September 17, 2014
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Rocky Point pool slide an easy exit for tree house
Carla Aveledo
A BIT OF THE PARK: Ed Damaso built this freestanding tree house 27 years ago after rescuing a slide from the former Rocky Point saltwater pool that would have otherwise ended up in the trash.

A part of Rocky Point’s saltwater swimming pool has played a role in Ed Damaso’s backyard since 1987 when he built a tree house.

The bright pink tree house, which is 27 years old, may be chipped but it’s not going anywhere.

“I just paid $200 to get a new roof on it,” he said. “My wife and I are in the process of painting it again.”

As Damaso looked toward the tree house, he remembered the day he was jogging at Conimicut Point and spotted a metal slide in someone’s trash pile. It was a Monday, trash day in that area, so he figured he would ask about it right away.

He knocked on the door and asked the owner, who he later learned had previously worked at Rocky Point. What he was looking at was the slide from the park’s saltwater swimming pool that had been filled in some years before the park shut down in 1995.

Damaso’s first thought was to add the slide to his pool but once he got home, he realized it was too big for the 4-foot-deep pool. Instead, he built a freestanding tree house for his three grandchildren. He named the tree house “123 Northcut Place” after their last name.

It took Damaso about a month to build. It was an extensive undertaking.

Damaso has great-grandchildren and hopes that one day they can come up from Virginia to play on it like his grandchildren once did. Although no one plays on it anymore, Damaso assured that it was still safe.

He was nostalgic when telling of the days he would be forced to take his grandkids and twin nieces to Rocky Point.

“Rocky Point was important to me, and that’s why I’ve kept it,” said Damaso about the structure.

Earlier this year, Damaso and his wife contemplated whether or not to take it down.

His wife Susan Damaso said, “It means an awful lot to him because of all the memories.”

They weren’t sure of other people who may have memorabilia from the old park that closed almost 20 years ago but hoped others have kept treasures like this one.

Their plans for the rest of the summer are to complete the paint job and spruce it up.


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