Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Pinehurst again, summertime (2)

(I acturally don't remember if Dad taught me to swim before or after 4th grade.)
Dad Teaches Me How to Swim

We began to go to Pine Creek (the swimming hole near the bridge on Main street) in the summer time to cool off. One day I was there with the family, and Dad taught me how to swim. (Apparently this wasn't my first swimming lesson, as my mom had taken us to the Kellogg pool when we were younger, but all I remember is that I hated putting my face in the water.)
Now, I was practically grown up, and at 10 yrs old, my Dad figured I needed to learn how to swim. When Dad taught me how to swim, he decided he would teach me the way he learned, and that was to swim "underwater" first. His reasoning was that if you learn to swim underwater first, then you aren't afraid of going under while you are learning to swim on top. He demonstrated his technique, then I tried it, swimming parallel to the shore. After I was comfortable in the shallow water, he let me venture until I could easily swim in water over my head. It wasn't until I was proficient at underwater swimming, that he taught me how to swim on top.
He may have taught me how to float on my back first, then dog paddle, and finally the Australian crawl (overhand). Whenever I got tire of "crawling" I would usually float, because it took less energy. Regardless, after I learned to swim underwater, I lost my fear of the water.
Dad even taught me how to open my eyes underwater, so I could see where I was going. It was so much fun to swim around and look for pretty rocks along the bottom of the creek. Sometimes my friends and I would cover a rock with foil and dive for it. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with Northern Idaho, the creeks and rivers are naturally clear, because they flow over rocks, rather than dirt or silt. Occassionally, there will be a sand bar, but for the most part there are rocks everywhere. Most of the rocks are smooth from rolling over other rocks in the river bed, or smooth and flat).
Dad also taught me how to dive when I was a little older. He taught me how to dive shallow, so that when I dove there would be little chance of hitting my head on the bottom. I used to be able to dive into 3' of water - but that was probably before I stopped growing taller, and definitely before I grew "larger." Just like my Dad, when I went swimming up the river (North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River), I wouldn't get wet gradually. . .I would run and dive right in. (I don't think my body could stand the shock of that now - having stayed out of really cold water for a lot of years!)


Does anyone know, why after numerous attempts, I cannot separate the paragraphs????

P.S. I spoke with my dad last night (May 15), and he told me about learning to swim when he was 10 yrs old, and living in Placerville, Ca. during the summer of '34. His cousin Wayne (I think) bought him a two week pass to the pool (or recreation center) for 50 cents. Dad learned to swim underwater first - just as I thought.

There's a story that began with their stay in Placerville. My grandfather, Art Lewis, took a job working for his older brother Hugh Lewis and Hugh's son at a machine shop - aptly named Lewis & Lewis. My dad and his dad got such a kick out of the name, they started to refer to themselves as "Lewis & Lewis." (Now whether they began in Placerville, or when they moved back to Utah after my dad's 5th grade year, I am uncertain.) The joke stuck, and as my dad grew to adulthood, they called each other "Lewis." I never heard either of them call each other by their given "first" names: It was always "Lewis."

4 comments:

InlandEmpireGirl said...

We have some great memories of going to the Clearwater River with our dad when we were visiting our grandma. He taught us how to let the current carry us down the river and how to swim into shore. We were a bit older!

Pinehurst in my Dreams said...

Isn't it interesting how Dad's teach us how to deal with dangerous situations. . . I'm glad you were older when you learned to swim in the Clearwater. =)

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