The Bare Facts of Life

My Hoffman Estates Boys Club did many things with the Union League Boys Clubs of Chicago. We had home on home softball games, we hosted them for a track meet, and they hosted us for a games room tournament and swim in their pool.  Our club was also allowed to use their resident camp in Salem, Wisconsin, not only for off-season trips but for summer camp for our kids.

After a great games room tournament consisting of pool, air hockey, ping-pong, and fooseball, we were invited for a swim in their pool.  Yet our boys were in for a surprise as when they got to the pool they discovered that many of the Union League kids did not own a bathing suit so they went swimming in their birthday suits.  Of course this was back in the mid 1970’s. 

I told our kids that “When in Rome do as the Romans do” but that advice fell flat.  All but one of my boys opted for NOT wearing a swimming suit.  So that boy grinned and bared it and went into the pool quite naked.  Since he was one of our leaders not many of our kids mocked him.  He later shared with us all that swimming feels altogether different without bathing trunks.

It should also be noted that in the Union League Pool opening one’s eyes underwater was very much required as the pool had several large pillars that were found throughout its confines reaching all the way to the roof.  Had George of the Jungle swam there he would not have to watch out for that tree but rather pillars.  At least one of my boys knew what it meant to be a Roman after that experience!

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