pool! I was recused by Michelle W.,the lifeguard, when I over carried doing a 1 1/2 off the high dive and it knocked me out, not so good when I was a lifeguard myself then! I remember the alligator lady, riding my bike up thrill hill (I lived in Glen Valley Drive) and through Shady Wood to get there every day in middle school! Never knew I was a cool kid. but I did lay out by the deep end as a teenager! Great memories! Thanks for posting!
    Amy Davis Walker

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  34. I grew up on Valley Drive, just a short walk to the pool. My older sister and next-door neighbor used to go to the pool, and occasionally I was lucky enough to tag along. I also remember the tennis courts across the road. My parents still live there and I took my husband up there to see what the old place looked like a few years ago. It was before the pool was drained and seemed so spooky. Today I live in Lexington, KY and there is a similar pool complex in the middle of our neighborhood with an adjacent ballpark. The building is of the same mid-century era with a screen-block concrete design and flat roof. The difference is our city keeps the pool in tip-top shape and built a huge kiddie pool alongside the main pool. It’s a great asset to the neighborhood and I enjoy seeing kids walking home from the pool during the summer. I would only hope one day that South Roebuck could experience a revival and return to its former glory. But if it never does, at least we all have the memories!

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  35. We walked from our house on Chestnut in only our swimsuits and flipflops with a towel wrapped around our neck almost everyday. The “alligator lady” was Mrs. Biddinger. Trying to watch TV at night with our eyes burning from the chlorine. Bond # 63….Watching the dune buggies and motorcycles climb the hill to the mine roads. Coach Lott and family managing and lifeguarding….Those were the days my friends..

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  36. I lived on Valley Drive and graduated from.Banks in 1971. I believe it was that summer that David Langner from Woodlawn was a lifeguard. He later returned the blocked punts in Auburn’s win over Alabama in the “Punt, Bama, Punt” Iron Bowl. I spent many summer days there. Great memories.

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  37. Ha! Just now finding this article. I grew up on the other side of the hill in East Lake on 9th Ave s and we were members here. I was on the swim team and it was the only sport I was ever good at.lol the high dive was gone by the time I came along. I wish I could go back just for one day….. Thank you so much for posting these pix. I’ve wanted to hike back there so many times.

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  38. I grew up playing here too…. Looks like a ghost town now …..I was never allowed to go off the high dive….. My brothers played ball here too . Wow

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  39. I grew up on the corner of Yellowstone and Castlewood and we lived in Shadywood from 1964-1970 the first time.
    i now live on Shadywood Lane where I and my family have been for the last 17 years. My mother was a Cub scout den mother my dad Charlie a coach at the ball park. I did not go to the pool that much as were were very close to the Ledbetters over on 4th ave and I learned to swim in their pool.
    However I played ball at the park and still have a couple team photos from the 1960’s some where as well as class photos from WJ Christian.
    For a number of years I was a Neighborhood officer in South Roebuck and tried desperately to keep the pool from closing. After it closed I was directly involved in the process of getting it donated to Ruffner Mt with the goal of it becoming the new location for the Waldorph School. Unfortunately the funding never came about so now it pretty much just sits.
    I remember walking that mine rail line up to the mine and also sitting on the concrete pier that once supported the steel bridge over saddlers gap and watching the cars go through that tight twisty S curve below.
    LOTS of memories of this neighborhood both past and present!

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  40. Lots of memories for me on that article and the pics. I was a lifeguard, pool manager and the swim team coach in the late 70’s early 80’s. Eastside was a huge pet of my life for several years. A lot of friendships made and a lot of good times. Great article and pics! Many thanks!

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  41. Oh, for the days of childhood! My family lived on Ridgetop Circle and we would ride our bikes everywhere, everyday.
    We were bond #101 because we had a pool, but we couldn’t swim till our parents arrived home from work, so we begged until Daddy finally relented and let us join. Coach Lott was the pool manager then. Later, when I thought I was too cool to ride my bike, we would walk all the way there..it was definitely a long way! .I always had to take my little sister with me, but I made her stay in the baby pool area (poor thing) while we would “lay out” and watch Dave and Don the lifeguards all day! Us girls thought that they were just too cute! The row of “pool moms” were always there and watching everything we did..so you couldn’t get in trouble if you wanted to! My sister and I laugh about this to this day. Later, when I moved back into the area, I became an officer of South Roebuck Baseball. We tried to keep it going, but the neighborhood was changing and it became so hard to get the kids to sign up in such a small park. I finally gave up my position on the board after 7 years and moved on to another park..It was sad.

    Our family really enjoyed this small community, from the 50’s to the late 90’s, where your teachers at WJC were your neighbors and everyone knew everybody in the neighborhood..It was fun and everyday was an adventure..I sorely miss those days!

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  42. We moved to Shadywood on my eleventh birthday in 1960. Some years later after the baseball field was built bonds were sold to finance the pool. Doris Shannon signed people up and collected their money. Then it took over a year for the pool to be built. Correct me if I’m wrong, I think it opened on July 4th. A bond cost $200 at a time when gasoline was $.25 per gallon, a new car $2,000-$3,000, and a new home $25,000-$30,000. It was a huge commitment by the parents of the area and a selling point for the homes. I remember Coach (Byron) Smith running it with endless patience and smiles. I remember Patsy Coe being a lifeguard. The Garrison twins were lifeguards too and one of them pulled my brother, Larry, from the pool when he was knocked unconscious trying a flip. We spent countless days and nights playing there with our friends. It gave our mothers peace of mind knowing we were there being watched over while we burned off boundless energy. After we grew up our parents sold their bond because we didn’t use the pool anymore. The demise of the pool is at least in part caused by the aging of the neighborhood. Lynn Fullilove Mooney

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    1. Of all of the stories of Dad being knocked unconscious, I have yet to hear this one! I’ve loved reading everyone’s precious memories of this special place. Growing up only hearing stories about the neighborhood and pool, I always envisioned them to reflect the pool scenes in the movie The Sandlot. Happy to hear that the idealistic images I have in mind truly existed!

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  43. My grandmother was famous! Well, no matter her nickname she was a good lady. She passed away in Nov 2005 (81 years old, I believe) Surprisingly, not from cancer. No skin cancer from tanning and no lung cancer from smoking! Thank you for this article. I, too, spent many summers at this pool. Learned how to swim at this pool 🙂 You’ve brought back so many great memories. Sad that it’s gone to such waste.
    *Carrie Biddinger Dunaway*

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  44. It’s becoming a community garden and mini park. Plans are being created on how to best redevelop it as a neighborhood green space. On Jan 20th 2014 United Way’s Hands on Birmingham, Honda of AL, and neighborhood residents are volunteering to continue the clean up of this once beautiful space. Our hopes are to make it a place for a new generation of families and community that will never be abandoned again. If any of you would like to stop by and help our just share stories of its glory days you are invited.

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  45. Neighborhood green space?

    Great, just great. Private enterprise built The ball park and swim club in the 60’s. It was a big success.

    Now United Way and Honda for tax purposes are throwing money into the old park. I would bet my tax money will be used also.

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    1. With all due respect the same private enterprise that built it is the same private enterprise that abandoned the park and left it to be a rotting cesspool for someone else to clean up. Why did you abandon it? You spent so much money to create it and then you walked away leaving a mess for someone else to pick up. Our property values suffer because of someone else’s mess. Our kids don’t have a place to play like you did because you guys abandoned your once glorious Eastide Swim Club. Now I detect a hint of complaining because someone else is going to clean and repair your abandoned property in a way that you don’t find suitable. I’ve seen the pictures of its glory days, what a beautiful place to grow up and enjoy when you were a kid. It just boggles my mind that you could walk away and let it rot. Now there’s a new generations of parents that want to have a place for their kids. And it’s not Honda & United Way that are the driving force behind this renovation and clean up its private individuals in the neighborhood. We welcome any corporation, individual or public investment that will give our kids a place to play and have fond memories of their childhood. Come be part of the solution in your old neighborhood.

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  46. Has long as my tax money is NOT involved I am NOT complaining!

    Why did you folks not take it over in 1995 when it closed? Why did YOU no jump and and save the park and pool? Frank, you can’t answer that can you!

    My parents and neighbors started from scratch and built the park. We never though about getting hands outs from a corporation. We would have been a shame to ask for handouts.

    Like

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