Kathy and Peggy in front of York Commons

The POOL is in the background…(hahaha – LOVE the picture =)  )

For all you youngins’, this was the place to be for all of us during the summers and winters while growing up in Elmhurst. We could walk thru back yard and hop the fence, walking just a shot distance to get to the pool, or taking a couple of steps to get onto the ice.  Julie has sone good memories from our days of growing up…(edited for space and content 🙂  ) I think THE POOL opened this weekend!!

Hey Sibs!

I’m sitting here at the computer for a 5 minute break between laundry, paperwork and foodies for Aunt Peggy’s house and I got to thinkin about The Pool. “Are you going to THE POOL today?” Wait I got a better one:” Saturday is opening day for THE POOL.” So we would line up in the early morning behind the freshly painted white line with our holy towels aligned just right so we wouldn’t burn the snot out of our tender winter smooth soles of our feet. And we would wait. Of course, the concession stand (candy stand) would be opening up and filling up with those old favorites: Boston Baked Beans anyone? How about Lemonheads? For all you Lisa O’reilly type kids with $, there was hot dogs, chips and a soda. Dip the chips in Ketchup! Lets not forget the popsicles, DREAMsickles, and FUDGEsicles! (Not to be confused with the $.05 WAHOO bar from the Good Humor Guy. If you were a beggar, (and I was, ask Gerg and Leggs), you could ask the gnarly old Good Humor Guy if you could pick up the ice cream wrappers from the Visitation school parking lot, in exchange for a pink wahoo bar.)

Anyways, during the 6 hour wait for the pool to open you could gaze upon many interesting things!

The awesome flower “Jungle” around the flagpole in the circle drive. I used to be small enough to hide in those huge flowers.

If it was 90 degrees the RED FLAG would go up and they would kick the people out at 3 and let the people in line in.

Yellow flag was an almost red flag.

My favorite pool Managers were Joann and (Father) Guy Vacarro. He is now a priest at st. somebody’s in Wheaton. Rich Balcerak was kinda mean. He rewrote the rules after I rented out the pool for my 18th birthday and charged admission to get in and watch 3 bands ROCK on the deck.

There was THE TREE in the far eastern field . Remember the rope

Donuts in the parkinglot with our new dog CHUMLY! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Dad brought Chumly the slobbering huge sheepdog home one afternoon.  Back to the pool.

My eyes were burning by the 3:00 break from all the chlorine. How about submerging in the warm-as-a-bath baby pool after the big pool chill!

Diving,(Or falling, like some of us) off the diving boards. What a blast.

Water Ballet at the end of summer. Remember when it would be the pool carnival of some kind when there were races and other fun stuff? Someone help me out here: I dont quite remember but on one Sat or Sun each year there would be some fair or something all day! You could win stuff, right?

And if we’re talking Cayuga, how about :Diaz, Krolls,Powers, Earnests, Raymonds,Winns, somebody, someone old and then the Johnson’s house. On the North side were: Dr. Foran and shots (laterOoleys), old couple, Chamberlains (later Gutekunst), Youngs!, Karhuma’s(hey Moose!) Rohr’s(achin’ bacon) and I remember the old lady at 202 Cayuga. She had a lamp with prisms dangling and for some reason to look at the light reflected on the wall in a beautiful array would make me feel safe or peaceful. I sewed quilt squares in her livingroom when I was eight. Now the sight of a prism brings me right back to her house(or to Dark Side of the Moon).

Well, York Commons Pool will reopen as in 40+ years gone by. The memories of that place, like the memories of all the Elm trees on our block and the cherry blossoms and apple blossoms and peony’s will sustain me in my older years!

Much Love!


and the story behind York Commons…

This area was purchased in 1966 on the property of the former Dramm Greenhouse. Named after York Street, ”common” was added as a reference to property belonging to or used by the community as a whole. The greenhouses of Eugene Dramm were begun in 1914. Famous for their roses, the business closed in June 1966 and the land was sold to the Park District for $394,000. Development of an outdoor pool on this location began immediately due to population growth, which necessitated a newer facility. The original pool, known as York Commons Pool, was aluminum, with a concrete deck and a diatomaceous earth filtration system.

In 1981, a land exchange occurred with the Fire Department and 2.5 acres were given over for a fire station. In 1999-2000, a major renovation was undertaken to create a new pool with a water park and other services. The project was funded with a $1.4 million grant from the State of Illinois. The new pool was named for Norman P. Smalley, in recognition of his long service to the Park District as a trustee and former President. It opened May 27, 2000. At the same dedication ceremony a permanent skateboard park was also opened. This park, for skateboards, in-line skates, and similar sports, provides a new facility for active teens. Current size: 11.62 acres.