GREAT FALLS – This year, the Morony Natatorium Pool will be celebrating its 100th birthday – but with age comes the endless repairs it has to face, and come December, the pool will no longer be open.
“We’ll probably have a few extra parties just because. If it’s going to go, we want it go with a bang,” said city aquatic supervisor Marian Permann.
Marian is a regular at the pool, even joking that she has chlorine in her blood. Teaching aerobics is one of her passions and not just because of her love for swimming, but the people.
“It’s a second home for me. I think I see these people more than I see my family sometimes,” she said.
But with Marian’s caring personality, her main concern is about the clients.
“It’s not just one thing, it’s an incredible community that we have here,” Marian said.
Karen and Mike Kaszula have been coming to the pool for decades. Karen has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
“The best thing I can do for myself is come swim in the water because I can’t do it on my own, but in the water I can do a lot,” Karen said.
Karen lost the ability to walk 18 years ago. The pool is her therapy, the one place where she can stretch and not be stuck in her wheelchair.
“It gets her spine straight, this chair it does many wonderful things that she often underutilizes, but when you get in the water like that it’s just one of those things, the weightlessness and stuff like that, I can work with her,” Mike said.
The two do not let Karen’s disability slow them down. Before they get out of the pool they do a dance and keep the romance alive.
“We love to dance when we could, so we try and take advantage of it while we are in the pool.”
Pool hours and classes will continue as usual until December.
Marian, along with Karen and Mike, hope for a new pool in the future. But for now, they will have to find someplace else for their therapy.
Reporting by Elizabeth Transue for MTN News