Let me tell you about the power of the press. I joined a small group of lunch customers at a downtown establishment a couple days ago and one of the people at the table said he got my message.
I was immediately in a panic because I could not remember sending him a message. I could not remember if I even thought about sending him a message. In fact, I did not recollect thinking of him at all in the past two or three weeks. What message? Was I supposed to do something? Did I fail to complete an advertising transaction? What?
He winked and said he knew he was one of my six regular readers and as such he was able to pick out that part of a recent opinion column when I was speaking to him without mentioning his name. He knew that for certain. Sure. How weird is that? However, he could not remember what the message was that he scooped out of that opinion column either. Nor did he remember for sure how many weeks ago it ran.
It is another one of those “I can’t remember that, I have slept since then” moments. Maybe if I am lucky he will not read a message into this brief column. I am pretty certain I cannot go through the rest of my life worrying about what people read — or think they read — on this page.
An additional reference to former columns fits in right here. Two weeks or so ago, I commented on Peabody City Council’s predicament because a fiberglass liner in the baby pool at city park had begun to deteriorate and the company that guaranteed it for 15 years vanished from the face of the earth. Council members were told a new liner would cost about $8,000. There is no money budgeted for that expense this year.
With some research by our public works employees and a helpful pool business staff, there may be a temporary fix available to get the baby pool through this summer while a permanent solution for funding is pursued. That is good news for young parents who use and appreciate the baby pool.
You may remember that when I told you about this issue I also told you that the pool was built in the early 1960s, funded almost entirely by local donations from individuals, service organizations and clubs, and more than likely the city. Grants were rare in those days.
I also said that pools and parks are a notorious drain on municipal budgets because they never pay their own way. Luckily for your children and grandchildren, some adults with vision had the good sense and civic pride to fund and build a pool that, at the time, was likely a state-of-the-art facility.
Yes it is now 50 years later and, as with many aging structures, our municipal pool is falling on hard times. I am going to make another appeal here. If your children enjoy the pool, belong to swim team, or have a job as a pool staff member, perhaps you and like-minded friends could put a plan into action to begin a funding source for pool maintenance or replacement. There is no reason to assume it would not work. It works all the time in small towns. It just takes some energy and enthusiasm by a group of volunteers.
Not the power of the press, but the power of you people. Go for it.