1964 Capaha Park Swim Meet

This is a swim meet at Capaha Park Pool on July 31, 1964, if we believe the note on the negative sleeve. There are big holes in Google’s Missourian archives for the last part of 1964, so I don’t know if a story ran in the paper. Some of the pictures are pretty marginal, but there are a bunch of Capaha Pool fans our there who will overlook the technical shortcomings. Click on any photo to make it larger.

I almost got electrocuted

All I remember about this swim meet was that I almost got electrocuted. My electronic flash – strobe – was sick, so I borrowed one from somebody so I could cover the meet.

In case you didn’t know, strobes work by sucking an electrical charge out of low voltage batteries and storing it in a capacitor until it’s boosted to hundreds of volts. When you press the shutter release, that closes a contact that sends all that voltage across the flash tube, producing a very short duration powerful blast of light. Later models operated off a 510-volt battery, but that’s another, equally painful story.

Keep the plug covered

The batteries would drain fairly quickly, so some of the strobes had ports where you could plug the unit into a regular electrical outlet. Well, what can go in, can also come out, so you’re supposed to keep the contacts covered with a plug when you’re not using it with AC power. The guy who loaned it to me either wanted to see me dead or he didn’t have the plug. I never did find out.

Photographer lights up

So, anyway, I’m walking across the wet pool deck when my finger accidentally touches those exposed contacts. The strobe says, “This guy must want to take a picture, so I’m going to dump my XXX volts and make a bright flash.” Instead of going through the flash tube, all those electrons took the path of least resistance – my body – to get to the wet pool deck. I thought somebody had tackled me from behind. I looked all around, though, and there was nobody close to me.

Flash was brighter than the photographer

I went on to cover the meet and POW!!! the same thing happened. This time I realized what was going on and made sure to keep my fingers away from the light-the-photographer-up contacts.

Remember braiding lanyards?

I think the kid on the far right is braiding a plastic lanyard. That was all the rage when I was in grade school. Square braiding was easy; round braid was a little harder. I can’t remember all the ways we used them. I think the challenge was in the braiding. Actual utility was secondary.

Wife Lila pointed out that these were taken before the lanes were painted on the pool bottom. Here’s what the pool looked like when they were getting ready for the season. It contains links to most of the other Capaha Park Pool stories we’ve done.


6 Replies to “1964 Capaha Park Swim Meet”

  1. The boy with glasses in the front row looks like David Trantham, not sure though. He and his brother lived on S. Sprigg. It was their car that Brenda Stafford and I stole temporarily one summer but got caught before we even got out of the drive-way. They had a dog named Blondie and a pool table in their basement where I learned to play pool.

  2. Gees…You took pictures of a swim meet and I can barely identify anyone??? David is not in the picture and the last picture of the small team maybe Jackson(?. Cape had a big team and usually set up on the main deck on teh south side of the pool…I was 16 that year and was still swimming…NO pictures of me either…run this by Jacqie. But in the last Picture Mark Bodine is the guy in the starw hat…Mark was a great diver and inventor of the high dive called the DUNDAR…good kid and not a bad swimmer either.

  3. I think I recognize the two boys in the center as students I taught at Jackson. I think the blond with a flattop is Keith Cracraft, and the boy on his right is Terry Ladreiter. I can’t swear that I’m right because it’s been a long time. I had them in 7th grade.

  4. What happened to the swimming Ransom brothers? I remember them from my freshman year at SEMO in 1967. Also, Paul Ebaugh, George Arthur, Glen and Rich Harter (former owners of the ice plant) Carl Gross, Bob Jackson, the Brunes, etc.

    Tim Luckett

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