The Old Swimming Hole

Old Friends...

Growing up a half century ago was challenging but it also had great rewards.Some of the friendships we gained back then are still our friends today and we often reminisce of times gone by.

Did you ever go swimming in a river or creek?

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The summers were sooo hot...

I can remember the summers got pretty hot in east Tennessee when I was a boy in the 1950’s.There was no such thing as air conditioning, or if there was we certainly never heard of it, or much less could afford it.At night we slept with the windows wide open.I don’t even remember my family ever having a box or window fan.I remember standing under the large ceiling fans downtown in the department stores and the ‘five & dime’s’, but we certainly couldn't afford something like that at home.I remember when a storm would blow up at night and we would have to rush to close all the windows so it wouldn’t rain inside.Mom would have been upset if we had let the bedclothes get wet.


We prayed for rain...

Before we got our electric refrigerator my buddies and I loved to wait for the iceman who came around every Tuesday and Saturday mornings.He would have large blocks of ice under a tarpaulin in the back of his yellow pick-up truck, and would always chip off bits of ice for us to eat on when he came to fill our family’s ice box.As he was delivering a fresh block into our house we boys would also hold our bare feet under the bed of that old truck to let the dripping, melting ice cool our dirty little feet.Those were special times in the lives of little boys during the hot summers as we played so hard and would often even pray for a shower to cool and relieve our sweaty little bodies from the heat.

last one in is a rotten egg...
last one in is a rotten egg...

Our own swimmin' hole...

Now my older brothers and some of their friends spoke of an old swimming hole they were building at Steeles Creek, just about a mile down the road from our house.When ask if I could go and help too mom made Jim and Jack promise to look after me especially whenever they were headed out in that direction.They agreed so we all headed out down the road.Now Steeles Creek was on private property even though some people liked to stroll along its banks on Sunday afternoons after church.All they had to worry about was the barbed wire fences and watch where they stepped because this was pasture land and cattle was almost always present.


We had a purpose in mind...;

Now about a quarter of a mile off the main road the creek made an almost 90° turn, and it was in this bend that the older guys chose to dam up for our swimming hole.We cleaned the bottom of old bottles and cans and anything we thought might be hazardous to our swimming.Then we carried rocks and started placing them carefully from one bank across to the other.It took us the biggest part of the summer before we were finally satisfied with our creation and the water began to back up about as quickly as we worked.We didn’t want to stop all the water just enough to raise the water level about 4 or 5 feet.

That old swimming hole became a most popular site during the ‘50’s and was the only one I knew of in the west end of town.It was sure refreshing on hot days to go and swim in the cool waters of Steeles Creek and since it was just the guys that went down there anyway, it really didn’t matter if you had swimming trunks or not.Most of the guys my age were used to ‘skinny dippin’…

© 2011 SamSonS

The ole swimmin' hole

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Comments 11 comments

Angie Jardine profile image

Angie Jardine 5 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

I'm a sucker for nostalgia, samsons, so I found this hub bringing all sorts of summer memories back to me from my 1950's childhood ... I still think we had the best childhood ever.

Voted up ... what else?

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

thanks Angie, you are so sweet to answer and I'm glad you liked the hub. I appreciate your vote of confidence and I agree, our lives back sixty years ago was the best time to live. I miss my childhood and would return in an instant if it was possible.

blessings to you my dear...

lifegate profile image

lifegate 5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA


Another hub full of remembrances. Thanks a whole bunch.

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

We had a swimming hole in Buffalo creek when I was a kid. You had to be careful of the tree roots near the bank, and it wasn't clear water, but other than that, it was free and wonderful!

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

*thanks lifegate for stopping by and commenting...

*and thank you WillStarr for sharing your early childhood adventures with us. The water wasn't chlorinated and we didn't have a lifeguard but somehow we all survived...

Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 5 years ago from US

All the kids dammed up a swimming hole at my cousins house so I know the fun this can be, but that water ran down off a mountain and it was freezing cold in July. Great hub.

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

Hey Polly, thanks for stopping by and commenting, I've been missing a lot of my usual friend's comments, it's like Google and/or HubPages have scattered everything by their recent changes...

trecords0 profile image

trecords0 5 years ago from DeLand, Florida

I grew up in the 70's and 80's, but things still had a sense of freedom then. I miss those old timey values and such when "Made In America" really meant something. It is evident now how badly we screwed up by selling out. Now nothing is made here. But that's what my music is about. Great read Sam, Tim Moore.

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

Hey Tim, thanks for the follow and I will reciprocate. Remember the 70's and 80's, loved a lot of the music and the free spirit. Is there any hope for America...

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SusieQ42 5 years ago

I also was raised in the 50's and 60's and never experienced a "boring day!" What fun we had. I enjoyed this hub so much. I will visit again!

samsons1 profile image

samsons1 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

Thank you so much SusieQ42 for your nice words. It's true, back then we kids didn't have a care in the world...

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