Capaha Park Pool Rats

A bunch of the Class of ’66 folks who came to Cape for their 70th Birthday Party reunion (because lots of them turned 70 in 2018), were hardcore Capaha Park Pool Rats (a description coined by Terry Hopkins).

They thought they’d take advantage of being in town to congregate at Jack Rickard’s house at the base of what used to be the Mississippi River traffic bridge.

Pool Rat Memories

Just about the time the pool was razed, I asked some of the former lifeguards and swim instructors to tell me what they remembered of their swimming days in the middle and late 1960s.

Wife Lila, Bill Jackson and Terry Hopkins shared some touching memories you can read at this link.

Photos on exhibit

Many of the pictures in this gallery will be on exhibit at the Cape Girardeau County History Center across from the courthouse in Jackson. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 to 4. The exhibit will be up until around the end of October.

Some of the prints are available for purchase there.

Click on any of the photos to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move around.

Thinking About the Swimming Pool

Capaha Park pavilion construction 07-31-2014When I did a piece about a new pavilion being constructed on the hill overlooking what used to be the Capaha Park Swimming Pool, I quoted a Missourian story that said the structure should arrive in April and be installed in May or June.

So far as I can see, some footers have been poured, but the site otherwise looks the same as it did in April. Looks like someone blew that June deadline.

Glad to see the trees are still there

Capaha Park pavilion construction 07-31-2014When Friend Shari and I walked around the park waiting for the band concert to begin, we talked about how the big trees give a feeling of permanence to the park. My worry, I said, is that many of them may be nearing end of life. Old McKendree Chapel used to be surrounded by big trees, but they have gradually died off or been hit by lightning.

I miss the splashing and laughter

Capaha Park pavilion construction 07-31-2014I can’t sit on that hill, though, without thinking about the missing pool, the laughter and splashing, the smell of chlorine and the prickle of sunburns. Here are three accounts former lifeguards wrote when the pool was marked for demolition.