94-year-old retired judge Keith Davison shared his house with his wife of 66 years until she died last year. The grief and the silence inside the house was very hard for him, so he decided to have a pool built in his backyard for all the neighborhood kids to enjoy.
It’s not quiet at Davison’s house anymore. “I knew they'd come,” says Davison, laughing.
Plenty of people thought he was kidding when Davison first floated the idea. His neighbor Jessica Huebner was among them. “This spring when I saw him marking the yard, I told my husband, he's really going to put a pool in his backyard.”
Since the opening of the pool in July, Huebner and her children have been regulars. “It's him spreading joy throughout our neighborhood for these kids,” Huebner says.
Davison’s backyard addition is no mere wading pool, at 32 feet long – and 9 feet deep under the diving board. It’s a welcome addition in a town that doesn’t have an outdoor public pool.
As a dozen children giggle their way through diving board flips and pool volleyball, Davison sits nearby in the shade, enjoying the show from his lawn chair. His pool rules require a parent or grandparent also be present when children are swimming.
Davison says the kids won’t be having all the fun. He still enjoys swimming himself after the children have gone home.
Still, Davison is first to admit, from an economic standpoint, there’s no sense to be made of a 94-year-old installing a pool. He just doesn’t care. “I'm not sitting by myself looking at the walls,” he smiles. Besides, Davison asks, “What else would you think of doing where you could have a whole bunch of kids over every afternoon?”
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