"This is a great spot," McBlain says, unfolding a chair under a tree while Eric Clapton sings over the club's speakers. "I don't tan too well."
At the swim club, it all comes full circle for McBlain, 45, a somewhat self-effacing Irish Catholic politician who was elected to Aldan Borough Council at the age of 24 and to County Council last year.
It was here that he got his first job when he was 14 — "I pulled every stinkin' weed …" — met Larry McKeon, the retired Collingdale judge who got him involved in politics, and met his wife, Barbara, when he was in college. She was a lifeguard. He grew up about five minutes away.
"Most people move away from where their parents are. I keep getting closer," McBlain says. "I don't know if it's bad that it hasn't gone any farther than here."
After a few seconds of reflection, he seems to have decided that it's not. Aldan is a quiet bedroom community near the Southwest Philadelphia border with a small-town America feel. Why move to an exurbian McMansion?
Then McBlain's talking about spurring development with local tax breaks, fighting the expansion of Philadelphia International Airport (two-thirds of which is in Delco), and trying to fix local schools.
Grace walks up with an umbrella in her ear.
"Wow, look at that," he says. "Were you drinking Mai Tais?"
— William Bender