“The Fountain of Youth is a legendary spring that reputedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks of its waters. Al-Khidr and Alexander watch the Water of Life revive a salted fish. Florida is often said to be its location, and stories of the fountain are some of the most persistent associated with the state. A long-standing story is that Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, Puerto Rico's first Governor, was searching for the Fountain of Youth when he traveled to present Florida, which he thought to be an island. He explored Florida in 1513. But the story did not start with him, nor was it unique to the New World. Herodotus mentions a fountain containing a very special kind of water located in the land of the Ethiopians. He attributes the exceptional longevity of the Ethiopians to this water. Tales of healing waters date to at least the time of the Alexander Romance, and were popular right up to the European Age of Exploration. versions of the Alexander Romance, where Alexander and his servant cross the Land of Darkness to find the restorative spring. The servant in that story is in turn derived from Middle Eastern legends of Al-Khidr, a sage who appears also in the Qur'an. Arabic and Aljamiado versions of the Alexander Romance were very popular in Spain during and after the period of Moorish rule, and would have been known to the explorers who journeyed to America”
Ok, well my Fountain of Youth is made of extremely flammable nylon, and it comes in different colors and sizes. Sometimes they have black marks on them and strange logos from other cities and countries.
And if you don’t wash them quick enough they tend to smell like cheese and can probably drive a pig away back into a mound of mud. Sometimes they are thrown into my garage all wet and sweaty, only to dry like the chorizo’s my grandparents used to make, hanging on a thin white string with a clothespin and smelling like garlic.
Yes, my “Fountain of Youth” always makes me feel young again when I pull it over my head. The thin gray hair on my head suddenly turns the thickest darkest brown, muscles reappear, and my stomach turns flat along with the bathroom scale reading 175 pounds.
Then when I put on my skates and hockey gloves, and snap the tape puck into my old forty-year-old hockey net, I know, “The Fountain” has worked. Yes, I am “young again”
This past week at lunchtime I have been taking the express train down to West 4th Street and skating at a local playground for an hour or so. Shooting an old Scotch 88 puck against the schoolyard wall, learning to take a decent slap shot, and just trying to sweat a little.
It has been the best use of my lunch hour ever in the past 25 years I have been at my job. And I’m only sorry that I just started doing it now instead of a long time ago.
And when I get back to my office at Rockefeller Center I make sure to double bag my hockey jersey, sticking it in my drawer way in the back. Hoping that no one smells the "cheesy" thing, and knowing once again that "Ponce de Nylon" has worked it's incredible magic again.
Ron Lopez Mopar195@yahoo.com PS- Buy the way, my cousin Pete Liria knows "Ponce de Nylon" too.