The Early Days of Town North YMCA of Dallas
by Lloyd Cates
These are my memories of the TNY.
I was a teenager when our family met Jack Semones. He was starting a new Y in North Dallas. It was 1958. After raising some money, he leased an old abandoned 7/11 store at the northeast corner of Hillcrest and Forest Lane. I think Jack’s office was in the cooler. Jack started gymnastics and swimming programs for the kids.
Our family, along with others like the Galbraiths, were charter members of TNY. The Y held swimming classes and trampoline lessons in our back yards. And later, lifesaving and SCUBA lessons. After a few years, the Y raised enough money to buy some property on Northaven Road and construct a new building. Jack was only making $3900 / year.
One of Jack’s priorities was an indoor swimming pool. He created the most advanced aquatic program in Dallas. TNY had swimming instruction for all ages and competitive swimming teams. Jack was also the first to integrate a swimming meet in Dallas.
The Y also held sailing lessons at our property at what is now Highland Village on Lewisville Lake. Some of my best childhood memories were at TNY. I was a lifeguard, swam on the swimming team, and learned to sail. And going to YMCA Camp Grady Spruce was very special.
And then Jack and I discovered Jacque Cousteau and SCUBA diving. That’s another story.