Living in their pools, They soon forget about the sea…

17 June, 2011 (12:00) | Memories

Growing up at my dad’s house, we had an above ground pool.  I think it was about 4 feet high and 24 feet wide.  We loved when the water got low, because that meant that  Jay Gillis was coming over with his water truck to fill it up.  He’d take the hose from his truck, hook it up to the rim of the pool at an angle, and flip the switch on his truck to send gallons of water rushing into the pool, enough to create a decent current for a whirl pool.  It was awesome.

Mr. Gillis was more than our water guy, he was sort of a family friend.  His daughter, Janna,  went to school with us at Bentleyville Wesleyan.  Jay was a quiet guy though, and I think that’s why I enjoyed him so much.  When he would deliver water for our cistern, he’d go sit on our porch or play with our dogs, and I’d go out and hang with him.  Sometimes, I’d take him something to drink.  I didn’t want him to be out there by himself.

Anyway, after my parents had split, and my brother had died, our church attendance was sporadic at best.  One summer day, we did go to church, and Jay was there.  When the pastor asked what good news anyone had to share with the congregation, Jay raised his hand and stood up.  He said that he had delivered water to us the day before, and it just brought him so much joy to see us kids playing and laughing.  I was so stunned to see the quiet guy I admired so much speaking up to everybody about us.

What’s so great about that memory is that we were able to bring him joy.  I know he’s still around, and we have a few degrees of separation socially, so he may stumble across this, but Mr. Gillis played a big role in the happiness and maturing of my childhood.  He was a man that I respected, appreciated, and enjoyed.