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More than a pool

More than a pool


Village 7 Swim Club was built in 1970 as a way to attract families to Village 7, a brand new, innovative neighborhood in Colorado Springs characterized by culdesacs and circles, walking trails, low fences and whimsical street names. The picture (to the right) shows the model home that was strategically positioned so potential home buyers would see the pool and envision their families growing up in Village 7. 


Rose Rook, a petite, German woman who was hired to manage the pool, ran it for two years under the HOA. In 1972, ownership of Village 7 Swim Club was transferred from the HOA to Mrs. Rose, who kept it open every summer for over 40 years. As the sole proprietor of the now-privately-owned swim club, she coached swim team; hosted swim meets; taught synchronized swimming; and offered swim lessons, scuba lessons, and life guard training. On top of all that, she was known for watching the pool like a hawk to keep her lifeguards on their toes and make sure kids strictly followed all the rules. Her granddaughter even chose to have her wedding at the pool, but by 2011, the beloved matriarch of Village 7 Swim Club, who had spent half of her life running the club, was in her eighties, and she was ready to retire. When the 2011 summer season came to an end, she announced that she would be closing the pool.


A Serendipitous Discovery

As a full-time working mom of two young children, I occasionally perused real estate listings out of simple curiosity. I lived in Falcon and had never heard of Village 7 Swim Club. I wasn't looking to invest in a business, but this listing caught my attention. It was so rare to see a pool for sale that I agreed to do a walk through. There it sat, empty and eerily quiet in the dead of winter. Although it needed some TLC, I could tell it had been a special place at one time. Possibly, I thought, as I said goodby to the real estate agent. 


For the next week, I couldn't stop thinking about it. I could see families and children there again; I could imagine people gathering there to celebrate birthdays and family reunions; I could see my own children growing up there, with them running the business right alongside me in the summers. As I considered the potential, I rationalized that I could flip the property if I had to, but deep down, I dreamed that I might actually be able to bring it back to life and make it a summertime favorite of locals again. I made an offer, and that is when I first heard of Mrs. Rose Rook.


An astute negotiator and gracious seller, Mrs. Rook had herself a buyer. I met her personally for the first time when we closed on the sale. It felt as if she were passing on a legacy to me.


A New Era

The undertaking began in mid-May of 2014 and my hope was to open in July. Every evening and weekend, I poured myself into repairs and improvements at the pool. 


I remember painting in one of the bathrooms and noticing a blurry figure slowly walking by the frosted privacy window. A little spooked because I thought I was there alone, I tip toed around to meet my unexpected visitor. To my surprise, it was Mrs. Rose Rook. Ha! She still had keys and stopped by to see how things were coming along. As I showed her around to all the projects I was tackling, we bonded and she ended up visiting  several times per week to impart her wisdom and help me problem-solve as I got ready for re-opening. I was eager to learn and developed a deep sense of admiration and respect for her.


One sunny afternoon, she and I were sitting near the pool wistfully gazing over the water and she said to me, "You're going to love this pool." Although I nodded in agreement, I didn't realize the significance of her prediction at the time.


On July 7, 2014, I reopened the pool to a handful of members. Rose's birthday was in July, and we had a little birthday party for herThe first few seasons I was at the helm, Rose and her great granddaughter, Addie would come to swim. As she got older, her visits became less frequent, but we always stayed in touch. 

Remembering Rose

In February of 2022, I received a note on my front door from Rose's daughter, Mary. She wanted to let me know in person that Rose, at the age of 93, had passed away. With a heavy heart, I recalled my conversations with Rose; my visits to her home; the cards we sent each other over the years; her iron-willed determination; her sharp mind even in old age; and her adorable German accent. What a remarkable woman. I was honored to know her and I ached that I didn't get to see her one last time.


As I shared the news with Sarah Scott, a dear pool member, she offered the brilliant idea of planting a rose garden in Rose's memory. Not only did Rose's family love the idea, but roses were Rose's favorite flower. The summer after she passed, I called on our members to join me for a special rose planting by the pool. Members who knew her--and members who'd never met her-- showed up with potted roses, ready make a rose garden. Kids and adults all joined in digging, tilling, composting, planting, watering--and swimming of course. As the sun set, we warmed up around a fire making s'mores and ended the evening by setting afloat personalized glowing water lanterns, as symbols of our hopes dreams, prayers, and wishes. Talk about summertime memories. 


(Only a few weeks later, her daughter Mary hosted over 75 of Rose's closest friends and family to celebrate her life next to the pool she so loved and the the new Rose garden in her honor.) 

Then & Now

Rose's prediction couldn't be more true: I LOVE this pool, more than I ever could have imagined. More than the pool itself, it's the people who enjoy it; the friends I've made; the gathering spot it has become to mark special life celebrations; and the bright future I see for it. Some of the most amazing people I call friends I met first as pool members.


As a matter of fact, in 2019 the old model home I mentioned earlier (see the tiny arrow in the picture above) went on the market for the first time in 40 years, and I had all my ducks in a row to snatch it up. My first order of business after moving in was cutting down the massive cottonwood tree in the backyard that "snowed" gobs of cotton into the pool every July, which caused massive issues with the filtration system. When I got married in 2021, I walked out of my sliding back door straight down the aisle on the south side of the pool and said, "I do" right at the 4' depth marker. 


Now the first thing I see every morning is The Swimmery. Like Rose, I too watch it like a hawk and can see it from any spot in my house. In the summertime, the sounds of families and kids swimming and playing in the water brings me joy, and in the wintertime, I can keep an eye on it while it's buttoned down.


Celebrating 10 years


The Swimmery celebrates 10 years in 2024, and as we look to the future, I envision it to always be a place that's off limits to the stresses that plague our world; where a plunge in the water instantly washes away the weight of our burdens, even if for a moment; where sunshine and the sounds of happiness cleanse our souls and remind us of what it feels like to be truly alive, free from the distractions that tether us. I want to give moms and dads and families the gift of happy-but-exhausted kids because they've been swimming all day, who fall asleep at night dreaming of their next day at the pool. Where friendships and deeper connections are formed for all of our members.


If you are thinking about joining The Swimmery, I want you to know that it's more than a pool. It's kindness; it's people; it's life-giving; it's fun; and ultimately, it's a place in our hearts where summertime memories live long after summertime ends.

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