Swimming In The Quarry
The best water for swimming was in what we called "The Quarry". It didn't take much imagination for that name
since at one time it was a source of granite. I never saw the cutting and moving of immense granite blocks that took place there,
but I did enjoy the aftermath, which was a huge hole filled with water.
Our quarry was in Randolph, just over the Avon-Randolph town
line, about two or three miles from the square. We usually managed to get a ride there, either with a friend or by hitch-hiking.We
would travel on Route 28 and just past the line , take a right on a road next to Good Brothers Ford Agency.After a couple hundred
yards we turned right on a dirt road through a wooded area to the quarry.
The temperature of the water in the summer was always just
right for swimming, not too warm or too cold. I would guess it was in the sixties. It had a bluish hue and was so clear you could
look down at a swimmer below you and see him clearly.We never knew anyone who reached the bottom, even though there were many attempts.
The clarity of the water saved many a diver from certain injury or death because one could choose a ledge that didn't have another
ledge protruding just below the surface.
A favorite spot was one where a ledge stuck out just deep and far enough so that when you
dove you might clip your toes about six feet under the water. Another spot was free of under water protuberances but had a treacherous
surface.The ledge sloped toward the water at about 15 degrees and was constantly wet due to the dripping naked bodies. A great outburst
of laughter followed every time someone slipped on his back and slid over the side. When he was ready to try again, the evidence of
his previous attempt was there on his back for everybody to see.
The granite diggers left cables strewn around the perimeter.Everybody
was aware of the underwater cables. Older and braver swimmers liked to swing out on a cable , like Tarzan, and drop into the water.
There were rumors that some days girls could be seen just inside the wooded area enjoying the scenery and shenanigans.These rumors
were hopeful imaginations on the boys' part.
If the girls were there, they wouldn't stay long.Sixty degree water for naked boys just
barely(no pun intended) in their teens didn't give them too much to write home about. Most quarries were found in Quincy, hence it's
name "The Granite City".When Boston started the Big Dig Project, the quarries became a logical place to dump unwanted fill.Everyone
gained. Boston had a place to get rid of their dirt and Quincy could fill in dangerous swimming holes.There was a downside for some.
If you wanted to get rid of a "stolen" car and collect the insurance , there was no better place than these so-called bottomless holes.
They were also convenient spots to hide a gang victim. I haven't seen them since they were filled but I expect the sites will be put
to good use. Probably, they could install community swimming pools.