Get to know board member Jonathan Beall, service chairman

Jonathan Beall and his son Finneas at the New Year's Day Polar Bear Swim
Jonathan Beall and his son Finneas at the New Year's Day Polar Bear Swim

How long have you been in Austin?
Since I was a wee little tadpole and most of the city pools still had diving boards.  Some even had high dives.

Why did you join the Friends of Barton Springs Pool?
To clean up the pool!

What do you do during the day?
I try to stay as busy as possible.  Idle hands are the devil’s playground, which is how I ended up helping to clean the pool on a nice sunny Thursday afternoon with nothing to do.

What does Barton Springs Pool mean to you?
I have been working on a theory for about twenty years that I tell people who ask me about Austin when I am not in Austin: The universe is an odd elliptical shape and one of its foci is located within a twenty or thirty foot radius of the diving board at Barton Springs.  That’s pretty precise if you consider how big the universe is.

Favorite local band or artist?
Whoever is playing a full moon party down at the pool.

You came to Austin because?

It was the foci.  My theory has expanded to also consider it a vortex, although that term sounds so New Agey for such an ancient spot.

Are you involved in any other volunteer projects?
Isn’t one of the centers of the Universe enough?

What neighborhood do you live in?
I live on Oak Springs.  My place has an old well on it and I dream that I’ll stick a pipe in there and find it’s actually an artesian spring that will flow into a long lap pool with a deep end next to the house which I can dive into from a bouncy diving board placed on the roof. I will then expand my theory and consider Austin lucky enough to have two foci.

We are a very modern family, Alyssa McCloud’s my lady’s name and Finneas McCloud Beall is my son’s name, but I call him My Little Maestro for short.

Favorite moment volunteering for FBSP?
Watching all the scum get sucked down into Universal Vortex 3.962 located down at the shallow end of the pool.  Come on down and enjoy the sight with me on the first Thursday’s of the month throughout the year.  I’ll do my best to make sure it doesn’t suck any humans down there.

Any hidden talents?
Yes.  Hiding in an obvious place to jump out and startle somebody with a boo or a roar.  My father is a very easy target.  However, my son already got the jump on me when he popped his little head out.  Dad always said paybacks were gonna be hell…

How long have you been a member of FBSP?
I’m not sure if I was considered a member at one of the first cleanings a couple of years ago, but when I saw my picture in the paper I thought, “Here’s my chance to be famous!”

Besides BSP, where is your favorite hangout in Austin?

Austin must be one of the top ten hangout places in the world as there are multiple favorites for every mood.

Favorite author?
Poetry – William Carlos Williams.  Fiction – The Evening Redness in the West. Non-Fiction – Phillip Bobbitt

Favorite quote?
I have seen the enemy and he is us! – Pogo

Collegiate days?
I attended both UT and A&M so I have a fairly balanced understanding of how to waste time with both hippies and rednecks.

Describe your first experience at Barton Springs Pool…

I used to spend entire summers as a boy swimming underwater around the diving board and springs and once encountered a persistent Dutch girl.  She persistently dove off the diving board and her bikini top persistently slid down to her waist.  It was my first experience with naked breasts.  It was like a water nymph emerging from the spring in an explosion of bubbles which disappeared to reveal breasts and a smile.  It was glorious.  To this day I strongly believe there should be a full moon swim with some actual full moons allowed.  Perhaps this should all stay in hiding with my hidden talent…

Beer of choice?
My fellow chairperson, Tom Weber, recently turned me on to IPA’s.  So many delicious flavors, so few meetings…

Favorite philosopher?

My son can babble and blow bubbles with the best of them.

Most odd job you’ve ever had?
Some jobs sound so odd to some people and make perfect sense to others.  Why would you want to clean up a bunch of scum and dirt, it’s supposed to be a natural pool…  What strikes me as odd is how it all got there in the first place.

What is one goal you have for the Service Committee to achieve in the next year?

Fight the good fight against dirty scumbags invading our pool!