Wednesday, June 29, 2005

That's My Man

We live in a small Southern town. The local swimming pool was closed down over 30 years ago due to integration and hasn't been maintained since then. Our new mayor decided to fix it up so children would have a safe place to play, and announced the pool would open on the Fourth of July. He talked the city into spending $19,000 to repair the pool and the surrounding fence. It's a pity he forgot about the outbuildings.

Last week my husband went looking for the town's severely underpaid one-person Parks Department. We had asked him to do some work for us in his off time and wondered why we hadn't seen him in a while. My husband found him at the pool's outbuildings, where 30 years of neglect and exposure to chlorine salts had eroded fist-sized chunks out of the walls. The Parks Director was trying to prep the walls for painting all by himself with a paint scraper, a wire brush, and a Fourth of July deadline. My husband pointed out that a wire brush couldn't get out the chlorine salts embedded in the concrete walls. Only a sandblasting and a power wash would do that. Painting over the walls before they were sandblasted would leave the salts free to erode the walls underneath the paint; but there was no time, no equipment, and no money left for sandblasting.

The next morning my husband loaded our sandblaster, some sand, a box of face masks, and our hand drill motor in the car and told me he'd be gone for "about an hour". He stopped at the local hardware store and bought an overpriced steel wire brush head, then drove on to the pool. All morning he worked on those walls with that steel power brush and the Parks Director sandblasted them right behind him. They finished about noon. By then word had spread that "Doc" was up to something at the town pool and some of his high school students dropped by. They were put to work cleaning up the debris.

My husband came home tired and minus a bag of sand, but the town pool will be ready for the Fourth of July.

That's my man. I'm so proud of him!

Now if only the mayor can get the city council to pay for a lifeguard.

No comments: