Reflections from Pat Sengstock Jul 19, 2000
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Watson was a great contributor in establishing Masters Swimming in Illinois.
He organized the club at B. R. Ryall YMCA. Early in 1973 I learned the Y had a 5:30am swim time.
I had very young children then and had determined that I could go swimming at that early hour
and get back home before my husband left for work.
On my first day, I walked out of the locker room into the pool area
and was confronted by this stranger,
whom I would come to know as Watson Lawrence.
He began extolling the benefits of joining the Masters Swim club.
I found it very amusing that he was expending all this energy trying to talk me into joining Masters
when he didn't know if I could swim at all.
It didn't matter, he told me. If I didn't know how to swim, they'd teach me!
We discovered a neighbor of mine who was in the pool and they teamed up to further explain the benefits of Masters.
When I noted that my hour was up, I headed back to get my shower
and realized that I had not even managed to get my foot in the water!
That was the first use of my YMCA membership - a shower and my Watson Lawrence initiation.
To this day I cannot think of Watson Lawrence without smiling.
swam for Ryall Masters in 1981.
It must have been about 1982 that they moved to Washington state,
so check with Pacific Northwest for the 1983/4 period.