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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Cribz: happy swim team memories and more at Fairgrounds

Left to right and top to bottom: Jackson Thompson ’20, James Park ’20, Hannah Davis ’20, Anna Billy ’20, Kate Irwin ’20. Photo by Hyein Cho.

1220 6th Avenue, colloquially known as Fairgrounds, stands out as one of the unique off-campus houses that continues to maintain valuable memories and history as a swim and dive team house. The house’s name comes from a sign outside, which lists important places in Grinnell with arrows in each one’s general direction. “There’s an arrow that says “Fairgrounds” and it looks like it’s pointing to this house” said Hannah Davis ’20.

Kate Irwin ’20 said that the house “holds a lot of history” as a team space, containing a variety of swim team memorabilia from over the years. Davis said, “It’s fun because when the alumni come back, they sometimes visit our house, and they can point to things on the walls, that they hung up 5,6, or 7 years ago.”

There are five fourth-years living in the house this semester.

Davis and Anna Billy ’20 chose to live there because they wanted to “give back to the team in a way that the space has given to [them]” and to “be someone who provided memorable experiences to the team the way [we’ve] been given in the past four years.”

Fairgrounds is unique from the other off-campus houses, according to its members. The house has a somewhat unusual style, with regard to “the look of it and how much of a team space it is,” said Irwin. They also have an attic with the occasional bat visitor.

The house members keep pictures of the people on the swim team in previous years in the house, and add to the wall as the year goes by. According to them, this creates a stronger sense of bonding and community, not only among the current Swim and Dive team athletes at Grinnell but also across generations.

Davis said, “One of my favorite examples is in the room that I get to live in, there’s a wall covered in cutouts of like, six and eight packs of all different years, from 5-10 years ago. And every year, the person who lives there like adds more stuff.”

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