Sheltering in Place – Day 56

When I was a child, I remember seeing photos, magazines, and movies starring the beautiful film star and competitive swimmer, Esther Williams. At the time, I guess somewhere inside my nine-year-old head, I knew she was gorgeous, with long legs and sexy bathing suits, but when you’re a kid, you don’t look at things the way the rest of the world does. Besides, I was practically a junior Esther Williams, minus the gorgeous, long legs and sexy bathing suit. Born and raised in southern Florida, I spent my youth in water of one form or another. Ocean, pool, creek, river, it didn’t matter, I was there. I also competed in local swim meets until I discovered rock and roll at age twelve. Until that time, my life was spent in one bathing suit or another, practically year-round. In fact, when we go through family albums, most of us knew what year it was by what swimsuit I was wearing. But back to E.W. What impressed me about our glamorous mermaid wasn’t all the fancy dives and breaststrokes but how she could pop up out of the water with a sparkling smile and eyes wide open. I mean, how, how, how? Have you ever tried opening your eyes coming out of either chlorine or saltwater, not to mention wearing a smile? I could never do it and man, I have tried. My eyes would sting, get bloodshot, and blink like crazy. I would wind up grimacing and looking more like a character out of a Max Sennett’s comedy rather than a glamorous film star. And forget smiling. Smile and your mouth fills with water. Okay, at the time I was a nine-year-old missing a few teeth, but I still can’t do it, complete choppers and all. Then there was Esther’s hair.…

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