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May 25, 2014

Fuqua Pool open for business

DUNCAN — Swimming season officially opened on Saturday at Fuqua Pool, the venerable swimming hole that’s served Duncan since 1938, when the Works Progress Administration of the Depression Era built it and other landmarks that have stood the test of time.

Chances are the 100 or so young people who jumped in the pool by late Saturday afternoon are aware of the history of the place, but that’s no crime.

They just wanted to get wet.

“There were more than 30 lined up at the door before we opened,” said lifeguard Jessica Doan, a 21-year-old who is returning for her fifth  season.

She doesn’t do it for the money, necessarily, though every little bit helps, especially since she’s in the process of buying her first home, a modest bungalow on the east side.

The City of Duncan starts them off at $7.25 an hour and bumps them up a quarter each successive year.

Doan has a fulltime job as a new business representative for Universal Fidelity Life Insurance and takes online classes at Cameron University, but she still lifeguards in her spare time.

She considers herself a mentor of sorts for some of the young people. Over the years, she’s gotten to know many.

If she sees one running, say, in a grocery store, she has to suppress the urge to tell them, “Don’t run!” like she does at Fuqua.

On Saturday afternoon, she was on the lookout for two of her favorites -- fifth-grade fraternal twins -- who hadn’t shown up yet. She was anxious to seem them after the long  winter layoff.

The city’s 15 lifeguards have been told by Parks Superintendent Dana Stanley to make all the pool goers feel welcome, which doesn’t appear to be a problem for any of them.

“I love hanging out with the kids,” said Sophia Walker, 17, a Duncan High School student.

Doan agrees.

“We’re the cheapest babysitter in town,” she said.

At 50-cents for kids eight years old and under, and a buck for everyone, she has a point.

    

   

   

 

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