High Desert Memories - A Hometown Journal Commemorating Ridgecrest California
When Brewers Pool closed a new pool opened and was named after Sgt. John Scott Pinney. A soldier who was killed in action in Vietnam. It is called Pinney Pool and is the only public swimming pool active in Ridgecrest.
Photos by Jim Bunker
The "Pinney Pool"; The present public pool in Ridgecrest is named after John Scott Pinney who was killed in Vietman. W John was a graduate of Burroughs, Class of '60. He and Barry Schilberg, Clyde Griffin, Bud Holley and myself, along with Keith Emerson from the Class of '61, hung together in one of those strange groups that everyone knows and likes, but doesn't belong to any clique. John was very humble and didn't take to being super popular very well. We used to shield him from acquiring "the big head" that sometimes comes out of popularity. I sometimes think that that is why he was remembered so much in the IWV even to having a pool named after him. His father Grant Pinney, the longtime principal of one of the elementry schools on the Base, just passed away this last year...and his brother "Bob" may still be a resident in the Ridgecrest area.
If anyone has any additional pictures inside or outside of the pool area I would certainly appreciate your sending me some prints or scans. If you have a story to tell connected to some of your life and times here please forward it and I will put it right in.
It was indeed named for Sgt John Penney who graduated in 1960. After his death in Viet Nam there was a long fund raising effort in R/C to fund the building of the pool in John's name. The outcome was a terrific pool built adjacent to Monroe school. In fact at one time there were ball fields at that location for the use of little league. I umoired games there one summer. (As I recall I even got $2 per game.)
Chuck McGuire (61)
John Penney was also Mr. Penneys son. Mr. P was the principal of Vieweg when I was there 2nd-6th. Then he was the Dist. Super in 1973..
Saundra Martin (65)
I played football with John, both at Burros and at Bakersfield JC where we had a team called the Flower Street Finks in the intermural league. We went undefeated and also beat a team of players drawn from the JC football team. We were all from Burros, John Pinney, Mike Baker, Herb Childers, and about 7 or 8 more. That was the fall of 62.
Chuck McGuire (61)
The John Penney Pool was indeed named after a VN casuality. John Penny spent many nights sleeping at the old Brewer pool to keep the pump woking so that the kids could swim the next day. My brother Clyde used to help him sometimes, as they were best friends. John was killed in VN, and my brother accompanied his body home. May John rest in peace and be remembered for being so giving to all that used the old pool.
Sandra Griffin (64)
I just want to tell you about my friendship with John Pinney. I didn't know him when he lived in the desert, but I heard much about his life and family when we were in Vietnam together. John was one of my squad leaders and I was his Platoon Leader, but he was a good friend even more. We would often talk about his experiences at Bakersfield College and all about his Dad and sisters in China Lake. He was very proud of his Dad's service in WW2 . Being from New Jersey, John would always tell me that what I needed was to live a year in California to round out my education. I talked to his Dad once and he told me about the pool. I was so glad to see pictures of his memorial pool. Though I was not with him when he became a casualty, I know he was a hero because he was one of the finest men I have ever met.