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Tim Myers: If I get old and grumpy, take me to the Soylent Green factory

Myers' Musings

Posted: June 6, 2010 4:55 a.m.
Updated: June 6, 2010 4:55 a.m.

In August I will turn 50. When I graduated from Davis County High School in 1978, I could barely imagine myself at 40 in the millennial year of 2000, let alone how ancient and decrepit I might find myself at age 50 in the unforeseeable year 2010. Yet here I stand at that milestone.

Amazingly, though my Nebraska bride and I sport four adult children (one high school child remains under our care) and three grandchildren, including a 5-year-old who resides with us most of the year, we do not feel old.

I guess it helps that I still sport a full head of now-gray hair, and an exercise regimen adopted in 2002 reduced my weight to lighter than 56 percent of my peers of my same age and height. It also helps a man to feel young when his Nebraska bride/grandmother of three adopted an exercise and diet regimen that seems to reverse the aging process. Also, hanging out with the parents of kindergartners does not hurt in protecting a youthful point of view.

Yet I still worry about the ultimate decline, and not just poor health and mobility. I speak instead of the more insidious "old man" disease of curmudgeonly and grumpy behavior that seems bent on stopping any kind of "fun" in the community.

Consider the recent case of the Stratford Homeowners Association battle against the Summit Seals swimming team.

Most of the Newhall Land Development Inc. tract developments in Valencia host community pools now under the auspices of various HOAs. Generally, the pools include a fairly large one suitable for some competitive swimming, so it seems natural that community youth swim teams would emerge.

The politically emergent tracts of Northbridge and Northbridge Pointe boast two competitive swim teams, the Bluefins (Northbridge) and the Piranhas (Northbridge Pointe), and I know of no one who speaks an ill word against them. The Summit Seals enjoy a 20-year history of utilizing the large pool in the Summit HOA for their six-week summer program.

But a few years ago, something sinister happened. According to reliable sources, the next tract up from Northbridge and Northbridge Pointe, Northpark, sought to promote its own team, but a group of residents hired legal counsel to force the HOA board to shut the swim team down - the first time I ever heard of anyone taking action against the seemingly most sacrosanct thing in the SCV: a youth sports program.

A brief history in the Summit Seals program troubles, so eloquently displayed on a robust Facebook page and other local internet sources. Two years ago, two members of the Summit HOA board attempted to shut down the Seals program. These two members were local left-wing activist Cam Noltemeyer and right-wing activist Bill Reynolds, who made it their mission to destroy this threat to western civilization.

Noltemeyer would be recalled from the HOA board by a 66 percent vote and Bill Reynolds recently resigned from the HOA board in protest.

Now the battle against the Summit Seals gets complicated. The Summit contains a sub-HOA, the Stratford Collection, a gated community with its own independent board and community amenities. In Stratford HOA board minutes from one year ago recently made public, the board stated its desire to shut down the swim team due to its "overly" (sic) use of community pools. The Stratford board since retained counsel and published certain communications regarding their concerns regarding use of the pool and potential liability issues.

The Seals organization responded in many ways to allay the concerns, including increasing its liability insurance coverage from $1 million to $5 million - an incredible amount considering that supervised swimming programs almost never result in serious injuries.

Despite these actions, the Stratford efforts to close down the program took a decidedly creepy turn when a man identified as president of the Stratford association and another unidentified man were caught (ironically, on videotape) videotaping Seals parents and children during their recent summer registration.

What motivates the anti-Seals partisans? Spurious concerns about liability and "overly" use notwithstanding, I can only conclude that they suffer from some kind of old person's pathology that just takes offense against anyone having any fun whatsoever within their ambit.

And so, approaching my own 50th birthday, I will extract agreements from my younger friends that should I ever develop this spiritual miserliness, they will forthwith deliver me to the nearest Soylent Green factory, since my usefulness will have expired.

Tim Myers is a Valencia resident. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. "Myers' Musings" appears Sundays in The Signal.


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