Sometimes in summer, the assorted cousins would all meet up at my Aunt Connie and Uncle Charlesâ€™ house in Libertyville, Ill., for a bit of young kids hell raising and a possible dip in the neighbors pool.
I remember this particular day as being very hot and sticky, so my cousin Chris and I couldn't wait to splash around in the shallow end of this large in-ground pool. Our parents were having a good laugh, a few Meister Brau's and getting the grill ready, so we went to the pool with older cousins Michael, who wasÂ Chris's brother, and Buddy who was Connie and Charlesâ€™ son. (Buddy, by the way, would also play drums and had a Midwest regional hit single with Shotgun, by his group "The Bondsmen" in 1967.) To the pool â€¦
Chris and I hit the shallow end and proceeded to horse around. This pool was beautiful and had three different areas of depth based on a downward slope design of the pool floor from very shallow to deepest. As long as Chris and I stayed in the safe area and didn't go into the middle and toward the deepÂ end, we would be fine. In later years, I would scuba dive, but at this time, I couldn't swim and neither could Chris.
The floor of the pool was a textured sand treatment that was easy on the feet, but still gritty enough for traction. I was bouncing up and down, close to the pool wall, when I slipped and felt myself losing balance while getting a face full of water that made me choke almost immediately. It was so sudden that it was cartoon like, but with a vicious aqua slap like this, I was in serious summer danger. I was in the deep end.
I was confused now, and I was trying to get to a safer depth, but I was starting to panic and I was taking on water like a doomed submarine. I could feel my insides fill with fear and I started to wonder what the calm was that I was also feeling. The quiet that you feel underwater is a very inviting silent world, but I didn't want to join that world.
Silence. I was almost filled with water and I was freeing my …Read more...