Dellabee and Me

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The Bullfrog Pool


My father is a creative guy. He is great at re-purposing things.

For example, he once converted a green and white van into a camper of sorts and lived in it for an entire winter, relying on a can of sterno for heat (this was while he was building his house). The van was up on blocks. He removed all but the driver’s seat, and inserted mattresses. For me, the only girl of 4 children, he built a “bunk” that was basically the metal support from a single bed which he wired to ceiling of the van, enabling me to sleep above the boys.

Yes, I am claustrophobic now. Thanks, Dad.

FYI- my parents divorced when I was very young and I saw my father every other weekend, so I was not forced to endure life in the van on a daily basis.

The coolest thing my dad ever made was a pool.

He brought home a stainless steel tub that had been used for dyeing material. The tub was about 3.5 feet tall and had a diameter of maybe 4  feet.  He welded a pipe onto the drain so that he could thread a cap onto it and set the tub up on blocks because the drain stuck out of the bottom. And then he filled it with water.

Being stainless steel, the water took a while to heat up but once it did it was like bathwater. My stepbrothers and I would wedge ourselves into the tub and make amazingly powerful whirlpools. Of course, because it was so small only 2 people could fit at a time, and even then I remember being scrunched up with my knees in my face.

Whatever. It was still fun.

Because the pool was off the ground by about 6 inches, it provided a nice hiding spot for various critters, some creepy (can you say snake??) and some not creepy (frogs and toads). By far, though, the awesomest thing to take up residence under the pool was a gigantic bullfrog.

His loud croak gave him away. We caught him a few times but always returned him, and I guess he thought that was fine because he pretty much lived under the pool all summer long. In fact, if memory serves me right, I think we ended up with a bullfrog under the pool every summer we used it.

Of course the pool had some drawbacks. The bottom wasn’t level so it would shift around when someone was in it. Also, where the drain pipe was welded onto the bottom of the pool, it was a tad sharp. I do believe every swimming session ended because of someone’s bloody foot.

I have a plastic pool for my kids to use and now that they are bigger it is not as fun for them. I think I need to tell them about the metal pool.


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