Reflection On Harrisburg Summers Past

By Janice Apple Malett

I joined the town pool in Rye, NY and do my laps after work.

I don't know a soul - not after three summers of swimming here. Too young, too old, or just unfriendly. But it doesn’t matter. I'm not here to make friends. I come for the swimming...and for something else.

There is something about the grassy area that surrounds the pool, the country surroundings, the way the sun reflects on the water, and the children splashing, that

transports me to another time and place.

A time when I had a mother and father and a brother and a place called Green Hills- a swimming pool in the hills outside of Harrisburg, PA where I grew up.

It was much more than a swimming pool. It was love and community. It was an idea conceived in my parents’ living room with a group of friends looking for a healthy, safe, and comfortable place for the families of the Jewish Community of Harrisburg to go.

As I sit here in Rye, apres-swim - feeling the warmth of the sun soak into my body the way it did at sixteen - I am warmed by the memories of family and community, of images of my grandparents, Aunts and Uncles sunning themselves in lawn chairs.

Green Hills was the go-to place for visiting relatives and friends. I remember

how safe, how secure, how loved I felt by them and the fun of what seemed like endless summer days of volleyball, swimming, and the ultimate cookout - even in the rain. My Dad was not tossing those hamburgers for a few rain drops.

Green Hills was my cochalein in the Catskills, my summer camp in Vermont, my house in the Hamptons, my Kennebunkport. It shall always be part of my cellular memory which piques exquisitely when I stop for a swim at the Rye Pool.

Thanks for the memories.