MIDDLEPORT — They call it Doo-Wop on the Block, invite everyone to come, and promise a good time for all who do.
It’s the Middleport High School Alumni Association’s free outdoor public event which this year is centered around the 60th anniversary of the opening of the Middleport swimming pool. It will take place on the King Ace Hardware parking lot on North Second Avenue in downtown Middleport from 7 to 9:30 pm. on Friday.
Tim and Edie King are hosting the Doo-Wop which will feature a “remember when” theme revolving around the pool which was built in 1953. Closed for several years now, it is under consideration for demolition.
For the Kings the challenge of using the swimming pool equipment as props in the decorations came in the “rescue and restore” phase of retrieving it.
They detached, loaded up, and moved everything they could get loose to their store where the pieces were cleaned up, brushed down , and refinished by Tim and Dano King.
There is a diving board, a lifeguard chair, ladder rails, light fixtures, a bronze recognition plaque put in place when the pool was built 60 years ago, a concession stand stool, life preservers, buoys that divided pool sections, signs listing the pool rules, and, yes, even a men’s rest room trough now overflowing with colorful flowers.
On Friday afternoon everything will be moved out to the parking lot to decorate the space where the party will be held. For many alumni just seeing the equipment is sure to bring back memories of hot summer days spent swimming in the Middleport Pool.
Elevated signs displaying the dates of the MHS five year reunion classes this year will be placed around the parking lot for special class gatherings. The Riverbend Arts Council will be serving food, and there will be plenty of entertainment .
“Remember Then,” an Athens group, will take the stage (loading dock) for the evening to entertain with hits of the 1950s and 1960s. The eight talented musicians and vocalists who have performed twice at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, have promised the Kings that they’ll include some “water sings” to help celebrate the pool theme.
Besides socializing with former classmates and old friends, there will be opportunity to dance and play games. North Second Avenue in front of the hardware store will be closed to traffic during the party hours with a section reserved for chairs brought by those attending.
The municipal lot at the corner of Walnut Street and First Avenue will be available for parking as will be the parking lots of the Victory Baptist Church and the Rejoicing Life Church on North Second.
In the event of rain the Doo-Wop on the Block will be moved to the auditorium in Middleport Village Hall.
While the Middleport High School Alumni Association is sponsoring the Doo-Wop, President Jim Mourning, credited the Kings for putting it all together. “Without the numerous hours Tim and Edie have devoted, this event would not be taking place. Just come and enjoy,” he commented.