Memorial Day

Autumn memories glow years later

I can't swim. Never could. As a child I used to go wading along water's edge at Buckroe Beach.

I never once set foot into a swimming pool. I grew up during a time when polio was rampant, and Mom thought the public pool in Newport News was a breeding ground for the disease. At Buckroe I was stymied by a conundrum. Mom wouldn't allow me to venture into deep water because I couldn't swim, and I could never learn to swim because there was no way I could acquire that skill in ankle-deep water. So, quite naturally, I never really got into the swim of things throughout my life.

Now, the neighborhood pool in our apartment complex is situated just across the street from my place. I...