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1970s Motel Swimming Pool + A Kid Wearing a Swim Bubble Flotation Device

1970s Motel Swimming Pool and kid with swim bubble flotation device

1970s Motel Swimming Pool

This is the latest addition to my 1970s photo collection. It cost me almost $10 so I hope you love it! It is an image from a 35mm slide taken in the early 1970s. The exact date and location are unavailable. The image features a motel swimming pool by the ocean, but that’s not why I bought it. I purchased it because that bubble thing on the girl’s back makes this a rare find. I had a similar Styrofoam flotation device in 1972. Mine was bright safety orange and the belt that fastened to it was navy blue. I loved my Bubble so much. I briefly mentioned it in this 2017 blog post. My Bubble gave me great freedom during our trips to Puddingstone, a manmade lake in San Dimas County, California. I could swim way into the middle of the lake by myself and never worry about drowning. I loved being out there where the water was dark and cool. I was surrounded by people and yet totally alone swimming like a little fish in the California sun. It was so awesome. I love all the old cars in this picture, too.

Looking for The Gulf Motel

My mother should still be in the kitchenette
of The Gulf Motel, her daisy sandals from Kmart
squeaking across the linoleum, still gorgeous
in her teal swimsuit and amber earrings
stirring a pot of arroz-con-pollo, adding sprinkles
of onion powder and dollops of tomato sauce.
My father should still be in a terrycloth jacket
smoking, clinking a glass of amber whiskey
in the sunset at the Gulf Motel, watching us
dive into the pool, two boys he’ll never see
grow into men who will be proud of him.

Richard Blanco, American Poet, b. 1968

Check out Ode to the Motel Pool, The Paris Review, 2018.

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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  1. Los Angeles Pool Cleaning

    I love looking at pictures of the 1970s. There was so much turmoil, but as a kid, you had no idea and didn’t care if you did. Vacations were awesome because you got to swim in the motel pool. I was trying to explain that to my 10 year old son who knows there’s a pool in the backyard and its no big deal. It was when I was a kid. Eating out was a rare treat then also.

    • Jennifer

      I miss the adventure of motel pools so much. It’s something my kids will never know. I did take them to Tucumcari though where I stayed as a child with my folks. Was it just me or was the motel pool especially cold and clean? Such great memories.

  2. Rachel

    I had a safety orange bubble with a white belt!
    Picture looks like Daytona.

    • Jennifer

      I wish I could find a picture of an orange one!

      • Janet

        I had a red one! With the canvas belt and metal puzzle-ish hook contraption.😀


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