It's pretty unusual to see young children excited about visiting their elderly neighbor, but that's just what happens on Keith Davidson's street.
At 94, the retired judge's home has become the go-to place for local kids on hot summer days, and that's exactly how he planned it. A few months ago Davidson announced he was building a neighborhood pool in his backyard.
He says that most of his neighbors laughed at him, or seemed skeptical, but just like in Field of Dreams, Davidson knew that "if you build it, they will come." And local kids have flocked to his house by the dozens since the pool opened in July.
Davidson's pool is an impressive 32 feet long and 9 feet deep, with a diving pool and a shallow side for younger kids. To make sure his guests are safe, Davidson requires a parent or grandparent to supervise every child.
Now, local parents say they've been visiting the pool "every day" with their kids, and Davidson can often be seen smiling poolside while the kids have fun.
But what inspired him to build this swimming pool? It turns out he had a heartbreaking reason.
Davidson revealed he was motivated to spread happiness after losing his beloved wife Evelyn earlier this year.
The pair had been together for 65 years (she passed away just days before their 66th anniversary) and had shared a lifetime of happy memories. When she was gone, Davidson noticed his house suddenly felt empty.
"You just can’t imagine what it's like,'' he told KARE 11. "You cry a lot. That's just the way it is, because she's not here." He says that most days he would be "sitting by myself looking at the walls," and knew he had to make a positive change.
That's what inspired him to build the swimming pool. The idea was to fill his backyard with the happiness and warmth that had gone missing from his home, and so far the plan has been a huge success.
Many of the neighborhood kids now consider Davidson their adoptive grandpa, and his new, happy family is growing all the time. His unconventional plan has definitely paid off, but Davidson doesn't think it was such a strange idea after all.
“What else would you think of doing where you could have a whole bunch of kids over every afternoon?"
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