The State Journal asked readers to submit their memories of Juniper Hill Pool. Several shared their stories of fun, family and first jobs at the pool. Read their tales below and reminisce.
Four generations of memories
In 1961, I was 7 years old and had broken my wrist. I can remember my mom wrapping my cast in plastic and I would hold my arm up out of the water. As we got older, my mom would come home from work at lunch, get me and my brother, and drop us at the pool. That was back when the summer was three full months out of school. We both took swim lessons at Juniper. My grandkids are the fourth generation in our family who will remember Juniper Hill Pool.
Back-to-school pool parties
Good Shepherd School students have many memories of wrapping up summer vacations with back-to-school pool parties sponsored by the P.T.O. at Juniper Hill. The air was a little cooler mid-to-late August and it was getting dark earlier. We knew it was time to head back to the classrooms when we went to those parties, seeing friends again that we’d missed over the summer. They were usually held on a Sunday evening.
First grade teacher
My first job
I worked as a lifeguard for three years in the late ‘60s and as a pool manager for five years during the late ‘70s to early ‘80s. Like many other young people, Juniper Hill was my first job. The pay was around a dollar an hour. However, as a teenager, it was mostly about the girls. Our managers at the time were John Lykins and David Lee. Later, as the manager, it was great to take my young son with me to the pool. He learned to swim and dive as a young child. Like many other young children, jumping off the high dive was quite an experience. I really enjoyed the many great times that I had during all those years!
Early ‘70s fun
After growing up going to the Juniper Hill Pool and idolizing the lifeguards, I was hired as one in the early ‘70s. My fellow guards the first summer were Bill and John Blair and Bill Stone. We were paid $175 a month, but I got an extra $5 a month because I had earned my water safety instructor certificate. This salary meant I had to hustle to teach swim lessons and clean private pools to make enough to keep me in college. The summer of 1972 was cold and wet, but we guards got paid a flat salary. Management wised up the next summer and paid us by the hour; but that summer was hot and dry, so we made more money! In those days before sunscreen, conventional wisdom was that you had to get that first bad sunburn before you could tan. Low salary and sun damage, but fun!
Swimming in a different time
I’ve gone to Juniper Hill Pool since I was a small child. At first, my mom walked us there. Later, we nagged a neighborhood teenager to escort us. As teens ourselves, we walked as a group, which became larger as we picked up other kids on the way. We stayed from opening to closing. It was the place to be. People hung on the fence to talk; we played cards and read the latest paperbacks. We were in and out swimming all day, until we got cold or tired. There were no chairs; we’d lay on the warm concrete on towels. Oh, how sweet to feel the sun, hear the background pool noise, and drift to sleep. Going to the current pool conjures back that era, and I’ll miss that. But the new pool will be an improvement; it’ll encourage more activity. Still, I will miss walking back into that different time.
First swim team
My Juniper Hill Pool memories span about 35 years, from my own swim days to those of my youngest child! Beginning in the early ‘60s and continuing for several years, I was a member of the first FAST (Frankfort Area Swim Team) at Juniper Hill, coached by Dave Montgomery. My teammates included brothers Mike and Pat Hancock and brothers Dean and David Sorg. Great memories and a great beginning for me (I swam in high school and college)! Then, in 1995 and 1996, my youngest son, Frank W. Sower III, took swimming lessons at Juniper Hill and went on to swim and dive for the U.S. Navy. The memories will live on. Thanks for this opportunity to share them.
John R. Sower
My brother, Roland Cheek, graduated from Elkhorn High School in 1957. Our uncle, Marshall Gash, was on the construction crew that built the pool. My brother needed a job, and my uncle was responsible for getting him on. He was the new bookkeeper for the county. Also, when they poured the concrete, since my brother lived in Frankfort, they gave him the job of hosing down the concrete at night in order for it to cure properly. He did this a lot of nights. But he must have done a good job, because that pool lasted a long time.
Ann Cheek Disney
Fun, family and advertising
In the 1960s, a trip on a hot afternoon to Juniper Hill pool was what we all wanted. It required a parent to drive us and a dollar, maybe less. It was an afternoon of fun in the sun and the opportunity to see our friends, make new friends and admire the lifeguards. It was also an opportunity for advertisers to offer young women the opportunity to become models for their summer swimming line — Suburban, Capital Fashion, Bing’s and other clothing stores placed their newest trends in swimwear on young women of the community. “The pool” was where people like my sister Peggy learned to swim and ultimately dive off the high and low dives. I’ll never forget the day my dad stood watching at the fence as Peggy finished her swim and was amazed when his youngest took to the diving board. His report of the event at home was one of amazement and pride for his daughter.
A cheap lunch
I think the kids started going to the pool in the late 1950s. We started going to the pool when we moved here. There must have been thousands of us from then until now. For about 50 cents you could have a hot dog, small package of chips and a cup of coke. Mustard and ketchup were available.
Jim Upchurch, as shared with Kay Harrod
First to the pool
Juniper Hill Pool was so important in 1960-62 that my cousin, Ricky Reed, and I would walk up from Cloverdale two hours early on opening day just so we could be the first ones in the pool for the summer. The centerpiece of the pool for me was the high dive. I remember the fear and the fun of trying to keep up with some of the amazing things big Tom and Danny Salyers could do off that diving board. My favorite memory was when WAKY was blaring over the loud speakers and “Do You Love Me” came on. Those of us from Bridgeport started to sing and dance. Soon, most of the teens on the deep end of the pool were singing and dancing with us. For that moment we were as cool as the Elkhorn gang. It was like a Disney movie and I never saw it happen again. Juniper Hill Pool, thanks for the memories.