- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Sarah Weinstein and her two cousins giggle as they sit by the kiddie pool, stuffing the last pieces of pizza into their marinara-stained faces. Five-year-old Sarah is laughing because she knows the real reason for the recent burst of sunshine.

“I wished on a shooting star. Finally our wish has come true: It’s sunny,” said the smiling Alexandria resident as she took a break from the pool at the city’s Cameron Run Regional Park.

Sun-deprived Washington-area residents finally got a dose of what they’ve been missing yesterday, as temperatures hovered near 90 degrees for a second day, sending kids and adults to the region’s pools in droves.

Christopher Morrissey, assistant manager at Wheaton-Glenmont Pool in Silver Spring, said it was a slow summer until yesterday. The past weeks of rain had forced the pool to close early on some days and to cut staffing to keep revenue up.

“It’s hectic today, but the county hasn’t been making a lot of money in this monsoon season we’ve been having,” Mr. Morrissey said.

Sarah’s aunt, Maureen Smith, was equally grateful to have the kids out in the sun, out of the house.

“We did lots of crafts and watched movies when it rained,” Mrs. Smith said. “But I couldn’t keep the kids in. They would still go out and get all muddy. This is much better.”

With the sniper shootings, snow and rain, it’s been an indoors kind of a year for 10-year-old Nicholas Grahm, decked out yesterday in yellow swim trunks he hadn’t had a chance to wear since last summer.

“Watching TV all day — boring. All it has done is rain, rain, rain. Now we get to play because it’s sunny, sunny, sunny,” he said before diving into the wave pool.

In Virginia, Springfield resident Art Kopp, 34, said Monday’s near-90-degree temperatures left him unconvinced that summer was here to stay. But yesterday he bought his season pass to Cameron Run Water Park. He said he was ready to sit by the pool for the rest of the summer.

“I had to make sure Monday wasn’t a fluke because if it’s not 90 degrees, I hate it. But now I can kick back and relax and catch some sun in the water,” Mr. Kopp said.

Caitlin Mcgrauan, 10, Miriam Assayag, 10, and Raquel Assayag, 12, celebrated their first day at the pool this summer by buying new bathing suits. The girls made their debuts at the crowded Wheaton-Glenmont pool, which was so packed it was hard to find an empty spot around it.

But more patrons are good news for Bernard Holston, manager of the Langdon pool in the District. The heavy rains of the past month left the pool closed for repair after flooding in the neighborhood. It finally reopened last weekend, and Mr. Holston said business is up and the pool is getting into full summer swing.

Paula Palhus, 24, of Arlington, though, shared the concern lurking in the backs of a lot of poolgoers’ minds. “I just hope it’s gonna last,” she said.

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