Blow Gym

I had a few high school hangouts where I went without my friends. There was the library which kind of went by the wayside after I learned to drive. There was the beach

Blow Gym after it was converted.

at Carter’s Grove where I lived. Mostly, though, there was Blow Gym at William and Mary. Some genius decided to convert it to offices, but I made that place my afternoon home for many years.

The smell of the old gym might be my most vivid memory. The aroma was a mix of chlorine and decades of funk from all of the sweating that went on in every crevice of the gym. The universal weights were straight out of antiquity. The racquet ball/squash courts were caged off giving them a prison feel. The basketball courts were so different. The front court was small with tight rims and the back court was open with the shooters rims.

The Little Sue is now a Wawa.

My first trip there was for a karate tournament. I must say it was pretty boring. We waited and waited for my not yet uncle to compete. I’m not sure he ever did, but that day must have altered my DNA because I loved going to Blow Gym for whatever the workout. Twenty-two laps made for a mile on the third level track that was banked in a style suitable for NASCAR or skate boarding. I miss the goofy sports scenes that were painted on the walls that were so close to the court that they really were part of the action.

After a workout or day of shooting hoops it was a quick run across the street to the Little Sue for a chili dog, moon pie, and Dr. Pepper. Maybe there would be some hoops after or maybe I’d walk down to the Campus Center for a little MTV.

That’s a whole ‘nutha story.