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The Swimming Pool.

Swimming pool in Mogale City once known as Krugersdorp
Mogale City Swimming Pool

Winter over, the swimming pool in the park opened its doors

Scattered over lawn-covered terraces around the rectangle of shimmering blue water, young male and female bodies lay. Chatting, recounting stories about, this one and that one, who’d done this and that. Well warmed up one of them shouted last one in is a scary cat


Splashing, jumping and diving from the high board or performing flip flops, the pool teemed with writhing squirming virile adolescents.

Fooling around took place. “let’s duck him”, “let's grab her and pull down her costume”. Charlie’s whistle blew. Rough play is forbidden.


Lanes roped off half the pool. Training began in earnest. 40 lengths of kicking while holding on to a board. 6 feet tall, the school’s second-fastest breast-stroke swimmer, Leon aimed to be the fastest in the forthcoming championships.

“60 seconds” announced Charlie, checking his timepiece. To win 100 meters in 59 needed to be achieved.


Charmian eyed her hero’s muscular physique, as forceful strokes propelled him to the distant side of the pool. Hidden under the flimsy black polka dot bathing suit, her breasts swelled.

Complete concentration would be required, but how to achieve this, with his mind all the time agitated by Charmian’s tempting image?

Sturdy arms gripped the pool's edge, his dripping, panting torso lifted out of the water. A moment of relaxation and chatting with his fellow competitors forsaken. The handsome girl's smile and jet-black hair couldn't be resisted. Sitting down on the grass, he allowed her to dry the wetness and press her cheek to his broad back.

Charlie’s order to swim one more time, couldn’t be carried out. The boys rushed into the changing room to shower to dress for Shul. On his bicycle, the turquoise Raleigh, bought for him by his dad, he rode with them.

Charmian, the pool and training left behind. The boy sped off to Shull with Kenny and the gang. The troop stopped at Norton’s bakery for cob and continued riding, one hand on the handlebars, the other holding hot bread, munching as they went.

Precipitated by the boy’s willingness to follow Jack, the sportsman and health fanatic of the town, forever dressed in khaki shorts, even when the occasion called for formal dress, the boys rushed to leave the swimming pool.

Mr. Fitness requested them to come to Shul to help make a minyan (a quorum for Jewish prayer).

The Star of David formed the centerpiece of the silver metal gate of the Shul grounds, where the boys played soccer and other games while waiting for services to begin.

Competitions to the fastest rider around the block where the Shul stood took place.

Leon ran to the pharmacy across the road to fetch Sack, the pharmacist to make up the required extra person.

Conversation at dinner concerned the school's new swimming pool opening ceremony, an auspicious day for Mom and Dad. The principal and the mayor would open the project built with money collected by the parents. 

There would be flags, and a band would play. A grandstand, set up around the pool, seated about 500 people. The blue water shimmered, Mr. Boyce, his shrapnel-dented bald head glistening in the sunshine, strode up and down the edge of the pool by the diving his white timekeeper's jacket.

Leon entered 5 competitions, to celebrate the occasion, the breaststroke, freestyle, butterfly, and the relay. Winning he would be declared school champion and his team would receive the trophy which they would hold onto for a year.

The next morning Charmian called to wish him luck, the desire to please her motivated him. The school would honor him, his mates would admire him, and Charmian would be happy. The athletic boy already saw himself being raised onto the shoulders of his friends, cheered by mom and dad, and kissed and hugged by Charmian. The envy of the school.

The morning of the competition arrived. Leon awoke early. Rode his bicycle to school, and changed into his bathing suit. Alone, him and the pool, and now for the last training session.

Head rolling from side to side to take in air, synchronized with up and down strokes of his arms, thrusting like human pistons, pulling the water, jettisoning himself forward, like a projectile, at the greatest possible speed.

Up and down the length of the pool. Finished, panting, rising out of the pool, a sharp, stabbing pain. A little stitch in his side wasn’t going to put off the prospect of honorable achievement.

At the door of the assembly hall, crowded with, 800 pupils in ties and blazers, black with cerise stripes, sitting upright, hands folded on knees, reciting, in unison, morning prayers, he collapsed.

Diagnosed with appendicitis, and put to sleep by the aroma of chloroform, Dr. Mossie Jaffe undertook an operation immediately.  

A ward of hospital beds, each identically covered by stiffly starched white linen sheets, white-clad nurses running back and forth replaced the swimming pool.


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