GLEN RIDGE, NJ — The shrill of the whistle on Labor Day could mean only one thing: another summer lost.
On all other nights, Glen Ridge Community Pool co-manager Bob Silvera would blow the whistle 10 minutes before the hour. That was tradition when the pool closed at eight. But on Monday of this week, he waited until the final moment, 4 p.m., to alert parents and their children that school awaited outside. If summer were a dog, it would now be curling up for a long winter’s nap.
In the pool office, Silvera said the past summer was just as busy as previous ones. Silvera has been a pool manager for six years, the same amount of time as Trish Drudy, another manager who was working that day. Both are in education. Silvera is a principal and Durdy is a teacher. She said there were a lot of new families at the pool this summer.
“After the kids turn 14, usually the parents don’t remain family members,” Silvera said.
“Or if the kids start working at the pool, the parents are no longer members,” Drudy added.
Perhaps surprisingly, the pool, besides its summer managers, employs 85 children as gate guards and lifeguards.
Unlike the day before, the pool was crowded on Monday because the weather was perfect.
Toward the final whistle, two girls, the last gate guards of the day, told Silvera they would not be coming to the pool on Tuesday because it was their first day of school. He told them not to worry, the pool was closing for the season at four. The two left and climbed into an idling SUV, maybe thinking that with the pool closed they would not be missing any part of summer.