Great loss to town of Hollis

To the Editor:

Each time I drive past 64 Main St., Hollis, or Silver Lake State Park, it brings a smile to my face.

And with that smile comes the face of Shirley Cohen, one of my fellow Hollis natives.

When I was a youngster, I took Red Cross swim lessons at the park from Shirley and also Elsie Weiser. STROKE, STROKE, STROKE we used to hear as our bodies would glide through the gentle water.

On the first day of my senior lifesaving course, Shirley gave us instructions to swim approximately eight laps at roughly 150 yards each. When I was done, Shirley met me at the shoreline with a big smile on her face. I found I was the last to finish laps that day.

"Congratulations, you have already passed the course," she whispered in my ear.

I found out later that morning I had accidentally swam double the amount of laps everyone else did. I had mistakenly counted the laps as round trip instead of one way!

Over the years, Shirley would call my studio and ask if I could teach a class at Beaver Brook, or would I come to the Beaver Brook anniversary party and take a few pictures. We often met at the post office by accident, and we would talk about the good old days.

Shirley was a real character, and Hollis is at a great loss with her passing. I will certainly miss her.

Gail Collins Maloney, Hollis