Kids look for other summer activities with pool gone

By William Thompson

With the Tucumcari public swimming pool closed for the summer, local youth are looking for ways to have fun.
Marla Griego, 14, said summer is a little more boring than usual.
“I don’t see as many of my friends this summer as I did last summer when we went to the pool,” she said. “It’s boring because it’s been so hot.”
Marla said she cruises sometimes with friends up and down Route 66 Boulevard and spends more time talking on the phone with friends.
Her mother, Gina Griego, works for the city’s summer lunch program, dispensing free sack lunches to about 40 to 50 youths Monday through Friday at Molinas Park. She and Marla and Marla’s sister, Marta, visit the park daily. Marta Griego, 12, said she often goes to the Tucumcari Recreation Center to play basketball.
“Sometimes there are about a dozen kids at the recreation center,” she said. “Sometimes me and a friend just go walking. We walk about 10 blocks and then turn around and come back.”
Kathy Montano brought her three children Sarah, Anthony and Deeandra, to Molinas Park on Thursday afternoon for the free lunches.
“We have gone to Ute Lake four times this month,” Kathy Montano said. “It costs a lot more to go to the lake than it did for my kids to go to the swimming pool last year. I turn on the sprinkler at home and let them play in it and I’m working on getting them a small pool.”
Despite Montano’s efforts to entertain her children this summer, her daughter Sarah summed up what she and some other youngsters are saying about the city pool being closed.
“It’s going to be boring this summer,” she said.
Desarare Valverde, 12, was at North Side Park on Thursday. She visits the park daily for the free lunch provided by the summer lunch program.
“I used to go to the swimming pool,” Desarare said. “Now I come here and then I usually go to the library. That’s about it. Sometimes I go to my aunt’s house to swim.”