Dan, the Man from Thermopolis

If you are motoring to Yellowstone Park in Wyoming, in all probability you’ll stop in Thermopolis, a small town, southeast of  the park, for a swim or soak, in the ”World’s Largest Hot Springs,” located in Hot Springs State Park,  where there are two privately owned thermal facilities. We have been visiting Thermopolis for about twenty years, and enjoy swimming in the outdoor pool, where the water is approximately 94 degrees. In the cold of winter, it’s fun to duck in the hot water to get the icicles out of our hair.

It’s hard not to notice Dan Moriarty, part owner and manager, of the Teepee Pools, the facility we prefer.  Dan is not particularly attractive. He’s overweight with a grey beard. He was a former alcoholic and suffered many illnesses. Managing the pool requires knowledge, and is labor intensive. Dan and his crew are out in all kinds of weather to assure that the equipment is functioning. This fall, the roof of the Teepee Pools suffered damage from hurricanes and can’t be repaired until spring. Meanwhile, Dan has been conferring with contractors, state officials, and his partners, about replacing the roof. They decided on using brick red metal paneling that will be both attractive and able to withstand rough weather.

Dan had the habit of greeting us with brash “can you top this” remarks. I wasn’t offended. I’ve known people with harsh demeanors who were good -natured. It is my observation that the bravado is only a mask for a person’s insecurity. Marty and I are fond of Dan. We enjoy getting together for lunch or dinner. He’s intelligent, and is not reluctant to talk about politics. We’ve exchanged many heated discussions. Who else, but Dan, would keep us up to date on the news and gossip of Thermopolis? We can also depend upon Dan for information about good restaurants.

In the locker room at the pool, I overheard some women describing Dan as a womanizer, and disrespectful of the opposite sex. I have the impression that he is the first person a woman, or anybody, would turn to when help was needed. He has often been accompanied by a date, when we went out, and was always considerate. We recently met Dan at a restaurant with several women. He was with the local women’s basketball team and had treated them all to dinner!

Dan would discuss some of the problems caused by customers. There are those who don’t watch their children. There are others who bring small children into the hot tubs, ignoring signs prohibiting children under 14 from using the tubs, citing serious health risks.

One of the most bizarre stories, Dan told, is of George, an older man whom we knew. When he passed away, his wife approached Dan about having a special funeral at the pool, because George loved swimming and spent part of every day there. She suggested bringing George to the pool in his bathing suit, after nine in the evening when the pool is closed. Dan bellowed, ”NO WAY.” We can always count on Dan to entertain us with his stories.



14 thoughts on “Dan, the Man from Thermopolis

    • Thermopolis is not close. It takes us three and one half days to drive there. My husband feels 10 years younger after each visit. I enjoy the water arobics. thank you. Lisa met us there this year and we had a great time

  1. Great story Barbara. Dan reminds me of one of my late patients. He was well-known throughout the town and he always had thee appropriate response for any situation.

  2. Dear Barbara, You really have the ability to turn different experiences into great stories! The photo was pretty good, too! I was glad to hear from you and guess you and Marty must be fine. Aren’t you happy it’s the first day of spring – finally! I am going down to Atlanta next week to play in a bridge tournament. It’s a bit of a joke since I can’t remember where I put my glasses much less being able to recall which of the fifty-two cards have been played during a bridge hand. Also going to visit a friend with Altzheimer’s who is in a nursing home down there. I want to see her while she still recognizes me. Hope we will see each other when the weather gets better. Love to you and Marty. Also, warmest wishes to Lisa. We haven’t “e-talked” for a while. Robert


    • Thank you Robert. We all forget (or don’t pay attention to) where we put our glasses but we remember what happened in Kindergarten. hope everything goes well in Atlanta.Barbara

  3. I loved Thermopolis too. It was great to warm up in there after our drive to Yellowstone in freezing cold Spring weather. I would definitely go back there again. I had to laugh about Dan’s funeral story. 🙂

  4. Pingback: A Cute Couple | bestofbarbara

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