By Kevin Williams
There has been a shortage of truly hot summer days in the Midwest this year. I'm not really complaining, the days have been warm and pleasant and what is there not to like about that? Still, the lack of true heat has put a crimp on summer staples like swimming and, well, swimming. Nothing like visiting a cool pool on a 95 degree day.
One of my best friends was at Sunlite Pool, a sprawling, huge pool in Cincinnati over the weekend. Geez, I didn't realize this, I just went to their website and they describe themselves as the world's largest recirculating pool:
Sunlite Pool has been the world’s largest flat-surface recirculating pool for over 90 years and covers over two acres which is larger than a football field.
That is incredible and it sounds super fun. In a way. If I start thinking too much about 1000 people being in the same water in the same pool I....well, I'd just try not to think too much about it.
So, back to my friend, he messages me to tell me that he saw some Amish people there. And he has pictures. He's the same friend that sent us the Amish from the Grand Canyon and Amish in Pebble Beach photos. He's making it to Amish Country more than I am! I try to let my mind wander and figure out why a group of Amish people might be visiting Sunlite Pool. The first guess is the obvious answer: to swim. But that theory has some holes. First, they aren't in swim attire. But Amish people do go swimming and their choice of water attire varies, but this is definitely not swimwear. Sunlite Pool is part of the larger Coney Island complex, an amusement part in Cincinnati. I've not been there in a long time, maybe someone else can tell me more about it, but if the pool area is connected to the main park, perhaps these Amish people were visiting the park and just passed through the pool area.
A lot of Amish visit Children's Hospital in Cincinnati for medical care so maybe this was just a sojourn to some place relatively close and fun.
The fact is, we'll never know. They could also be Amish from nearby Adams County, Ohio just visiting and perhaps they were planning a cool dip in the pool after changing clothes. I feel like I've seen the white suspenders in Adams County before.
And, SIGH, you know, someone will post a comment about the photo-taking. I truly do think this issue has evolved over the years. When I first started studying Amish culture almost 30 years ago (geez, that is the first time I've ever used that phrase, that sounds old...I'll say 25 years ago) you just wouldn't take these photos. But I think in an age where everyone has a smartphone and you're at such a public place, I think....I think that is different than if you are, say, visiting an Amish home. I don't know. Just my take on it. Also, these photos are very respectful with no real way to recognize faces and that's important too.