The pool celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, and a good deal of hard work has been made to renovate the facility for this summer. A new diving board was installed last week, and local residents had been enjoying the water even before that.
The Cadiz Record will periodically publish memories submitted throughout the summer. To send in your favorite story of summers past at the pool, email firstname.lastname@example.org (be sure to include your mailing address and phone number for verification), stop by our office at 58 Nunn Blvd. in Cadiz or send mail to P.O. Box 1670, Cadiz, KY 42211.
My first memories of our historic swimming pool began before I could really even have such memories. When I was born the summer of 1947, my parents worked as managers of the pool. I have a picture of my parents at the pool – my mother, drop dead gorgeous in a classic 1940s Betty Grable swimsuit. She was Dorris Ellis McAleer Thomas.
Many happy summers were spent there as a child and early teen. My mother would drop us off every day on her lunch hour. Then picked us up after work – cheap day care!
Of course we all learned to swim at a very early age. Mr. Heffington always kept an eye on us. All my friends were there as well. It was the best of times. There were always picnics at the pool and of course the classic around the pool beauty contests in strapless tulle hoop skirt evening dresses. No, I did not win any of those contests.
True to tradition, I did the same when my sons, Shannon and Shane Knight, became old enough to swim and go on their own. Again, great day care! Now, they have great memories of summers spent with their friends at the pool. I spent many Saturdays stretched out with my girlfriends watching our children, working on our tans and swapping stories.
We have been very lucky to have had this wonderful pool. Not many small towns had this luxury during the 30s, 40s, 50s, and to present day. I hope future generations will enjoy shaping memories as we did.
Growing up very close to the American Legion Pool, my friends and I learned to swim there like most of the Cadiz kids in the 1960s, but the pool holds a special memory for me in another way. A group of us guys formed a band in 1966, and that was our first “paying gig.”
The roof of the dressing area/snack bar was often a venue for dances back then. I played in a band along with Burton Aldridge, Rex Akemon, Steve Bentley, Bob Brame, Phil Hayes and Kent Ivins. In 1966, armed with a song list of 10 tunes, cheap amplifiers, cheap instruments, one microphone and a lot of ambition, we climbed to the top of that building with the concrete roof and made our first attempt at making money in the music business.
The band was called Malcolm and the Mellow Fellows, kind of a silly name that we changed later mostly because Rex couldn’t paint that many letters on the bass drum head and Burton wasn’t fond of being called Malcolm. Burton was the lead singer, so some of our audience assumed that was his name.
We looked better than we sounded that night because our manager, David Banister, insisted that we buy outfits the same to wear. Our stage clothes came from Wilkinson’s Department store and were burgundy shirts and light blue jeans. David even played and sang with us that first night. We didn’t have enough money for a microphone stand, so he just wrapped the microphone cord around his neck so he could play guitar and sing at the same time. Our “stage lighting” was a rotating color wheel with a flood light behind it that was normally used to shine on a Christmas tree.
The dance probably lasted a couple of hours, but it seemed like only a few seconds to us. It was over so quickly, and we made enough money to pay for the outfits. I don’t recall there being a large crowd, but it seemed to us that we were entertaining great masses of fans.
The band evolved over the next 30 or so years, with members changing when someone would move, go off to college or simply get bored. At last count, there were about 30 different folks rotating in or out of the band. We played a lot of places, played a lot of songs, entertained a lot of folks, but the first was on the roof of the American Legion Pool.