At last night’s “changing of the guard,” as outgoing Mayor Blackie Holmes put it, emotions were high. Three of University Park’s most vocal leaders were retiring from the dais. But the tears didn’t really start to flow until city staff unveiled the new name for the recently refurbished Curtis Park Pool: the Holmes Aquatic Center.
It wasn’t until yesterday that I actually heard the story of how Holmes got the name “Blackie,” and considering his past as a swimmer and knowing how involved he was in last fall’s controversy over the pool’s proposed renovations and wall, it seems like the perfect fit.
In fact, UP spokesman Steve Mace said after the pool discussions, the city received more than 30 letters from residents in support of naming the facility after Holmes, and in April, the Facility Naming Commission unanimously voted to rename the pool for him.
City Hall won’t be the same without you, Blackie!