The trouble with the center was the most telling, though, because it meant that Lisa had to retire. "Lisa Job ended her brilliant five-year swimming career with probably her most outstanding performance at an AAU meet Sunday at Cuyahoga Falls," read a story in the Warren, Ohio Tribune Chronicle.
"The pint-size mermaid was victorious in each of the seven events she entered and at the same time set a pair of national records and seven district marks.
"Lisa is retiring from competition because of the lack of training facilities available throughout the year."
At one point, when Stephen was 13, all four Jobs stopped swimming for a year. "I asked them if they wanted to swim anymore," says Mary, "and they said, 'If you want us to.' 'It's not for me,' I said. 'You're the ones who swim.' So we quit for a year. But then they missed their friends and we started up again. After that I felt they were swimming because they wanted to."
Stephen remembers that he quit independently of the others, and that after he started up again, "I came back into swimming thinking of it as a horse race—I had to condition myself to beat the other fellow. Before, I was just afraid to lose, and my adrenaline came from that fear. Before, I was a worrier. Now nothing bothers me."
Brian remembers, "We did miss our friends. We didn't like swimming, but we loved the meets, seeing our friends there and doing things like exploring the buildings where the meets were held. But when we went back to swimming after the layoff, I don't think we had much choice in the matter."
Brenda quit for good not long thereafter. She was a state champion, "But I don't think she ever really cared whether she won or not," says Mary. Brian thinks his mother let Brenda and Lisa quit in part because "she didn't want them to look the way older girls usually look when they keep on swimming." Also, he notes, "There are no college swimming scholarships for girls."
At about the time Brenda quit, Brian, then 14, moved away to attend Kent State University High School—a prep school with a good indoor pool and swimming team. The main reason Mary wanted the boys to keep on swimming, she says, was so that they could win scholarships to good colleges. For some time that did not appeal to Brian. "I didn't want to go to college," he says. "I didn't like school. So there I was doing something I didn't want to do, so I could go somewhere I didn't want to go." But at Kent he became enthusiastic about his studies and began to look forward to college. Also, "I realized at Kent that I wouldn't be going home much anymore. Ever. It was strange."
The next summer, the summer of '66, it was time to face up to something else: the Olympics. An Ohio boy they knew had been considered likely to make the '64 Olympics, but he had declined the chance to go to California to swim year-round outdoors under the tutelage of George Haines, the famous swimming coach at Santa Clara High School and the Santa Clara Swim Club. The boy didn't make it to the Olympics.
At a meet that spring, remembers Haines, "A boy came up next to me and stood there for a while, trying to work up the courage to say something. I just waited to see what he would do. Finally he said, "How much is tuition at Santa Clara?' I said, 'Who wants to know?' He told me he was Brian Job, and I knew who he was, of course, he was a national champion, and I told him Santa Clara was a public high school and anybody who lived in the district could go there. 'I might be coming out,' he said, and I said fine, he'd be welcome. That was the last I heard until he showed up the next fall in a neck brace."