Blind Men Don't Leave the Pool

Keeping with my Summer pool theme I wanted to share another day at the pool story.

We were in West Islip at Pete's sister Nancy's house which was on a private street near the bay leading to Fire Island. It was a hot Summer day - degrees in the 90s ... the concrete surrounding the pool was hot on our feet ... the pool water was a refreshing 80. We had been in the pool since 10am - all of us - neices, uncles, aunts swimming and playing our usual games.

Pete decided we should play "Blind Man's Bluff" which to you younger people is similar to "Marco Polo" but no one says anything out loud. The "blind man" closes his/her eyes, goes into the deepest part of the pool and counts to 10 underwater, while everyone moves away from that person and remains silent. Then the "Blind Man" swims around the pool hoping to grab a person and tag them. Then, that person is "it."

We only have a couple of rules. No running out of the pool. No hurting the blind man. No peeing in the pool. And no cheating. Which of course, I always cheated, because I could see under the water with my eyes open. So, Peter decided that because he couldn't trust any of his neices to not cheat, he demanded the "blind man" wear a bandanna over their eyes.

Peter was notorious for breaking the cardinal rule of getting out of the pool and jumping on you when it was your turn to be the "blind man." We could never do anything about it, but it was frustrating that he cheated like that.

I remember it was my turn to be "it," so I went to the middle of the pool, counted to 10 and started swimming in a random pattern hoping to hear someone moving in the water or struggling to get away from me. I felt someone tickle my toes so I swam down to grab them. Turned out to be Peter.

Peter loved to be the "Blind Man" because one of the youngest cousins would start to giggle or make some sort of noise and he'd get her.

But this time, we already had a pact between the neices that when Peter was the "blind man," and he was counting to 10, we'd all very quietly get out of the water and make the water splash a little with our feet on various areas around the pool. It was about 5 minutes of Peter racing around the pool grabbing at imaginary things before Michelle jumped directly on his head. That was it. He was mad that we played this trick on him. He bolted out of the water, grabbed Nancy, Tara and Marie in one large arm grasp and pushed them into the pool. Then, as he was running for me around the diving board, he burnt his feet on the concrete and did a belly wop into the pool.

He swore he would never play with us again ... but he did ... every time we were all together in the pool.
But, when we did play, he'd go back over the rules, as if it was the first time we were hearing them:

No out of the pool

No hurting the blind man

No cheating

No peeing in the pool

PS: I think we all peed in the pool !


  1. Great story!

    A friend's father put a sign on their family pool while she was growing up, she once told me, something like:

    "Welcome to our family OOL.
    As you'll notice, there is no P in our POOL, please keep it that way."

    ~ L.

  2. Awesome story. I think everyone cheats at pool games. If you don't, what fun is it then? ;)

  3. I love reading these stories you guys have!
    Thank you for sharing those personal memories.
    It really means a lot to us, the fans, because we already feel like we know him a little bit through his lyrics, and now we learn so much more....
    It makes the songs come more to life and it gives us all a good laugh!
    Love from Holland!!

  4. So glad you all got him back. If you are going to play pranks etc on people, you have to be able to have pranks played back on you. Glad to see Peter wasn't a bad loser and still played with you all. The simple times we spend with the people we love eg playing in the pool, are often the best times with the best memories. As for peeing in the pool...lucky that dye that surrounds someone if they pee in the pool wasn't around back then, I could see Peter having fun with that catching people in the act.

  5. lol thank you so much for sharing this, it had me in stitches from the first to the last line and the post scriptum just killed me. :)

  6. This has me smiling... love it!!!

  7. It's awesome that you all had many,many,many good times. I love reading about all the gatherings and all the fun times you shared. Thank you for posting :)

  8. Good funny story, thank you for sharing :)Love the pic of Pete sitting at the piana too!!

    Amy Wigle

  9. If you are not already thinking of having this blog publised as a book I think you should seriously think about it. The proceeds could go to your family or to a scholarship fund for young musicians, something like that. These stories are very precious and your writing ability is really very good! I say that as a professional writer. I would buy a book of these blog posts complete with pictures; it would become a treasured book, I would buy it for friends and suggest it to anyone who has known or is a creative tortured soul. Thank you so much for these stories. They really make my day. Through these stories we can miss Peter the clown, the animal lover, the gentleman and so many more incarnations. Thank you! (If you are thinking of publishing let me know...my editorial and ghost writing expertise comes highly reccomended.)

  10. haha! What kid DOESN'T pee in a pool? It's too tempting! Sounds like so much fun, carefree summer days with the family. I have lots of fun pool memories when I was a kid too...seems like even though you nieces outnumbered him, keeping him in check was impossible!

    My favorite saying when trying to deter others from peeing in the pool: "I don't swim in your toilet, please don't pee in my pool." :)

  11. Rosemarie from NY11:32 AM, July 19, 2011

    I'm starting to tear up again reading these precious stories. This one is beautiful and I can just feel and see Peter just playing around with family and him being the leader of the family pool games...he was that magnificent of a person. When he was there, it was a party, it was family. That is what we miss more than anything, having my son's friend David here to be part of our family get togethers. He passed away 4 yrs ago. I broke down a few days ago again and that happens a lot missing him to my core. I know how you all feel. These stories are just so loving and I see how you want to share them and we love that. Thank you so much. I look forward to each story each day. He was quite a man. He made his mark on our lives. We miss him each and every day. Peace to you all. And yes I was laughing and crying at the same time for this story.

  12. tripping a blindman????

  13. There is a legitimate reason for not peeing in the pool. The urea in the pee reacts with the chlorine and hypochlorite and can form hydrazine, a rather toxic chemical. Did that ever stop me? Of course not! I remember kids even pooping in the pool at the YMCA, nasty.
    All that aside, what a bunch of fun you guys all sounded like, I wish I had that kind of fun, usually, I just repeatedly jumped off the diving board to see if I could hit the bottom.

  14. lol...so love these stories.we didnt do those kinds of pool games though...we just did the see who can stay under the longest..lol.which was usually me cause I would swim under water alot. we used to do pool tricks like trying to stand on your head under water and doing roll overs.forwards and backwards.side dives in the water and jumping over our innertubes we had at the time. oh and ya cant forget about the squirt gun water fights..lol.we put wet towels down on the hot ground so not to burn our feet.or wore flipflops which ya had to be careful or yad slip when walking with those..lol.our pool water was always cold so it took a bit to get used to when first going in.
    I also agree you all should write a book or 2 on the life and times of Peter and your family. Id so treasure it with all my being.and hug it just to feel closer to Peter and you all.
    such a great guy he was..a very special man..who is still very much missed everyday.wish we could bring him back.sooo wish that. the world seems so incomplete without him here.bet the guys miss him very much too. when ya can let them know were thinking of them also..specially Josh who was Peters best friend..got to be pretty hard for him without Peter by his side. keep us updated on how they are doing and let them know that we havent forgotten about them.
    hope everybody is doing ok over there.love your stories and looking forward to the next one.thanks for sharing with us..helps us cope a bit more.wish there was something that we could all hang on to that was Peters. somnething that he touched to feel closer to him.like a lock of his hair that some of us so loved and or his guitar pics..something that he actually touched.I know Id keep it with or by me at all times..well maybe not all the time but enough to feel closer to him. just something to hug and hold onto. I know it would help me feel better when Im really grieving. just another thought.
    anyways hope you all take good care and stay safe.stay cool too...the heat wave is a big one this year.yikes. we had a 103 heat index here in Lansing Mich yesterday and still under a high heat warning...kind of a record here. good swimming weather for some. so everybody stay safe and cool.ok? and until the next blog..lol.
    love the pic if Peter
    at the piano.
    he was gorgeous back then
    and I bet he had alot of
    girls wanting his number. ;)

  15. I read this and it brought back memories, we used to play blind mans bluff in my parents pool,too and yes we cheated too.childhood memories are about the best ever,i had not even thought about blind mans bluff in years till i read it here.love Peters haircut!! Peter was so lucky to have a large close family i am an only child that had older parents,and only 2 cousins so it was quiet mostly, sounds like you guys really had fun. and yes i agree that if you were to publish a book it would be awsome,love the stories about the family.by the way, i do have a picture of peter over my bed,dont know how my boyfriend feels about it. dont care.Peter is the first thing i see when i get up and the last thing i see at night.he is greatly missed. and i love his sense of humor!!!

  16. Loved it as usual!! i can imagine him getting mad and then the look on his face while the concrete was burning his feet!! ROFL!! Boyz don't like it when girls beat them at their own game!! LOL!!!