Colorado Water Baby | AspenTimes.com

Colorado Water Baby

With that precious smile of his beaming, a tanned Robbie Wade, approaching his 19th birthday, stopped to tell me that he had just gotten back from windsurfing in the Caribbean, after completing a Semester at Sea. (Still a Colorado “Water Baby,” I thought.)

Robbie had many friends. And with those friends, Robbie loved to sail, windsurf, raft, swim, even play in puddles. If there was water around, Robbie would be in it.

The first thing you would notice about him when he came up for air was that big wide smile and how the water would just roll off his face, with the sun glistening in his eyes.

Robbie wanted to know how the new swimming pools were coming along. When Robbie was 12 or 13, he appeared on the Hyman Avenue Mall, asking if he could help with swimming as “we” were trying to establish a swimming program to show the City Council at that time that, yes, there was lots of kids’ support for a new swimming pool.

I asked him if he could bring along a friend or two as “we” wanted as many kids as possible in the swimming program. Well, the very next day, charismatic Robbie shows up with not one or two of his friends, but at least 12 of his friends. Rope swings, slides, diving boards, waterfalls (and ice arenas) were the topic of conversation.

“Springtime,” I told Robbie, “is when the new swimming pools will be open at Iselin.” And, with a smile, I said, “And, guess what, we are going for a new pool in town, right next to the skateboard park, complete with rope swings, waterfalls and maybe a diving board or two.”

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Robbie just grinned.

We will miss you, Robbie. Keep smiling for us, will you?

Toni Kronberg

Aspen