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Graydon Patrons Get the Bums Rush on Labor Day

Graydon Pool Ridgewood

file photo by Boyd Loving

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, On Labor Day I was at Graydon late in the afternoon. The water was beautiful, the weather was spectacular, the snack bar was humming, there were lots and lots of people swimming and on the sand. It was, in a (hyphenated) word, picture-perfect.

That is, until I began to notice a couple of serious safety breaches. First of all, the rope dividing the shallow area from the deep-water area had been removed. There was nothing dividing the two sections. What the heck? A number of years ago, as most of us know, a child tragically drowned when he passed under the rope into the deep area, and was unable to swim. Why in the world would this rope (which also had signs warning people not to cross over) be taken down when the pool was open for business and the water was teeming with children? As I was standing on the patio area pondering this, I saw a young male lifeguard coming from the diving board area. He was carrying a life ring and two long poles that have a grab-bar on the end for saving the life of someone who is in trouble in deep water;. There were people going off the diving boards all the while. There was one guard at this time (a young woman) by the diving boards – so no extra guard/s were on duty to compensate for the lack of lifesaving equipment. I walked over toward the deep end to ascertain that, indeed, the life ring and the poles which normally are on the fence by the high-dive were gone. There were people going off the diving boards repeatedly, and there was a woman standing on the platform apparently watching one of the younger children.

It seemed that the initiative for all of this was to get the pool cleaned up and shut down quickly. Announcements started to come via the loudspeaker that the pool would be closing, that patrons would have to leave immediately at 7:30, and that the guards had clean-up to do in order to close down for the season. Instead of letting patrons (who paid good money) simply enjoy the final hour or so of the season, employees were cleaning up the party before it was even over. I cannot find any rationale for removing life-protecting and life-saving measures from the pool when it was still operational. Adding to this, the sun was quite low in the sky as it is, after all, September, so visibility for the guards had to be somewhat reduced.

Thankfully nothing bad happened. The pool closed, the season ended, and the lack of safety precautions at the end did not result in any tragedy. But come on, who is running this show???

14 thoughts on “Graydon Patrons Get the Bums Rush on Labor Day

  1. Wow. Just Wow. Thank god nothing went wrong.

  2. Water was SPECTACULARLY clean clear and beautiful all summer. NO ALGAE , not even in August.

    I wondered why and spoke with Daniel Cramblitt asst. supt. of Park and Shade Tree Dept.

    Cramblitt said he employed a technique of turning over sand to kill algae spores preventing algae growth . This was done as pool was being prepared for use at beginning of season.

    He installed a new chlorine pump with a leak detector that automatically turned pump off it there was a leak, thereby preventing pool being overrun with chlorine.

    I saw Cramblitt walking around the Graydon area all summer seeming to observe how things were functioning, making sure everything was working correctly.

    It appeared that many more people enjoyed the pool and engaged with family and friends around the pool than in recent years. I say thank you and congratulations Daniel Cramblitt.

    Diane Palacios, longtime Graydon regular

  3. I was at Graydon all day on Sunday. The rope was there just the bouys were removed. The racing lanes near the diving boards appeared to have been removed.

    Monday was a long day for the guards. There was a safety scare at about 3:30pm when a small child was missing. It was a very tense few moments while they cleared the pool and the child was found out of the water. Earlier a costumed character performing at a birthday party at the pool suffered heat stroke and had to be taken to the hospital. Throughout the afternoon, the pool was packed and there were extra guards stationed in the water for the shallow end and manning all of the chairs. Guards were much more frequently calling out unsafe behavior all afternoon.

    By 4:30 the crowd was quickly thinning out. It was back to a normal number of people.

    Safety equipment shouldn’t have been removed before the pool was closed but it was a long day for the guards. Many had returned to college and the ones there appeared to me to be working really hard on a difficult day and I am sure had a ton to do to shut down the pool before dark. Maybe we should cut these high school kids a break.

  4. Nancy Bigos?????

  5. Brian – are you for real??? A missing child is all the MORE reason to keep safety measures in place until the end. Long day? They are paid by the hour. Shut it down before dark? Why not leave the ropes and life rings in place and come back the next day to take them down – if the high school students are back in school, then the Parks Department can perform the clean-up. Safety measures should never EVER be compromised. A drowning can happen in a split second. If the guards who were on duty were stretched too thin or working too many hours, then they should have closed off a section rather than risk anyone’s life. I am not suggesting these kids don’t work hard. I am suggesting that this does not provide a reason to cut slack on safety. This posting is alarming to me. Thank God no one got hurt in the last hours.

  6. Agree with Diane Palacios. Also I agree with the post. Wrong to close down before it is closed down.

  7. Two ways to look at this 1) the staff was trying to keep the pool open as long as possible and should be thanked or 2) the staff was trying to cheat the patrons out of time by closing early. If you for for the second then next year the closing time will be 5:00pm to allow for a proper, safe shut down. Happy?

  8. The ropes were absolutely up. This is wrong information in the original post. The bouys were gone but the ropes were there. As for the safety equipment–it was clearly poor judgement by whoever removed it.

    I am just a patron of Graydon so i dont really know the numbers but it seems to me all of this comes back to Graydon not having enough members. If they increase membership the budget woudl increase and there could be more guards. Now, as soon as college kids go back to school they have change the opening hours. Then on a busy holiday they had to scramble to properly staff. If you want them to come back on Tuesday to close the pool then you need more money to pay for that staffing. Again this goes back to increasing membership so you have more money.

    Graydon needs to figure out a way to have more appeal to more people so has more resources. This starts with improving the bathroom facilities and continued vigilance about water quality. There is no excuse for the disgusting bathrooms. there should be convenient places to change children in the bathrooms. There should be a place to properly shower as well.

    Another issue on Monday was that a large birthday party was occurring which involved extensive decorations, costumed characters and a large setup. Parties are allowed and I am sure Graydon made money by having more paying guests for the day; but on a holiday weekend it pushed the crowds to the limit. Graydon needs enough members so it can forbid such events on holiday weekends.

    As for the water quality–it was much better this year. While the sycamore tree was missed,I think the water quality was helped because there were many fewer leaves in the water and less accompanying muck under the water. The sand/algae thing is interesting. There were still a few bad weeks there but for the most part the quality was much better. Again, with more resources, Graydon could perhaps afford to have more guards out with nets and rakes to regularly clean the floating feathers and duck droppings in the water and on the beaches.

  9. Quite frankly, I would love to see a modern, clean, more traditional pool. The bathrooms are a disgrace, Water’s Edge needs updating, the offices need renovation.

  10. According to Daniel Cramblitt, he will ask for money for the bathrooms next.

    Ya know what, there is nature in nature , at the shore there are feathers and poop in the water at times and on the beach at times. There is also E-Coli bacteria and medical waste and days when at the shore you cannot go into ocean for those reasons. There is not medical waste at Graydon and if there is E-coli bacteria the pool would be closed before you could say or even think the words: “I don’t like Graydon.”

    If ya want a beach with never ever ever any duck poop or feathers or leaves swim in your damn bathtub. And by the way there is nothing wrong with swimmin with leaves.

    As for me I have been swimmin in Graydon since 1979, and I am not put off by Nature. I am honored to swim with ducks, beautiful and graceful, miraculous how they glide through the water, a thrill to swim with ducks nearby. I feel a deep connection to God’s fellow creatures. Not enough of them this year. Their poop has never hurt me. If an individual has let nature work on their immune system and has anointed/immersed themselves in Nature since early childhood then one has health/God in their body, so to speak, those are the genuine probiotics the only ones that are really effective, MOTHER NATURE’S BACTERIA /GERMS. Save your money, you rich smart folks. Yogurt and so-called probiotics won’t do a damn thing , it’s got to come from exposure to pure nature, those so-called germs, are actually health giving and need to be in your body from early childhood. I was blessed with growing up in California in undeveloped untainted earth and water (ocean and bay) Untainted by man’s destructive and poisonous developments, the pesticides and herbicides and killing of wildlife and chopping away at trees and woods. Growing up there back in the 40s and 50s.

  11. Ha! It’s filthy but that’s a good thing! I’m sure lots of people will agree with that logic.

  12. Bathrooms are dirty cause people are pigs

  13. Brian – You are wrong. I was there when the pool closed for the season. I saw that the rope between the deep area and the shallow area was gone. I was over by the 4′ raft area from about 5:30 until close. We were all commenting about the rope being gone. Obviously you must not have been there that late in the day on Monday if the rope was still up when you were there.

  14. I also believe Daniel Cramblitt, Assistant Superintendent of the Park and Shade Tree Department, should be commended for the SPARKLING CLEAN water at Graydon this summer! His turning over of the sand to kill algae spores and prevent algae growth, a new chlorine pump, and the fact that he was at the pool often to inspect, supervise, and answer questions, made a HUGE difference in the water quality! It seemed to have brought in more people this season as well!
    I DIDN’T get any BUM’S RUSH on Labor Day either; especially since I didn’t come out of the water until 7:25!!!
    I’m going to attach the letter I wrote to Mayor Ramon Hache about it:
    Mayor Ramon Hache and Council:
    I am writing to say how ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS the water at Graydon Pool was this summer. I believe that Daniel Cramblitt, Park Manager, had something to do with that and I would not only like to thank him, but inform others about it and give credit where credit is due! I believe the Village of Ridgewood is one of the most beautiful in the area of Bergen County, not only for its gorgeous Ridgewood Avenue with all its shops, parks, restaurants, train station, and activities, but mainly because of the SPARKLING CLEAN GRAYDON POOL that I’ve nicknamed THIS SEASON, “Caribbean Blue!”
    I’ve been a member of Graydon Pool since 2011. I think it’s gorgeous with its surrounding trees, sandy and grassy areas, restaurant, gazebos, etc. etc. I go for the exercise; I swim an hour each time, for the socialization; I’ve met so many nice people there, for resting, reading, eating my lunch, and best of all, it makes me feel like I’m on vacation while being so close to home! I don’t have to drive 60 miles to the ocean and worry about rough water, jellyfish, and all those tolls. (I was strictly an “ocean person” before I started swimming at Graydon!) It’s extremely convenient and I greatly appreciate it!
    I’ve heard that many people wanted to make Graydon into a few cement swimming pools because it had a reputation of having water that wasn’t as clean as it should be. At times, I could see that the water was dirty and couldn’t understand why they couldn’t keep the water sparkling clean EVERY day… UNTIL THIS SUMMER! It couldn’t have been better! I hope it continues for years to come!
    A Graydon Fan,
    Ann Marie Costantino
    P. S. Many of the “regulars” who sat in the same area as I did agree with me!

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