President’s Report

Failure is Not an Option

by Robin Cravey

On Monday, July Fourth, I shot out of Austin headed for Cape Canaveral.  The countdown for the last launch of Atlantis had begun, targeted for Friday, July 8th.  On July 8th I went down to the shore.  The day dawned with low clouds and weather unfavorable, but NASA continued the countdown, and when the launch window opened the clouds parted, and the spacecraft lifted off.

At that moment I thought of the spirit of the great NASA flight control teams:  “Failure is not an option.”

Friends of Barton Springs Pool was begun in 2006 by a few swimmers who resolved to rescue the pool from neglect.  We did it not by filing a lawsuit or holding picket signs, but by picking up a broom and a net.  We’ve been cleaning the pool with a broom and a net, month in and month out, ever since.

With a lot of help, we wrote a master plan for pool improvements.  Most of the improvements were really about restoring and renovating the facilities that had been allowed to deteriorate.  Because a unique natural wonder like this should be surrounded by the most beautiful and best grounds and facilities.

For four years now, we’ve been shepherding the master plan to implementation.  It’s been slow going.  Some times, in long meetings, there is a temptation to say, this problem is too hard, let’s think about it later.  But we have to keep working.

This pool is a gift of the eons.  We’re just the stewards for a generation.  Failure is not an option.

Quick Dips

Now is the chance for some lucky swimmer to join the FBSP board.  Our treasurer has announced her intention to step down, which opens up a slot.  There may be some shifting around, so the opening could be treasurer or something else.  If you’re interested, email me,


Speaking of our treasurer, Maria Weber is the longest continually serving member of the  board.  She recently achieved a major goal for FBSP by winning recognition of our tax-exempt status by the Infernal Revenue Service.  Her patience and dedication has been a steady source of strength, and we’re going to miss her.


Next on the event horizon is our Fall Social, coming in November.  Mary Yarrington has already begun planning, so email her to lend a hand,


We’ve just wrapped up our annual round of visits to city council members, and I want to thank Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole, and Councilmembers Mike Martinez, Laura Morrison, Chris Riley, Bill Spelman, and Kathie Tovo for their attention and support.