The Brown-Burton-Winchester Park pool officially changed its name to the Joseph R Biden Sr. Aquatic Center on Monday as a tribute to Biden’s 1962 summer job experience that profoundly shaped his views on challenges facing the black community.
“I owe you all,” Biden said at a news conference surrounded by the community’s young swimmers. “I owe this neighborhood. I learned so, so much.”
Biden was the pool’s only white lifeguard that summer, according to Wilmington newspaper The News Journal.
“Every day, it seemed to be, black people got subtle and not-so-subtle reminders that they didn’t quite belong in America,” he wrote in his autobiography Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics, in describing the experience. “The stories my friends at the pool told were always tinged more with confusion and pain than outright anger.”
For his homecoming, he climbed back on top of his altar above the outdoor pool, now a beaming politician in a suit.
The Internet got right down to circulating the image.
Everyone knows a guard needs to be suited up, ready to hop into the drink at a moment’s notice to make the rescue. So people had fun with his formal attire.
He made lifeguards proud to be lifeguards.
You better believe there were pop culture jokes.
And the dream casting was off to the races.