World War II Memorial Municipal Pool
28th Street and Wickham Avenue
Newport News, VA 23607

1946 - 2006


"WELCOME, COACH - Charlie Nuttycombe (center), the great Randolph-Macon athlete from Richmond, poses at City swimming pool with a couple of Newport News High School youngsters he'll coach in September.  John Mitchell ('57), (left)and Joe Madagan ('57), life guards at the pool, greet the former track and baseball star who will join Typhoon staff in the Fall.  Nuttycombe is now chief life guard at City Rec pool."

Head Life Guard Billy Roady ('60)
and Adult Recreation Director
Joe Madagan ('57)
Adult Recreation Director
Joe Madagan ('57) and
Head Life Guard Billy Roady ('60)

"Billy took my job as Manager of both pools in 1962, and the City built a new pool at Magruder School, and Billy worked really hard getting it ready for the public. I saw Billy at the Grand Reunion. 

He had not changed a bit, and his daughter is the 'Spinnin Image' of Billy. He and Frank Ivey ('59) were my childhood buddies."

1956 1961 1961
Courtesy of Joe Madagan ('57) of  FL - 06/01/04
WOW!  Thanks, Joe!
Johnny Canepa ('60) and
Joe Madagan ('57)
"CITY POOLS SPRUCED FOR OPENING - Newport News youngsters will find a welcome relief from the summer heat at the two city swimming pools which will open Sunday. Joseph Madagan ('57), adult recreation director, will supervise the operation of the two pools which are located at 28th and Wickham Avenue for whites and at 31st and Orcutt Avenue for Negroes. Recreation department crews are cleaning the pools and painting equipment for opening day." Joe Madagan ('57)

Pre-Opening Demonstration

"It was a pretty nice crowd in attendance that day, as you can see behind me."

1961 1961 1961
Courtesy of Joe Madagan ('57) of  FL - 06/01/04
DOUBLE WOW!  Thanks again, Joe!


The Shipyard built that pool like they were building a battleship.
It was dedicated to the city by the Yard, when the yard was trying to keep from laying off good workers after the victory of WWII.
She had no defects, and was so overbuilt that it was amazing. It was quite easy to maintain for it's size.
We had some wonderful times after the pool closed, engaging in water polo with the staff and their invited guests.
- Joe Madagan ('57) of  FL - 06/01/04
Thanks, Joe!


In the summer of 1957, my mama decided that I, Chicken Little,
should learn to swim, so I was dutifully enrolled for swimming lessons at the pool.
This was an interesting proposition for at least two reasons.
For one, I was so nearsighted, that without my glasses (which somehow didn't work overly well in the pool),
I could literally not see anything but large blurs of anything farther away from my eyes than say, twelve inches.
For another, it would be rather hard to find anyone who was more of a "fraidy-cat" than I.

There were two cute young instructors, a guy and a gal.
They were convinced that the first thing we as a class needed to learn was to open our eyes under the water.
I was equally convinced that this was patently insane.
In fact, I was pretty certain that submerging my head below the surface was a very bad idea.
Coupled with the fact that the lifeguard's whistle kept sounding in my general direction,
and in my completely disoriented state I was never certain of anything that was transpiring,
my lessons were not going extremely well.  Water Baby I was not.

One day, a severe thunderstorm arose during the session,
and the pool was ordered closed, and we were all sent home early.
I personally thought this was rather funny; what - were they afraid we were going to get wet or something?!?
(My knowledge of weather and water safety was even more rudimentary then than it is now.)
Nevertheless, I huddled under the shelter of the building until I saw my mama's black and white Dodge
parked out on 28th Street waiting for me.

Now, it's a well-known fact that I am - and was - one of the slowest runners
for a non-handicapped student that the Newport News Public Schools ever turned out.
On this particularly day, however, that fact saved my life, for as I was running out to the car
with my mama watching on, a lightning bolt hit the pavement about ten feet in front of me.
Had I been able to run as fast as every other kid I knew, I would have been zapped.

My mama was one cool cookie.
If that had been me watching one of my own little darlings escape certain death by that small a margin,
I would not have been able to drive home.
Wait - what am I saying?  I never learned to drive anyway!
It's like that swimming thing - I'm just too big a chicken.

- Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of NC - 06/01/04, date corrected 07/05/04


Carol, you were much like most of my beginner students. They were so much fun.
I had a good success rate in teaching swimming classes.
I was so touched by some of the parents who permitted me to teach their children, and had confidence in me.
Some were severely retarded and some had severe physical disabilities,
yet we had some great success in working with these kids.
I can still see their smiles after accomplishing a task.

- Joe Madagan ('57) of  FL - 06/01/04
Thanks, Joe!


Hey, Joe!  What are the chances that you actually WERE my swimming instructor in 1957?
- Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of NC - 06/01/04, date corrected 07/05/04

It is possible that you were
in one of my classes.

Johnny Mitchell, Marvin Turley, and I taught four classes at a time for a period of three weeks, and then another four groups would enter, with most of the prior group being "promoted" to classes in the next skill level.  This photo of me about that time was taken just after Physical Training when I was stationed at Marine Barracks-Norfolk Naval Shipyard.  I did not know this photo existed, but the buddy who took it is from Kentucky and I visited him this last winter...

July 1958

Sometimes if I try, if I really, really try,
I can force long-forgotten memories to return.
The more I’ve pondered this – and I’ve spent
quite a bit of time doing just that in the
last few days, the more certain I am that
you were indeed my swimming teacher.
Johnny Mitchell definitely was not. 
 I knew who he was beforehand.
My teacher was a brunette –
and he looked a lot like you.

And he was patient and kind even
 when I was exasperating, as I usually was.
  Hmmm.  Looks like you, sounds like you –
must have been you.

Thanks for the kindness you showed me then – and now.

- Joe Madagan ('57) of  FL - 06/04/04 - Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of NC - 06/04/04
Thanks, Joe!

.....  I have (a story I've) wanted to share with your for a long time.

It seems like yesterday that your mother appealed to me to waive the rule about no glass
in the World War II Municipal Swimming Pool, to permit you to wear your glasses to enable you to see the demonstrations of various strokes and drills during swimming lessons. You neatly and carefully rolled up the glasses in a towel when they were not needed or handed them through the fence to your dear mother. I was so touched back then, and it still has not left my memory of you, despite all the years that have flown by since then.

My son Michael had a serious vision problem that we did not discover until he started to school, when an alert school teacher suggested an eye exam. His homework was always in when she announced the lesson. However, when she simply wrote the homework assignment on the board, he did not complete the lesson. She cared enough and was observant enough to identify the problem of which Eva (Ellis Madagan - '61 - of FL) and I were not aware.

He never complained, but on his way home from receiving his eye glasses (coke bottles) he was delighted that he could see road signs and recognize landmarks, as though a new world was awakened.

So, I am glad we "broke the rules" for you during swimming lessons for your vision was hindering your ability to learn.

Silly me for remembering some of the smallest details, but they affect the heart as well as the mind and they do not dim with time.

- Joe Madagan ('57) of  FL - 04/26/07

(choking back tears...)  Thanks so much, Joe!


For the students who were having trouble with fear of water, I used to explain to them that the fear
they were experiencing was the same fear they experienced as a young child being afraid of the dark.
Then I'd encourage them to think about that, the fact that they had conquered that fear,
and work on conquering fear of the water. Usually worked.
It also worked for those Midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy endeavoring to get a Marine Corps Commission,
and were being held up because they did not pass the Marine Corps Swim Test.
It helped them to understand the fear they were experiencing, and to get over it.
- Joe Madagan ('57) of  FL - 06/04/04
Thanks, Joe!


Some day I will tell you the story "I" remember of my swimming lesson.... or do you remember it?

JOE: I may need a reminder of the swimming lesson story.
It just might involve Johnny Mitchell ('57)???

BROWNIE: After entirely too many years my brain, with your help,
has remembered that my story DOES involve Johnny Mitchell ('57)!!
To this day I hate the water! I didn't want to learn to swim then or ever, but thanks to Johnny Mitchell.........
and the entire "Rec" team I did learn. I learned and thank goodness I did! 
Living on an island and boating as much as we do ......
I have had some very close calls and have only had to be rescued once! 
My "Rec" lessons taught me how to swim......without getting my face wet.
No one can believe I can swim that way...........I guess it's the Southern Prissy way of swimming..... or my way!!

My story involves the dreaded "having to jump off the diving board" for some reason or the other...........and I refused to do it.
I guess if I didn't, something would happen to me, to him..........whatever!!! ... or was it a graduating from swim class thingy?!!
As the scene comes back to my old brain, I believe the team came up with an idea to get me to make the jump.
It was that everyone on your team would be in the water directly below the diving board!
The idea, I was told, was that one of you would catch me as I jumped into the water and would not let me drown.
Well, I came up with a better idea..... I was going to jump off the board and not only grab one, but wrap my arms around him
to stop me from going in the water, so my face would not get wet..............what did I know about such things ...... I was what.........
9 years I did just that................and when I did...... it seems of course.... I kept going..........down, down, down..............
and the momentum of the jump eyes were tightly shut......heaven forbid that I get water in them............ well, ...............
with my arms tightly around him and with the force of my body propelling me down from the jump................. it seems I completely

removed his bathing trunks!

Oh my goodness,...........he had to maneuver himself in that clear water, stark "necked"* with a hysterical 9 year old
wrapped around his legs and holding on for dear life, to keep both from drowning!  What a sight that must have been!

Even though I didn't see a thing, I heard the laughter then and from my Dad later and far too many times,
 and was so humiliated and embarrassed I do not think I ever went back to that pool until he no longer worked there!

I bet you are laughing and all I have to say now is............thank God it was not YOU!!!

Keep your stories coming. Our childhood was wonderful, wasn't it, in NN and at NNHS??!!

Let's have another grand reunion!


Thanks, Brownie and Joe!  This is a treasure!
*"necked" - a Southern idiomatic expression, once described by a comedian (whose name I cannot recall)
as meaning not only to be without clothes, but to be without clothes - and "up to sumpin'".



Thanks for allowing me to preview the story of the "Necked"
* Johnny Mitchell. That is a funny story.
If Johnny were to ever try to evade the truth of this long ago event,
I would be very tempted to give him back his favorite quote: "Admit It!!!"
Anyone who knows Johnny well, will recall that was one of his favorite sayings.

Just recalling all of those funny times with "Mitchell" was a great relief, like the time he had a hot date with LaRhue Nettles
and forgot to turn off the water main at the pool before he left in a hurry, and the water overflowed that night
onto the athletic fields and 28th Street in such abundance that the Newport News Police Department
called in the City Shops to report a broken water main.
Mr. Range and I got there first.
Here comes Mitchell, shoes in his hands, tippy-toeing across the flooded 28th Street to work, staring at one angry
Coach "Cowboy" Range, and responding to the Coach's question:
"Didn't you know the pool would overflow, IF you didn't shut the main?" and Mitchell responding calmly,
"Cowboy, I am going to forget that you said that", "If, If, If a bullfrog had wings he would not bump his ass".
That broke us all up with laughter, and we proceeded to clean up the mess, with nothing else said about the incident - until now.
- Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 06/30/04
Giggles!  Thanks, Joe!  And how on earth could you “clean up” such a colossal mess?!?


Well, the city sewer system was flushed out by the clean water entering the system, which helped.
Then the sump pumps in the underground pump room had to finish evacuating the water from that cavity,
and then came the hard part, putting a squeeze to the floor and pushing it to the sump pumps,
and hanging out the wet clothes to dry.
It was not that bad, but it sure looked like a disaster as we arrived for work that morning,
with the lights flashing on the police vehicles and the ambers lights from the city shop crews
shutting down the city main in order to close off the open valve below in the pump room.
I would have gone over in the corner and fallen on my Samurai Sword. It did not phase Mitchell.
- Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 06/30/04
Tee-hee!   Thanks again, Joe!


I have a story for you about the city pool.  Not quite as good as Brownie's story, but close. 
Mr. Nuttycombe was my teacher...I was ten years old and scared to death of the water. 
He finally got me to do the Dead Man's float (with my eyes tightly closed)...
when I got ready to come up I grabbed his bathing suit...
fortunately he grabbed my hands and pulled me up...I was so embarrassed! 
I took swimming lessons at the pool every summer. 
The best part was going across the street to Creasy's for soft serve ice cream
while we waited for the parent to pick us up.
I did not learn to swim until I was l9 years old and in college...
a VERY PATIENT swimming instructor had the entire class wait while I was
at the end of the diving board (in order to pass you had to jump in once and dive in once...)  
In order to graduate you had to pass swimming... I finally jumped in because the bell had rung
and she said "the whole class is going to wait for you to do this"...
when I discovered that I floated like a cork I was never afraid again. 
I am not an expert swimmer by any means but I am not afraid. 
I did my dive as well and later my laps and passed! 
Her name was Mrs. Johnson and I will never forget her. 
Living so close to Newport, RI, it is great to be able to go out on a boat and not be terrified...

- Jean Poole Burton ('64) of RI - 07/01/04
HA-HA-HA!  Thanks, Jean!

NOTE:  For those of you trying to determine either when your swimming lessons were,
or who your instructors might have been, we now have this guide from an expert witness:

I taught in the summers of 1955, 1956, and 1957 as an instructor.

In the years of 1953 and 1954 I was an assistant instructor to Marvin Turley, doing the
actual demonstrations for each stroke and helping him in Advanced Swimmers classes.
I helped in the beginners classes with Ronald Jenkins and Larry Armstrong as the primary instructor.

In 1957, Charlie Nuttycombe, Johnny Mitchell ('57) and I were the Life Guards and Swimming Instructors.
In 1956, Marvin Turley, Johnny Mitchell ('57) and I were Life Guards and Swimming Instructors.
In 1955, Marvin Turley, Richard Holt and I were Life Guards and Swimming Instructors.

Hope this will help jar your memory.

- Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 07/05/04
Excellent information!  Thanks, Joe!


...The next thing going through my mind (and heart) is the Wickham Avenue pool.
My mom was from Nebraska and no one swam there in the Missouri River because the currents were so strong.
They learned in pools and were so fortunate because as an older city, Omaha had a park every 12 blocks
(each 12 blocks was a mile and all streets were laid out on a north-south grid
because they didn't have the nuisances of streams and rivers as we do here).
So Mom took us dutifully to the pool every day in summer at 8:00 AM!!!
Can you imagine how cold that water was at 8:00 AM before the sun began to warm it???
All I can say is that nubile, pre-pubescent young things indicated the cold without meaning to!!!
(no wonder the Joe Madagans were there - as regular, red-blooded US young men!!).

I was in that 8:00 AM water every day, class after class, until I was a 'swimmer'.
We began as Beginners, moved to Intermediate and on to Swimmers.
After that there was the challenge of a Life Saver's badge and a Water Safety instructor's badge.
We went from about 1954-1959 or so. My younger twin brothers (Perry and Pat Pilgrim - HHS '66) were dismayed
because after they passed beginners, the Red Cross added a Novice class they had to take
before progressing to Intermediate. I, of course, loved it!!

When I was qualified to take the Life Saver's course (held at night) I was too young
by Red Cross standards so I sort of went to class, tested and knew I wouldn't get a rating.
But the next summer, I was old enough and took the class.
I ultimately went through to water safety instructor and with that certification,
I got my first REAL job as a councilor at Camp Kadima, the Jewish Community Center day camp.
I taught swimming and archery. Jim Wilson (yes, our beloved band director) was the program director.
I taught in the James River off 26th St. where the Community Center had a little beach.
By the time I had my own children, I was fortunate enough to have a 20' X 40' in ground pool
at my home and I was able to teach my own from infancy.
My Mom who is now 85 and living with Alzheimer's disease was swimming 3 days a week for maybe 40 years.
Mom gave us all the love of the water coupled with a healthy respect for it.

I know Joe Madagan was a teacher when I was a kid.
How could one be a blood pumping female and not notice a presence like Joe!!
He was such a marvelous specimen of the male form - may I say an Adonis?? - that one couldn't miss him!!

I had teaching from Charlie Nuttycombe and many of the others spoken of in the stories you've printed about the pool.
My ultimate teacher was Coach J. C. "Cowboy" Range.
We'd be in the pool at 6:00 PM and we'd be doing a mandatory 10 minutes of treading water.
This task was often left to the end of the class.
Well, Coach Range would call out, "Are you tired?" and some Rube would answer, "Yes, Coach!"
Know what? He'd give us another 10 minutes!!
We quickly learned to answer that we were doing fine and not tired at all.

- Kathleen Pilgrim Clark ('63) of VA - 07/05/04
Wild Giggles!   Thanks, Kathy!  I completely concur. 
The pool had ample "eye candy" for everyone - and Adonis was certainly part of that!


Hi, Carol:  At the risk of being eaten by Wild Boars here in Florida, you can continue to call me Adonis.
It has been a long time since I have received such a "flowerily" compliment (Pun intended)...........
And by the way, THANKS, KATHY!!!
- Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 07/06/04
More Wild Giggles!  And thank YOU - Adonis!


Greetings from Tampa Bay:

Just in case my subtle humor flew past in the press of the day, here is my source:

, Greek mythological character. Adonis was a beautiful youth much loved by the goddess Aphrodite.
While hunting he was attacked and killed by a wild boar.
The grieving Aphrodite caused a red-flowered plant to spring forth from his shed blood.
Linnaeus named the genus Adonis after the mythological character

We really do have a herd of 12 wild Boar living in an area next to our neighborhood.
They dined in my neighbor's yard one evening, rooting about and tore the entire lawn to pieces.
It look like it had been "Carpet Bombed" when they finished dining.
So, you see I am in real danger with my new name.

- Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 07/06/04
Ah, but such is the price of True Beauty, Adonis!

Friday, December 24, 2004
Images by Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 12/24/04
OHHH, David!  How long I've waited to see that pool again -
yet nothing could have prepared me for these shocking images.
Thank you so much for taking them for me, though.
Sometimes it is best to know......

- Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of NC - 12/24/04

Hi, Carol:
Cap'n Dave's (Spriggs - '64 - of VA) wonder camera sure brought back some very fond memories
of many days and nights working at the World War II Memorial Swimming Pool.
Seeing the pool in the winter mode was always a bit disconcerting. 
We always left water just above the expansion joints so the material would not dry out,
but it always looked a bit dreadful and the debris that found its way into the pool during the winter
was always somewhat depressing before it was cleaned out to make ready for a new summer season.
The outdoor showers are a nice addition.
We used to share the public showers with the recreation center,
and they were high maintenance and required full-time janitors to keep the both showers clean.
The fans in the reception area are also a nice improvement.
The pool was built just after World War II, so considering the age, it looks pretty good, but a bit tired and worn.
I could not help but notice the building in the background of one photo,
where the Midkiff family operated a confectionary and soda shop is still standing.
That was a busy place in the summer. They had a window for walk up service,
probably designed to keep the water dripping from the swimmers outside the store.
I am sure many who read this newsletter will have memories of this favorite Old Stomping Ground
and I hope they will join in and tell us about them.

- Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 12/25/04
Thanks, Adonis!
I have to say I laughed when I saw the images of the city pool. I went there with Margaret Brown ('64) once.
I did not know how to swim. Margaret told me just to jump off the diving board and kick my feet and I would be fine.
Being the naive and trusting 13 year old that I was, I did just that.
Lo and behold, I remember seeing the sun shining through the water as I was drowning
and remember thinking I would not see my parents again. I woke up later with Donnie White
or Danny White (after all these years I'm not sure) sitting on my stomach pumping the water out.
Believe me after that incident, I forever have a great appreciation of water.
I, of course, never told my parents but yo, Ricky Wyatt did, and I was never allowed to go to the pool again.
The good result is I did learn to swim as an adult, but I still don't do diving boards. Some fears are never resolved. Ha.

- Cookie Phillips Tyndall ('64) of VA - 12/27/04

HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!  Thanks, Cookie!

Carol -
I would like to share this clipping with you if you would be interested. My brother Robert London attended NNHS, was on the football team, and would have graduated in (I think) 1946. He left school, like so many others, to enlist in the US Army. He served in England and later in Germany.


He passed away a few years ago and left me some of his memorabilia. Among the items are some clippings of his time at NNHS. This one is of the (original?) opening of the City Pool on 28th street. On the reverse it mentions Pres. Harry Truman, so I think this must have been the grand opening in 1946.
And ..... trust me to find the one clipping adorned by all the pretty girls!
Hope you can use it.
- John London (WHS - '57) of  VA - 05/03/06
Thanks so much, John!


I hope you are sitting down.....
Mother's Day, Sunday, May 14, 2006, 1:03 PM Mother's Day, Sunday, May 14, 2006, 1:04 PM
Images and Text by Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 05/14/06
 And the pool, too?? 
I remember how 
Joe Madagan (57 - of FL) described its construction in such loving terms.
   You're right.  I'm glad I was sitting down......
Thanks, Dave!

Re: Larry Armstrong. Had no idea that Larry was a teacher at NNHS. He came and went after I was no longer a student there. Now this is a guy to really look up to, which I had to do because I must have been 7 or 8 years old when I first met him. He taught me how to swim at the WWII Memorial Pool. I was not a slow learner but pretended to be because he was the most handsome man I had ever seen, except for my Daddy! Two years of lessons and then the diving board. Daredevil me pretended to be just the opposite, that way he spent more time with me. Didn't know what a crush was then, but realized later that was what it had to be. Sorry for being such a pest, Larry.

- Sepi Dinwiddie Prichard ('58) of NC - 07/16/07

Thanks, Sepi!

Sunday, August 21, 1955 - Beauty Queen Chosen
at Recreation Center
Summer 1960 - Junior Teen Queen Contest
at Recreation Center
- Courtesy of Sepi Dinwiddie Prichard ('58) of NC -
08/30/07; PhotoShopped by Norm Covert ('61) of MD - 08/30/09
- Courtesy of Janice McCain Rose ('65) of VA - 05/31/03
Thanks, Ladies!
(Added here on 10/02/07 at the suggestion of Joe Madagan - '57 - of FL - 09/28/07)
Thanks, Adonis!

Hi, I'd like to share a Google Maps link with you.

Link: <,-76.413774&spn=0.00153,0.003358&z=19&layer=c&cbll=36.986707,-76.413887&panoid=FLZn6HFCNP9Pzvvfjo85pw>

We all mourned the demolition of the old pool, but it seems that NN has constructed a nice replacement.
- Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 07/27/08
Thanks, Dave!
Greetings from Tampa Bay:

Thank you for sharing this image of the recreation grounds that stand where the old World War II Memorial Municipal Swimming Pool
was located. It sure looks nice, and it will surely serve the East End community very well.
- Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 07/27/08
Thanks, Joe!

Hi, Carol:

Few artists can capture a moment like the late Norman Rockwell. Surely he is among the favorites of many of your Newsletter subscribers,
with his wonderful ability to draw a scene that almost everyone understood without one word of text to describe the painting.


Here is one of my favorite paintings and it brings a grin or a smile to my face when I remember how frightened some of the youth would become upon embarking on their first attempt at using the 3-Meter Diving Board
at the Municipal Swimming Pool.

Many a time the Life Guard on duty had to go up on the board to "rescue" a young swimmer who became terrified at the thought of jumping or diving into the pool, and yet were also afraid to back up towards the ladder and descend.

After a lot of encouraging words from the Life Guards and the young ladies who worked as Cashiers and Valuable Check clerks, as well as family members, if a young person would not take the plunge then it would often result in one of us going up on the board and assisting them down to the deck and safety.

Nancy Keesee Barr ('57) of TX always demonstrated the greatest amount of compassion and patience with a frightened youth and was always willing to rescue the trembling creature from the diving boards.


Perhaps some of your subscribers experienced this frightening experience in their youth and will readily understand the young boy in this Norman Rockwell paint which graced the cover of
The Saturday Evening Post, August 26, 1947.
- Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 08/13/08
Thanks, Joe! I can certainly identify with this young boy's feelings!

... I suppose one memory about the World War II Memorial Swimming Pool that comes to mind is probably a bit embarrassing for the young TYPHOON working at the pool who really loved to have fun. Part of that was kidding around about the Director of the Recreation and Parks, then Mr. C.C. Nixon. He was an elderly gentleman, and would come to the pool just before closing time to secure the cash proceeds of the day to place it in the safe.

At the time, a song that was quite popular was "CC Rider" and in our quest for fun, we referred to the boss as "CC Rider" because of his two initials and no one knew his first name.

Of course, calling him by this "nickname" was sure to be revealed, and sure enough one time when he phoned the Recreation Center Office, one of us took the call, and then announced to the person being called that "CC Rider is on the phone" and he overhead that comment. He was sorely offended that we would consider teasing about him.
It sure threw cold water of what we thought was fun, and we ceased being seemingly disrespectful to the boss.
He did hand out the paychecks!!!

Now I hope you receive lots of positive memories of NNHS days from your subscribers. The "Bankwalkers" and the "Naked Boys" stories always bring a good laugh about our youthful indiscretions.
- Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 08/21/09
GIGGLES! Thanks, Joe!


While looking through the NN World War II history volume for the street map, I noted this picture of the War Memorial Rec. Center pool,  I suppose where our Joe Madagan ('57) Fla., began his stellar athletic and apparent girl "hunk" careers.

- Norm Covert ('61) of MD - 08/30/09
WOWZERONI! Thanks, Norm!

Hi, Carol:

After reading the contribution by  Norm Covert ('61) of MD regarding the "Municipal Pool" it seemed a good time to visit the website and take a look at that section again.

Reading about the underground Pump Room caused me to remember an incident that I hope is noteworthy.

When chlorine was delivered to the pool by the supplying vendor, it was the job of the Life Guards to move the large tanks that contained the chlorine from the curbside where they were unloaded from the truck to the pump room below ground level.

We had devised a wooden sled with a long rope tied to one end, that was used to place the large chlorine tanks to safely lower them below without the danger of dropping one for they were under a lot of pressure. At times, two Life Guards would man handle a large tank while others were using the sled.

Back then, the City of Newport News maintained two municipal swimming pools and the Life Guards from the Dorie Miller Pool would come over and assist us, and in turn we would assist their Life Guard crew with the task.

All this to set the scene of what took place one day during the chlorine receiving process... Earl Faison ('57-Huntington High School) who was a massive Life Guard single handedly grabbed a tank and carried it below. He was so strong that he did not need any assistance in carrying the load, and made it down the steps and placed it on the pump room floor. This amazing feat and show of strength caught everyone by surprise!!!

Coach J.C. "Cowboy" Range who was the manager of both pools back then, and supervising the task congratulated Earl for the demonstration of strength, then gently reminded him of the extreme danger should he have happened to trip on a step and fall dropping the tank. Our youthful impatience over-rode any concern for safety, but our leader was aware of the danger and also knew how to let a person down without crushing their spirit. Coach Range was a giant of a man, but his heart was even bigger.
  As an aside, some may remember that Earl Faison went on to play football in the National Football League for the San Diego Chargers.

After writing about the wonderful leadership skills of Coach J.C. "Cowboy" Range and mentioning Earl Faison it seemed only fair to send you a photo of Earl in football uniform as an All-American at Indiana University.

He had an outstanding career in the National Football League.

  - Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 09/05/09

 WOWZERS!!! What a great story - thanks, Joe!   I did some checking and found these items:


Earl Faison

Earl Faison
Won football letters in 1958, 1959 and 1960...played end and led IU in receiving in both 1958 and 1960...All-Big Ten in 1960 and a third team All-American...IU's Most Valuable Player in 1960...played in East-West game, All-American game and Hula Bowl...later played professionally for many years, most of them with the San Diego Chargers...member of the San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame.,0,4729983.storygallery?coll=dp-sports-u%3E%3Ca%20href=,0,

Hi, Carol:

The theme of your 18 August 2013 Newsletter prompted a distant memory back to 1956 at the World War II Memorial Municipal Swimming Pool. We had a radio playing most of the time in the "Valuable Check Hut" and WGH played Gogi Grant's recording of "The Wayward Wind" several times a day since it was so popular that year.
Our newly arrived Head Life Guard Charlie Nuttycombe was always calm and collected until this song came over the radio, and he would burst out with a few remarks about the "silly lyrics" of this song.

Coach would add to his comment, "I certify..." as a way of expressing his honest evaluation. That affirming remark stemmed from his days as a Cadet at Virginia Military Institute.

So, I just wonder if Coach Nuttycombe is a subscriber to your Newsletter, and if so, did his blood pressure rise while reading and listening to the midi???

TYPHOON Regards,
- Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 08/20/13
GIGGLES! Thanks, Adonis! Isn't it funny how most of us have songs (and people!) that "push our buttons"?!? Coach Nuttycombe is not actually a subscriber to our Newsletters, and I personally have no contact information for him, but that doesn't necessarily mean he does not read the Newsletters. I am aware that quite a number of people do that. I haven't heard from him yet, but if he is one of them, I certainly hope his blood pressure has recovered!

Splish, Splash

- Bobby Darin
C'mon and Swim

- Bobby Freeman

(Stewart and Coman, 1964)

Splish splash, I was taking a bath
Long about a Saturday night
A rub-a-dub, just relaxing in the tub
Thinking everything was alright

Well, I stepped out the tub
Put my feet on the floor
I wrapped the towel around me
And I opened the door and then
Splish splash, I jumped back in the bath
Well, how was I to know
There was a party going on

They was a-splishing and a-splashing
Reeling with the feeling
Moving and a-grooving
Rocking and a-rolling, yeah

Bing bang, I saw the whole gang
Dancing on my living room rug, yeah
Flip flop, they was doing the bop
All the teens had the dancing bug
There was lollipop with a Peggy Sue
Good Golly, Miss Molly
Was a even there, too

A well a, Splish Splash
I forgot about the bath
I went and put my
Dancing shoes on, yeah

I was a rolling and a strolling
Reeling with the feeling
Moving and a grooving
Splishing and a splashing, yeah

Yes, I was a splishing and a splashing
I was a rolling and a strolling
Yeah, I was a moving and a grooving
Whoo, we was a reeling with the feeling
We was a rolling and a strolling
Moving with the grooving
Splish splash, yeah

Mmm, splishing and a splashing
One time, I was a splishing and a splashing
Whoo whoo, I was a moving and a grooving
Yeah, I was a splishing and a splashing


C´mon everybody come on in!
Bobby´s gonna show you how to do the swim

Kinda like the monkey
Kinda like the twist
Pretend you´re in the water
And you go like this...
Now baby swim!
Baby do the swim!

Just like the dog but not so low
Like the hully gully but not so slow
Now baby swim!
Baby do the swim!

Do what you wanna
Do like you wish
C´mon baby now and swim like a fish
Now baby swim!
Baby c´mon in!

Shake it up baby twist and shout
A do the swim baby now work it on out
Now baby swim!
Baby do the swim!
Do what ya wanna a-it´s alright
Cause Bobby´s gonna teach ya how to swim tonight
Now baby swim!

Come on bab-ay!
I want ya to swim
Whoa-yeah I want ya to do the dog paddle baby
Now do the backstroke!


Whoa-yeah kinda like the monkey
Kinda like the twist
Pretend ya in the water and you go like this..
Now baby swim!
Baby do the swim!

Just like the dog but not so low
Like the hully gully but not so slow
Now baby swim!
Baby do the swim!

Do what cha´ wanna
A do like ya wish
C´mon baby now and swim like a fish
Now baby swim!
Baby come on in!

Shake it up baby twist and shout!
A do the swim baby
Now work it on out
Now baby swim!
Baby do the swim! ah

Do what ya wanna a-it´s alright
Cause Bobby´s gonna do the swim
For you tonight
Now baby swim!

C´mon bab-ay
Whoa-yeah we gonna swim tonight-a
I want ya ta do the dog paddle
I want ya to bend your arms way out now
Now baby do the backstroke! whoa-yeah
Whoa-yeah c´mon baby now
I want cha´ to do the swim..
"Splish, Splash" lyrics courtesy of
at the suggestion of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA  - 06/01/04
Thanks, Dave!
"C'mon and Swim" lyrics courtesy of,
at the suggestion of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 06/01/04
Thanks, Dave!

"Splish, Splash" midi courtesy of,
at the suggestion of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA  - 06/01/04

Map courtesy of Yahoo Maps - 06/01/04

Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 06/01/04

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