Mary Ellen Salvini: Remembers her swimming buddy

Thursday, August 24, 2017
Remembers her swimming buddy

My old swimming buddy, Barbara Petersen, died in July. Many memories came back to me about her.

She never had children of her own, but all the students she taught in elementary school became her kids. She loved swimming and did so most days at Hampshire Athletic Club until a few years back when she became afraid to drive — then she walked her house and steps.

She gardened and cooked. Funny thing about her and cooking — when you phoned her the answering machine would come on with her saying: “I am busy cooking now so can’t take your call. Try later.”

She was a woman with very strong opinions and a delight.

At the pool she loved to have the first lane by the big windows all to herself and would make a face if anyone wanted to join her. It was her lane. Then she would sit in the recliner chair near the window and sun herself to get her supply of Vitamin D.

I remember her 80th birthday. I went out and got some balloons and a blowup plastic birthday cake and attached them to a kickboard. I went early to stay in her special lane until she arrived and then when she came in we all sang “Happy Birthday” to her.

She was the queen of Lane 1 and I miss her.

Mary Ellen Salvini