1/24/08

Thinking Back Thursday--The Kellogg YMCA

Raymond Pert recently took this picture of the old Kellogg YMCA.

Different conversations I have been having recently have reminded me of some of the activities I was involved in at the Kellogg YMCA.

Many kids in Kellogg have memories playing basketball in the YMCA gym. But I'm not sure any of my YMCA memories involve that sport.

Here are some things I remember:

I took a tumbling class in the gym after school in my later grade school years. We learned how to do flips on the trampoline, do some tumbling on the mats, maybe we even did something on the horse, and the balance beam. Maybe we were all Nadia Komenich want to be's. I'm not sure. But I think I had a fun time.

The Y had a swimming pool down in the basement, a stuffy, chlorine-smelling, humid, sauna-like pool. You would travel through the gym and go to this door in the far corner and open up the door, and descend down into the basement to the pool.

When you entered the Y, there was a desk where you either showed your Y card that showed you were a member, or you paid a fee. They also sold candy at the front desk. I remember buying red rope licorice. Once you were paid up, or showed your card, they would press a button that would allow you to go through a swinging half door.

There were places in the Y that kind of scared me as a young girl. Like the stairs that headed down into the basement. I think I always thought creepy men lived down there, perhaps because sometimes they were hanging around upstairs. I have no idea what the story was on the rooms or the men, but that was my perception as a young girl.

In high school, I remember our church youth group would meet with other youth groups in the valley for volleyball or other activities.

Yes, I have memories, but I feel mine pale in comparison to many kids in the valley. Some kids lived at the Y, playing basketball, and the Y probably saved more than one kid.

It is sad seeing the building now. All boarded up, and gutted. It is probably going to become a condo or something. Who knows?

Anyone have a Kellogg YMCA story to share?

5 comments:

Inland Empire Girl said...

disco dance lessons the summer of '79! ( i think) "staying alive... staying alive"....

Inland Empire Girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Go Figure said...

Yes, the old YMCA. It is steeped in history and tradition. I recall being assistant wrestling coach at the architecual winning H.S. in K-log. I was told to take one of the wrestlers up to the Y so that he could work out, to 'make weight.' The idea was he would sit in the sauna and spit. He had about a half pound of nothing to lose before the ever important 'weigh-in'. When we got there he pulled out his plastic work-out suit, put sweat pants and a hooded sweat shirt on, with a towel around his neck, and went into the fog. Seeing this I figured that it would probably be a good move, on my part, to go in too just to make sure he was alright. Well, as he was doing jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups and running in place whilst pouring water on the steaming rocks and spitting, I nearly passed out. He made weight, I barely made it back to school with him for the match. Once he weighed in he immediately downed juice and assorted energy food and, although he was in a weakened state of physical condition, he proceeded to pin the opponent. I determined that my future was not in being a wrestling coach. I thought that was a little cruel and unusual to make/or allow H.S. kids to cut weight. I have always been impressed by wrestlers though. To me they are the world's toughest athletes, without a doubt.

Inland Empire Girl said...

yes, I remember my classmates that were wrestlers in Kellogg spending all day before matches spitting in class. I don't really get that whole weigh in thing. Could it be healthy in any way?

Go Figure said...

No, it is not healthy in any way whatsoever. Indeed the 'rules' now prohibit dropping weight, to a certain degree. Also, years after I left a wrestler in another far away town actually died from doing a similar work out. I shuddered at how close I had unknowingly come to such a tragedy.