Cresting a small hill, we saw it simultaneously. A boarded up 1940’s era motel. The stones rattled against the side of the car as Ray Zimmerman pulled over. We craned our necks to look… ”Did you see the fence around the place?!” - I asked excitedly. Ray nodded his head, trying to peer through bushes that obscured our view. He looped around and pulled up an access road nearby. Ray switched off the engine & we climbed out. We clearly saw what had caught our eye. The motel squatted there like a malignant thing… it was a blight on the landscape. The roof sagged in places, paint was peeling and the palm trees that stirred in the wind were in dire need of trimming. “Looks like its been closed up for years.” - he mumbled. I ran my eyes over the place. The plywood covering some of the windows was warped & stained. Broken glass glittered. Weeds grew through the paving stones and trash and palm debris was thick under our feet. A rusting chain link fence wrapped itself around a long concrete slab that was raised up about six feet above our point of view. From our vantage point, we could only see the cinder block foundation & the fence enclosure. It was the pool area.
I remember muttering- ”Big old kidney. Big old kidney.” - like a strange mantra, as we made our way up the short hill and level with the pool. On closer inspection, we couldn’t even see the shape of the pool as it was covered –row-on-row– with what appeared to be giant steel girders. They were laying across the entire surface of the pool covering it. I was over the fence in less time than it takes to tell it. I pulled up on one of the beams. I couldn’t even budge it. They must have weighed a thousand pounds each. There was a small area where I could see a round corner and some bullnose coping but that was all. “Damn. Someone wanted to definitely keep people out of the pool!” - Ray exclaimed. I told him that I had never seen anything so drastic… it was bizarre. We utilized his pole cam and Ray took some excellent images and then we continued on the long road to our destination. We were meeting up with Alex Perelson, Josh Stafford and Sam Beckett at a new pool that Riverside Shawn & I had drained the week before.
Once they arrived, we all quickly became very busy. They were really stoked on the look of the pool. One could easily see the possibilities from a casual glance. The trannies were mellow and the bowl was wide. The only slight imperfection was that the grout in between the slabs of ladyfinger coping had all come out. There were small quarter inch gaps between each coping block… it made for an interesting day.