In June, we invited our Instagram followers to be part of our fourth issue in a new way, asking them to submit anything under the sun: a short story, photograph, poem, doodle etc. that embodies this volume’s title: BY THE POOL. We’ve always envisioned Fools’ Gold to be a creative outlet for everyone, not just the writers behind the articles. Experimental content like this allow us to make new connections and collaborate with others. We thank each and every one of you for contributing to this collaborative piece. Here’s what we created:
You’ll soon find that the depths of this article is anchored with a number of visual submissions. It’s truly an aquatic grand finale – but first, let’s submerge your senses with the sound, smell and taste of summer. More than anything, a late 90s radio hit instantly takes me back to sitting on a beach towel, the smell of aloe and sunscreen in the air – I’m on a slab of pool concrete or sitting on the hot leather seats of my dad’s car. I have a whole Spotify playlist of these pool ear worms. You likely know all these choruses whether or not you want to admit it. Check it out; it’s one and half hours of free time travel.
What about summer’s taste? Is it the sweetness of an icee that you purchased for a quarter? – great value for a hot afternoon. Or is it the satisfying bite of a hotdog that’s been rolling all day? – a quick calorie count to get you through a tiring pool session. Bomb pops and push pops are definitely up on the list. Outside the walls of the pool, a thick slice of watermelon will do the trick. Good minds think alike, here’s a Thai watermelon recipe from Wachira:
- 1 Watermelon
- 1 handful of Katsuobushi (Dried Bonito Flakes)
- 2 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups crispy deep fried shallots (optional)
Diving for Treasured Memories
By Tom Rhone
When my siblings and I were young, our summers were spent at the local water park. My mom drove us there in the sparkly purple mini van with stickers all over the back windows and melted crayons in the carpeting. It would be so hot out some days that the metal buckles would burn us as we got in or out. After going through the metal turnstile, my mom picked her usual lounging spot, far away from the screaming kids and splashing water, over on a grassy hill with the other moms reading their books. We would secretly eat our sandwiches and snacks under towel forts held up by lounge chairs ‘cause we technically couldn’t bring food into the water park. After we spent the required time out of the water after eating, we all put on our goggles and walked quickly but never ran to the main attraction.
The water park was called Cascade Bay and had a maritime shipwreck theme that ran through the park. There was a selection of colored slides, different depth pool areas and a giant sand pit. Since we lived at the park, the thrill of the slides lost their excitement over time and we began to make our own fun. We first figured out this new form of entertainment at the lazy river. As people lounged in big blue tubes and floated around curves, we wove through people to find points in the river. This was where we struck gold! When the lifeguards were looking the other way, we would pop underwater and swim to the spots in the river right behind the big jets that pushed the water forward and kept it flowing. In these little whirlpools, we would find treasures: rings and coins and sunglasses and bracelets. Once we got the item at the bottom of the river we would look up through the water and spot our empty tube and pop back through the hole with our treasure in hand. We were supposed to be in our tubes at all times. If a lifeguard was at the spot where we knew an item would be, we felt along the rough bottom of the river with our toes and grabbed whatever it was like we were a claw machine. What we brought up however was not always gold or doubloons. Sometimes it was a skeleton in the form of a bandage. Yuck. But over time, we learned to avoid those undesirable items.
As our excitement for finding these lost items grew, we searched in new places around the park. The big dunk slides were a great place to find items. All of the items we collected would be brought back to our home base on the grassy hill; we would lay out our treasure and let it dry. Sometimes what we collected was so valuable that mom would make us turn the item into the lost and found. On rare occasions, we would find a bill – if we did, we ran, I mean walked* quickly to the canteen and got ice cream.
Those summer days spent at the pool swimming and diving for treasure are still vivid in my mind. I have a map of the entire park in my head and still know where the jets in the lazy river are located to this day. This year, the city voted to close the park for the entire season. Sadly, kids won’t be able to discover the magic of the park that me and my siblings were able to find, but I know some day the park will reopen and treasure hunting will be a summer pastime once more.
MN Lake Series
In the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” the best part of summer for most is spending time at the lake. For me, this certainly rings true. When I made the move from North Dakota to Minnesota in 2016, I had the idea of branding 10 lakes from MN for a summer side project. It began as a small series where I would handpick lake names that would allow for a strong visual representation. After the first summer, I turned the series into a reoccurring project I still continue. Last year, I started taking lake requests through social media and made the pivot to branding lakes that are special to others. Every logo has a different feel and design approach, most heavily inspired by their lake name.
“Sunrise (painting below) is based on a night a few summers ago, where a bunch of my college friends had a reunion at a friend’s cabin before everyone moved to new towns or went off to grad school. A group of us stayed up around the bonfire talking all night into dawn and watched the most beautiful sunrise I’ve ever seen together.
It remains one of my favorite summertime memories.” – Jessi Schmit
See? Good things happen when you POOL your ideas together! Enjoy the rest of your summer, no matter how strange this one may be ♥