Thursday, June 26, 2014

Do they even still make Afro Sheen?

I'm joining Cari's photo link up today because the theme for this week's picture is "swim" and that's pretty much what we do all summer.

And when I say "we", I really mean "they".  The kids swim all summer.  I just sit by the pool trying to sweat off weight (that doesn't work, by the way) and will occasionally get in only when I'm so hot I can't take it any longer.  And even then it's just a quick dip.  And technically not even a dip because I never even put my head under. 

Back in the 70's when my family were members at this very pool we are members of now, I used to be in the water the entire time we were at the pool. 

My friends and I would do handstands, play chicken, try to figure out what we were saying under the water, play cross pool (I think they call it shark now) in the 10 foot, practice our dives off the diving board (Back then we had a high dive and a low dive, they have since removed the high dive.  I'm assuming they did it for safety reasons.), play Marco Polo, and dive for coins.

And we would even swim.

The only time we would come out was when the life guard blew the whistle for pool break.  Those were the longest 15 minutes of the hour.  We would reluctantly climb out of the water, grab a quick snack, and play in the baby pool until the life guard would slowly mount the stand and blow the whistle, signaling that we could get back into the water.

I remember those afternoons when we would come home from the pool.  Our house didn't have air conditioning then.  This is North Carolina so it would be hot.  We would lay in front of a giant fan with the shades drawn and  all the lights off  in an attempt to keep the room as cool as possible.  

The television console would give off a blue glow as episodes of Andy Griffith or  The Brady Bunch  played in the background as we assessed our sun burns or peeled the skin that was bubbling up from the day before.

This was back before spray-on sunscreen.  Truth be told, I don't remember much sunscreen at all.  I do, however, remember lots of bottles of sweet smelling Hawaiian Tropic Sun Tan Oil and lots of jars of Afro Sheen.  A lot of the moms at the pool would use Afro Sheen as sun tan oil claiming that it brought about the deepest and darkest tans.  T

his was the 70s - people were smoking cigarettes, riding around without seat belts, and apparently not wearing sunscreen.  And yet, most of us managed to survive.

I spend a lot of my time at that same pool now applying sunscreen, doling out snacks or money for Slushies, and watching my kids play all the same games I used to play.

I hope they grow up with a lot of fond memories of their time spent at the pool and very few memories of sunburn. 

Sarah at Tuesday's swim meet.  She placed 2nd in backstroke.  Go Sarah!



If you have a blog and a camera, join in the fun at Clan Donaldson



7 comments:

jennwa said...

I miss the sitting at the pool with you :(

Madeline said...

What fond memories! How cool that your kids spend their time at the same pool you did.

Mari said...

Good memories, a lot like mine. Our neighbors had a really nice pool and let us come over all the time. I used Hawaiian Tropic, never heard the Afro Sheen idea. I loved being in the water, and now like you I don't even get my head wet. :)

Joy Beyond the Cross said...

The smell of Hawaiian Tropic, I just remember the smell. I didn't use it, but I remember my aunt did and we spent a lot of time at the cabin with extended family members and she seemed to use it a lot. Granted she was in college (I think) when I was little - this was the early 80s, so yeah…probably pretty similar to your experience in the 70s.

Some of my fondest memories of childhood were swimming in the lake at my grandparents cabin, morning until night…it was so fun!

Busy Bee Suz said...

I never heard of afro sheen for your tanning; how funny is that?
I love your pool memories though…thank you for sharing. I hope your kiddos have a great summer in the cool pool!

Lena said...

Hey, those were my summer swimming memories except I was in a different pool in a different state. I wonder why I too don't like to put my head underwater now.

Micaela Darr said...

Ha! Afro sheen! Those are great memories, and I share at least some of them. But the sunburns, I can live without. Love the little swimmer.