Husband Completely Digs Up Backyard To Fulfill 'Dream'. 20 Years Later, Truth Makes Headlines
LifeAspire Staff 8/1/2017
No matter whether you live in a warm weather state or one with four seasons, having a swimming pool is a luxury. It's also an absolute blast to have as a child growing up.
At age nine, Micky Thornton brainstormed an idea for a pool that he couldn't shake out of his mind for years to come. Micky Thornton dreamed of a pool that was spacious, not a "little box." His pool would gradually drop into a deep end, but not make a swimmer feel like he or she couldn't swim too far in a straight line.
So when Micky turned 39, he decided he'd better get started working on his ideal pool. Aptly enough, he broke ground on Labor Day in 1993 at his home in Covington, Tennessee.
"I thought if I ever am going to do anything like that I better get started working on it."
The only guideline Micky had to follow was one issued by his wife, Jane. She asked that it not be built right next to their home.
"If you've seen my house, I have pavement everywhere and he wanted to put it right next to that. I told him he had to move it out some. He told me 'But it's all pasture and it runs downhill,' and I said, 'You're smart enough, you can figure it out.'"
The initial hole was more than 20 feet deep and lined with a polyethylene mat. The family was looking forward to taking a dip in it when it was ready.
But then Micky went beyond a normal pool. He went beyond everyone's expectations.
He ended up building a pond-sized playground that consisted of 320 yards of gunite, 40,000 pounds of steel rebar, an elaborate system of rock-lined waterfalls, sprayers and more than half a million gallons of water.
While Micky's dream pool was constructed as a labor of love for his family, they were happy to welcome guests like their children's soccer teammates, as a site for the kids' birthday parties and surprisingly, a few weddings. They even hosted the Japanese national baseball team, Jane said.
"They called and asked if we could have them over for an afternoon. I thought sure, I thought there are nine guys on the field, probably a total of 25 people. Wrong. There was 50."
Approximately six years after it was built, the rubber liner was replaced and a waterfall was added along with rock decoration. In 2013, they updated the pool to the way it looks now.
So many people wanted to visit and go for a swim that the Thorntons eventually allowed visitors. Guests always offered to pay, but they turned them down for awhile.
Now, people make donations and can reserve the pool for large parties, family reunions, weddings and other big gatherings. Shockingly, it's been used by churches, too, Micky said.
"Of the different churches, there have been over 400 people baptized in the pool, which is something I think is kind of neat."