Years and years and years ago. Maybe 45 years ago, my dad and I spent a summer weekend in Santa Rosa and stayed at the Flamingo Hotel. The Flamingo is a nice hotel. Beautiful grounds, rooms and amenities. GREAT swimming pool. Dad and I were there for pool anyway. We spent our day just lounging around the pool and swimming all day. The best part of the pool was that it was HUGE and deep. Deep enough to have both high and low diving boards. There weren't that many people around so it seemed we had the pool to ourselves.
There was a nice older lady working there, who was a cross between pool monitor and food server/cocktail waitress around the pool. Older lady who wore the old style Laverne and Shirley, 1950's style eyeglasses. As late afternoon rolled around, we headed back to the room as the staff was getting ready for a big party in the area next to the pool. The next morning we were up bright and early and ready for a morning swim. We go out to the pool and the police are there. Yellow tape up around the pool. Dad asked some one what was going on and was told that someone had drowned in the pool last night. It turned out it was the pool lady that was so nice to us the previous day!
So sad. After talking to a few people, we learned that the lady was working the party the previous evening, may have had too much to drink, and late at night fell in the pool and drowned. By the time we got there everything was winding down and they were almost ready to open the pool. Not that there was anybody around anyway, but when they said the pool was back open, I was the first one up the high dive. I'm standing at the end of the board ready to do one of my famous swan dives, when I notice a reflection on the bottom of the pool. I nailed the dive and made my way to the bottom of the 14 foot deep pool. As soon as I got close I knew, it was the poor ladies glasses. She must have lost them when she fell in and they sank to the bottom.
So I come up to the surface holding up the glasses in my hand and turned them over to whoever was still standing around. In retrospect, its sort of sad and disgusting to be swimming in a pool that someone was floating dead in a few hours before. But what did I know? I was ten. Not sure if dad gave it much, if any thought. Either way, dad and I went on with our little mini-vacation. We talked about this over the years but it was mostly forgotten. When Barb and I got married in 1985 we stayed at the Flamingo on our wedding night. Of course I recounted the story then and pretty much forgot about it again until this week.
So I'm talking to my good buddy Bill Sindona about nothing in particular. Somehow we ended up talking about Santa Rosa. He had worked at Denny's in Santa Rosa right near the El Rancho motel where the Raiders used to stay when they did training camp up there back in the day. I knew that the El Rancho and Flamingo are almost next to each other up there so I asked Bill if he knew of the Flamingo.
Yes, he said. As a matter of fact, his mother used to work there and one time she found a dead lady in pool.
DON"T EVEN SAY THAT!! I yelled at Bill.
At first he thought that I was accusing him of making up a story. When I told him, we BOTH could not believe it!!
"You probably met my mom!" I probably did. I might have given the glasses I found at the bottom of the pool to Bill's mom.
Anyway, we couldn't get over this amazing coincidence from 45 years ago, that we both knew of, but only shared with each other this week. How wierd is that?