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"Yes, sir," beamed NSPI President Jere Gottschalk, "swimming is as basic a skill as driving a car, and a good deal more healthy—very healthy indeed. We're growing with the demand. Sales in 1959 totaled $800 million, and we're not counting the factor of obsolescence. Diving boards do wear out. That's why, what with replacement sales, we consider ourselves a billion-dollar business."
"You also have to remember," Poolman Greene added, "that our figures don't even attempt to estimate the things families buy to add to their enjoyment of the pools. Products like outdoor furniture and portable TV sets, poolside dressing rooms and rubber life rafts."
We were very impressed, but we could have told the NSPI executives there was still another statistic they had forgotten. A South Orange, N.J. home owner who had just bought a pool summed the situation up for a friend last summer. "Gosh, I'm sorry, Gene," he apologized. "I know you drink Scotch. But with all the people who've been dropping in for a swim all I can offer is beer. Otherwise I'd be drunk out of house and pool."
Hunters and campers in northern states faced an unexpected hazard this winter, the risk of asphyxiation in closed, heated trailers.
Discovery of the danger was announced by the Public Health Service, which alerted authorities to be on the lookout for small trailers (up to 18 feet) carrying a type of heater which might have been a factor in as many as 16 deaths this fall.
In the fatal trailers, the Public Health Service said, were 22-by-14-inch panel-model 8 M Thurm Heaters, some 2,000 of which had been installed in the past 18 months.
A representative of the heater manufacturer, Thurm Engineering Company of Elkhart, Ind., said the firm has notified trailer dealers that the 8 M heater needs modification and has attempted to trace all of the heaters which have been installed.
The search will continue through the holiday season in an earnest turnabout that finds the hunters becoming the hunted.