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Everybody out of the pool

September 05, 2006|by TAMELA BAKER

HAGERSTOWN - It was a little cool at the pool on its last day.

With Labor Day marking the unofficial end of summer, the Claude M. Potterfield Pool in Hagerstown prepared to close for the season. But not before a few diehard swimmers took one last dip - despite the water's chilly temperature.

"It's freezing, but it's refreshing," said Eric Cangemi of College Park, Md., who was visiting the pool with his 5-year-old nephew, Dominic.

It was Cangemi's second visit to Potterfield, he said. His parents live in Hagerstown, and he and his brothers - one from New York and one from New Orleans - had come here for the holiday weekend. As Dominic splashed around in the shallow end, Cangemi predicted they'd be back next year. He was especially impressed by the pool's huge "slidewinder" water slide. "But they won't let me go down headfirst," he said.

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By mid-afternoon, a few dozen swimmers gathered for a final plunge. That's in contrast to the 200 to 300 daily count the pool averaged for most of the summer, said pool Manager Dawn Peters.

"I think the weather kinda discouraged people" this weekend, she said. Monday's temperatures, which reached the mid- to upper 70s by mid-afternoon, were the warmest all weekend.

Bruce and Connie Baker of Hagerstown were taking a break from the water with daughter Holly, 3. The slide had made an impression on Holly, too, but she was a little disappointed.

"I couldn't go down the slide," she said.

"She wasn't tall enough," her mom explained.

Connie Baker said Monday was their first visit all summer.

But now that Holly's getting a little older, "we'll probably come more often" in the future, Bruce Baker said.

Linda Twigg and Tracy Williams were avoiding the water, stretching instead on chaises while their children and grandchildren played. Their tans were a tell-tale sign that Twigg and Williams were Potterfield regulars.

"Every Monday since it opened" this summer, Twigg said. She and Williams, co-workers at the Williamsport American Legion, have off Mondays.

And every week they headed to the pool, with a combiwwned seven children and grandchildren in tow, Williams said.

"We've only missed one Monday because of weather" this summer, Twigg said. "We've had a nice summer for pool weather."

Twigg's granddaughter Ashley Wolfe, 6, learned to swim at the pool this year, she said. But her favorite part of the pool, she said, was the slide.

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