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Member Memories

Walter Rahn, August Grabe, and Ed Aldridge. (1950)
I have very fond memories of the Milwaukee Rowing Club. My grandfather Walter Rahn and father Wilmar "Bill" Rahn were both members of the club. In the mid to late forties I learned how to swim, with the help of my grandfather and member encouragement, off the dock in the Milwaukee River at the old boathouse just above the dam. I also later learned to row.

My swimming lessons with my grandpa are a cherished memory. He had a 3-4" wide canvas belt with steel rings at each end. The rings were attached to a rope that was supported by him and the belt went around my waist so he could keep me afloat as I learned. He would walk the length of the dock out one side and back the other all the time giving oral instruction. He and my father were good swimmers and I became one and finally was able to join them on their regular swims across the river and back.

I remember the famed "sundeck" at the old club and you can imagine my surprise, I was only 6 or 7, when introduced to the "au naturale" format then used. I don't suppose that's a current practice. Anyway, recently I was going through some old photos my father had taken and saved and came upon the attached. It was taken in 1950 and if the caption does not appear on this attachment the pictured are from left to right Walter Rahn (my grandfather), August Grabe, and Ed Aldridge. I hope you enjoy.

Ed Rahn
Phelps, WI

Do you have a Milwaukee Rowing Club memory to share on this website? Please submit your story and photo(s) to the club's webmaster (webmaster@milwaukeerowingclub.org).