Don’t look a gift pool in the mouth!

By Rosalie Tirella

How typically Worcester! How stupidly Worcester! Here we go again! Shooting ourselves in the foot (and ankle, knee cap, hip joint, rib cage, etc, etc) – AGAIN! This is why our downtown is a freaking wasteland! This is why most people in the state think we’re a joke! This is why the young leave our seven hills in droves! The brohaha over the proposed swimming pool for Crompton Park has all the earmarks of a classic Worcester shit-storm: Yes, we want a pool at Crompton Park! No, we don’t want a pool in Crompton Park! Shove it up your tight butthole! NO! You shove it up your even tighter butthole! Worcester City Counilors (except for Barbara Haller) not doing their jobs (they had more than two years to decide what to do with our decrepit city pools!), then Worcester City Councilors grandstanding and bitching that they weren’t allowed to do their jobs! Well meaning community folks (mostly from the inner city) who have been disenfranchised for so long that they are totally inflexible on the issue just so they can feel like they matter to City Hall. Yup! Let’s all bite our noses to spite our faces!

And in the meantime, while our shitstorm blinds us, the $2.5 million that Worcester City Manager Mike O’Brien has set aside for the building of a cool, cool new pool at Crompton Park in Green Island – the digging and construction was supposed to begin THIS FALL/MAYBE EVEN THIS MONTH, if we weren’t so busy attacking each other! – could disappear. The $2.5 million could go to pay for other things … like the $150,000+ salaries of regular ol’ Worcester cops (don’t get me started – just see our Top 150 Municipal Wage Earners of Worcester, to the left.) Now that would be a tragedy.

Poor City Manager O’Brien! He can’t catch a break on this swimming pool thing – no matter how hard he tries, no matter how many good intentions he has, no matter how many good acts he performs. It’s as if he’s being punished for showing initiative or creativity! Isn’t this what city managers are supposed to do – manage a city? Manage a city especially when city councilors are too disorganized or stupid or chicken shit to do anything? For two years!!!

First, there’s the Wheels to Water program, which the city manager put together after realizing that the pools couldn’t be open this year – especially with new laws surrounding the drains of municipal pools. O’Brien came up with a list of private, non-profit social service agencies (like the YMCA) that would open their pools up to neighborhood kids this summer. He even funded buses and staff to the sites, where free meals and sometimes arts and crafts were provided. O’Brien hoped that between the Wheels to Water program and the state and city beaches and two state pools that were open in Worcester, city kids would have had a chance to have some fun in the sun. They could even have taken advantage of free swimming lessons at one of the sites.

The Wheels to Water program was an admirable effort, if not a sparkling success.

But O’Brien got plenty of – too much, we think – flak for it.

Now, realizing that people want city pools next year, O’Brien has decided – because the city council hasn’t taken any kind of vote/stand on the issue – to duplicate the success of the Shine State Pool on Providence Street and build a similar pool at Crompton Park.

Bravo, Mr. O’Brien! Well done, sir! You have (as always) done your best! You are, as always, conscientious!

As the “Green Island Grrrl” columnist and denizen of Green Island for many, many, many years I can tell you this: while the old swimming pool at Crompton Park was a blast when I was a kid in the ’70s – always brimming with swimmers, always clean and sparkly – the Crompton Park pool of the last few years looked a bit dumpy. And there weren’t a whole lot of people at the pool. Certainly nowhere near the number of kids that I remember swimming with in the ’70s. And DPW and Parks Chief Bob Moylan has the numbers to prove it. But now, with a great family pool with slides and water shutes and spraying fountains slated to be built there, the NEW Crompton Park Pool would be an incredible draw!! People from all over Green Island would come to use the facility and, most important to remember, other folks from nearby streets would visit too: people from Cambridge Street, Canterbury Street, even lower Vernon Hill (Ward Street, Perry Ave, Sterling Street, Endicot Street) – maybe even the Hammond Street area. This fantastic pool would give the new Shine Pool (a few miles away even though opponents act like it is right next door) a breather, too. There were 10,000 people – of all ages – at the Shine Pool this summer. WOW! That’s a ton of people! Why? Because 1. the other swimming pools in the city (except for the state pool at Bennett Field at Webster Square) were closed AND 2. Shine Pool is a wonderful facility – simply beautiful. I used to drive by the Shine Pool all the time this summer (running my business) and saw the long, long lines. But I also saw sparkling blue water, a water fountain in the middle of the pool and a water slide emptying into the pool! The Shine Pool looks like a little amusment park atop a body of water! How fun! I wanted to jump in and have a ball, too (and will when my beloved Crompton Park gets the same treatment)!

The Shine Pool is no Taj Mahal Pool! It’s a great pool that any suburb would build for its folks. In fact, Holden has one just like it! And they don’t consider it a “Rockerfeller Pool” as the grandstanding City Councilor Ric “Dope-o-rama” Rushton claims. Ric, Me thinks a Rockerfeller Pool would have gold tiles on bathroom walls, marble floors in the changing areas, massage tables, comely women feeding fat, arrogant guys (like you!) grapes … . No, sir! The Shrine Pool is simply a great swimming pool!

Crompton Park deserves the same treatment. Let the damn thing get built – while we still have the money and Mike O’Brien still has the will to put up with all our bullshit. Building the pool at Crompton this year will mean there will be third public swimming pool open in Worcester next summer. And remember: building the Crompton Park pool does not preclude the building of other pools in the city – maybe not as fun, maybe more basic. And, like Councilor Haller said this summer, District 4 has no public pool/beach/lake – water. She wisely advocated for water in her district – the poorest in the city.

Come on, people! Let’s all agree to agree! For the kids! For the families! The new Crompton Park Pool will be the toast of South Worcester! It will draw people from all over the city – not just Green Island. It will be something the Canal District poo-bahs can be proud of – and tout at their stupid crappy fairs. We hope to see Allen Fletcher at the new Crompton Park pool. Hopefully, we will be able to wrap a wet beach towel around his skinny neck and pull … real tight.

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