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Swimming a family affair at Victoria pool (w/video)

By Johnathan Silver
June 18, 2014 at 1:18 a.m.
Updated June 19, 2014 at 1:19 a.m.

Seeing her grandchildren enjoy the Gary T. Moses Municipal Pool takes Victoria resident JoAnn Sanchez, 56, back to the 1970s.

The grandmother used to bring her children to the same pool, and Wednesday, the tradition continued, as the facility opened for the first time this summer. She joined dozens of other people who saw the city pool as an opportunity to deal with the heat, bond with friends and family or just have something to do.

"We've been coming since it's been open," she said. "We know Gary T. Moses. We love him. He does a lot for the community."

Sanchez, who has nine grandchildren, is a former student of Moses'.

"He was 25," she said. "I was 14. He was so handsome."

Moses' namesake has been a place for Sanchez, friends and family to escape the summer heat for some time and create bonding opportunities.

"To me, it's family time," Sanchez said. "It's a tradition to get together and have fun."

Sanchez's friend, Julia Beltran, 50, who has 11 grandchildren, said having grandchildren is like "starting over."

"What's good is they give us money," she said, laughing about her adult children. "'Here, mom. Buy them some pizza.'"

Grandson Brandan Salazar, 13, said he's used the pool for about three years, adding that it's a fun experience that he can share with family and friends from school. The heat drew him to the pool Wednesday, he added.

"It means a lot to me," he said, "because I get to spend time with them."

Victoria resident Jaimie Runnels, 27, goes to the city pool with a similar background.

"I grew up out here," he said, "and my dad, too."

He went to the municipal pool with his son and two nephews, who are in their second year of using it, he said.

"It's good for the kids," Runnels said. "It keeps them out of trouble - keeps them out of the streets."


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