I wanted to write this letter expressing my comments and thoughts about the pool project. This is really not a pool task force project—it’s the City of Gaylord’s project and the voters will determine if the project will be constructed. I believe this project didn’t start in the past 12 months, it started in the mid-1950s. According to Eileen Brandt’s history of the pool, in the early 1950s our area children were bussed to whatever city we could convince to take them and teach our kids how to swim. These places included Glencoe, Le Sueur, St. Peter, Hutchinson, and even Lake Marion. In the mid-1950s and early 1960s, much effort was put forth to gain support for constructing a pool. Some of the people who had the vision and inspiration to have a swimming pool in Gaylord included:
George Anderson, Dayle Troldahl, Maynard Nesvig, George Messner, Clayton Johnson, Paul Lindholm, Curtis Peterson, John Estenson, Arlen Sneltjes, Bjorne Nielson, Don Schilling, Sid Holberg, George Solmonson, Kenny Kirsch, Jim Deis, Karl Kuphal, Verne Carlson, Albert Kuphal, Duane Messner, I.M. (Brit) Nelson.
If you think about the names on this list, you’ll know that a swimming pool was important to the entire community.
Some of the community organizations involved in the project included: Gaylord Community Club, American Legion and the Auxiliary, Gaylord Game Protective League, Gaylord Rotary, Temple Rebecca & Odd Fellows Lodge, Gaylord Jaycees, and several rural farm organizations.
The pool was constructed and opened Sunday, June 12, 1966. Now, today, children from several of those communities where we bussed our children to, come to the Gaylord pool.
The responsibility for a pool facility has now been passed to us —the voters in Gaylord—to carry forward into the future. When thinking about this project I’ve asked myself, what communities are playing on exactly the same baseball field, Little League and T-ball fields, tennis courts, playground equipment, and swimming pools as was constructed in 1966?
A pool facility is an important item in creating a “complete” community for our citizens.
It’s a place where children and adults can learn not to be afraid of the water. They can learn how to swim—and if they ever do end up in the water, in a bad situation, they can save themselves and maybe, someone else. A swimming pool facility is a place where children can play with other children in an activity where there is no competitive sport, no winners, and no losers —just playing together for the pure joy of having fun. It’s a place where families can come and all family members can play together in a fun, healthy activity. I am with hopes the voting citizens of Gaylord will bring forth the energy and commitment to make this project a reality.