This is my second most read post of all time, written in 2015.
Sammy Lee on a diving tower.
Here’s an excerpt of an obituary from SwimSwam.com after Sammy Lee died at the age of 96.
Permission from SwimSwam.com
Sammy Lee, Olympic Gold Medalist and Doctor:
Dr. Lee overcame years of racial prejudice with a positive attitude and hard work. As a young diver aspiring to be an Olympian, he was only allowed to practice diving Wednesdays at the Pasadena’s Brookside Park segregated public pool on “International Day.”
The pool was drained after International Day and white children swam the other six days a week. His coach at the time, dug a hole and filled it with sand so Sammy Lee could practice the rest of the week. He believed diving into sand made his legs stronger and was helpful to his Olympic aspirations.
As a civilian, Lee discovered that his status as a veteran didn’t shield him from prejudice. He and his wife Rosalind were turned away when they wanted to buy a home in one part of Orange County. Eventually, they bought a home nearby from a sympathetic developer. Eventually they owned a house with a pool, where Lee coached students. He also coached divers for the 1960 Rome Olympics. Later, he’d mentor Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis, and he served as an ambassador to the Olympics under three presidents.
Here’s is a link to the USC Obituary that describes Dr. Sammy Lee’s life in more detail.
Eventually Sammy invited Jim, Ray, Bobby and others including myself to his home, then in Garden Grove to practice on his diving board which was combined not with a pool but a back yard pile of sand. So all “dives” had to end up feet first.
Bob and Ralph Longbothem, who worked then as head of either the Santa Ana or Orange County Recreation Departments worked together as a result looking for such a facility.
What are your thoughts of how hard Sammy Lee had to work, the prejudice he faced from striving to be an Olympic Diver and not being able to use the pool?
As an adult he was blocked from buying a home in Orange County despite being serving our country, being an Olympic Gold Medalist and a doctor.
We made it for our getaway weekend in paradise.
Have a great weekend everyone!
I’m also honored to be featured on this week’s podcast on The Heart of the Matter with Wynne Leon and Dr. Vicki Atkinson.
Search (and subscribe!) for Sharing the Heart of the Matter on Apple, Amazon, Spotify or Pocket Casts OR Listen to Episode 21: A Creative Life with Elizabeth Wickham on Anchor
Links for this Episode:
What plans do you have for this weekend?
On Mother’s Day, I was feeling a little weepy since it was my first since I lost Mom. But I did have some pleasant moments, too. My kids called and I learned how to “merge” their calls so the three of us talked together. My husband and I went for an early morning walk before it was hot.
We went to our favorite Carefree Coffee Roastery for breakfast. We got there early, believing we’d beat the crowd. No, there was a line waiting for the cafe to open! We got a table and didn’t have to wait too long. I had an everything bagel with cream cheese and lox. It was delish!
We had a lap swimming reservation later in the day and we had the pool to ourselves. The hour was booked with six swimmers, but we were the only ones who showed up! That was a treat in itself!
With nothing planned the rest of Mother’s Day, I dove into “Remarkably Bright Creatures” which was recommended to me by no less than three bloggers I follow. THANK YOU for the recommendation!
WOW! I was reading stretched out on the sofa in the casita with Olive the cat purring on my tummy. At eight o’clock I finished the book and walked into our bedroom in tears.
“What’s wrong?” my husband asked.
I sobbed and said the book was so good.
I’ve read two debut novels in May that were excellent. The other was “Black Cake” that I wrote about HERE.
Of course, I also loved Cheryl Oreglia’s “Grow Damn It” weeks before. A debut book by blogger of Living in the Gap fame.
I’m looking forward to reading the debut novel by Eve Marie from the blog CupCakeCache called “The Bayou Heist,” available on Amazon.
Other bloggers that I follow with books either coming out soon or released include Victoria, who has the blog Victoria Ponders and Wynne Leon of Surprised by Joy. Both write for The Heart of the Matter.
Victoria’s book called “Surviving Sue” is about her mother and will be released soon.
Wynne’s book about her father and her faith, “Finding My Father’s Faith,” is available on Amazon.
I’m looking for more remarkable books to read, so please give me ideas.
Also, if you’ve published a book, please tell us the title and a bit about it.
I like the concept of senior citizens living on campus with students. I learned about an apartment complex at the Arizona State University campus in Tempe in an article in the Wall Street Journal called “Who Let Retirees Move on Campus at Arizona State?” by James Fanelli.
It caught my eye since we live about 45 minutes from the campus.
From the article:
Senior citizens who moved into a pricey housing complex at ASU, once named America’s No. 1 party school, want more quiet, less loud music
Housing at Mirabella requires one-time fees that go from $440,000 to more than $1 million. Residents pay another $4,000 to $8,000 a month, which includes classes and meals.
Mirabella also is restricted to seniors. Residents must be 62 or older. It is one of the country’s few senior-living facilities set on a college campus, mixing older and younger generations by design. It hasn’t gone as well as hoped.
For the kind of money Mirabella’s 260 residents are paying, some are asking why they can’t get a little peace and quiet.
Some have complained about music that blasts late into the night. The vibration of bass notes has rattled the windows and walls of Sharon Murry’s apartment at all hours, the 72-year-old said. “That unrelenting bass thumping sound makes it difficult to concentrate or do anything else,” including sleep, she said in a court filing.https://www.wsj.com/articles/who-let-retirees-move-on-campus-at-arizona-state-11665583186?mod=lifework_trending_now_article_pos4
Like I said, I think the concept of living on campus and being able to take whatever classes you want would be an amazing experience as a senior citizen. But the noise of a dive bar across the street blasting EDM until the wee hours of the morning would be too much.
I should know. Our old house was across from what used to be a health retreat for middle-aged women (once called a fat farm). It sold to a hotelier who wanted to turn it into a resort with live outdoor concerts. Our windows shook. My kids would lose sleep on school nights. It was a nightmare. We went to the county courthouse because I found a law that said we were entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of our home. The liquor license got restricted and if we could hear the music in our house, they would get fined. So many fines and their license would get revoked.
However, this case is different than the hotel across the street from our old home. The senior citizens of Mirabella knowingly moved on to the kids’ territory. The judge is trying to work out a compromise.
What are your thoughts? Should the old folks have a right to demand peace and quiet on a college campus?
Whatever you think about forgiving college loans, something jumped out at me on Twitter yesterday.
There were a lot of people on Twitter in favor of college loan forgiveness who are pompous elitists. I was going to use stronger language but I stopped myself.
Here is one of the tweets I saw:
She implied that a person who didn’t go to college is lazy and partied their senior year. Also, that a college graduate is “more understanding and well-rounded.”
Someone else tweeted that a nail salon owner took PPP money “wink wink” to pay her staff. Does this person believe shop owners aren’t honest? Seems judgmental to me. But then I’m being judgmental also.
Someone else commented that people who decided not to go to college in favor of working SHOULD have taken out a loan.
I saw over and over that college is the only path to a success for an enriched life.
I know many people who did not go to college. For example, in my high school graduating class probably 25% went to college. That estimate is probably too high. Our small town was filled with small businesses and farmers.
Our good friend who died Thanksgiving night never went to college. He was hardworking and spent his days managing and fixing up his 300-plus rental units. He enjoyed his work. He had two adult kids he loved to travel with. Would his life have been better with a college education?
I have another friend who owns a construction company who ironically builds buildings at California universities. He has a waterfront home with a yacht parked out front at his private dock. He and his wife have kids and grandkids who fill their life with joy. They spend their summer weekends on their boat at an island that they helicopter back and forth to. Would he have been better off going to college?
Another friend has owned several auto mechanic and tire shops. He and his wife are proud of their family and work hard at their business. They devote their free time volunteering at their church.
My point in this rant is that college is not the only path to success or a life filled with joy. I have a college education because it was never an option in my family not to go. My dad was first generation college grad with his parents immigrating from Finland. On my mom’s side, I’m not sure how many generations went to college. My great-grandfather owned a printing press and a newspaper. My husband’s grandmother was in the first class at UCLA that graduated women. So, yes, our kids were off to college, too.
In my humble opinion, college does not guarantee success nor happiness. Life is what you make of it.
Do you have any thoughts about the college loan forgiveness? How about whether a college education makes you a more understanding person as I read on Twitter?