Friday, September 19, 2014

To Absent Friends - Anna Mae Gorman Lindberg


The Post-Gazette reports today the obituary of one Anna Mae Gorman Lindberg this past week at the age of 98.  Who is Anna Mae Gorman Lindberg you may ask, and it is a question that not many would low off the top of their heads, but I have an interesting, if somewhat tenuous, family tie to Mrs. Lindberg.

As a 16 year old girl from Munhall, PA, Anna Mae Gorman and another Munhall teenager, Lenore Kite, were members of the 1932 USA Olympic swimming team.  Both of these young ladies learned to swim and trained at the swimming pool that was - and still is - located inside the Carnegie Library in Homestead.  

The family tie? Well, another young teen-aged girl who swam with Miss Gorman and Miss Kite was one Miss Ruth Madden, also of Munhall, PA.  Yes, the same Ruth Madden who married "city man" Frank Sproule in 1938, and became the mother of five children, including, in 1951, The Grandstander himself!  All my life I heard stories from my Mom and Dad about how she, my mother, learned to swim alongside these two Munhall Olympians.

Anna Mae Gorman, Lenore Kite, and others from that Homestead Carnegie Library swimming pool are immortalized with an exhibit in the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum at the Heinz History Center.  Alas, Ruthie Madden is not included in the exhibit, as she never got much beyond being a recreational swimmer, but whenever I conduct a tour through the Sports Museum and see the pictures of Miss Gorman and Miss Kite, I do get a particular sense of pride, knowing that there are only two degrees of separation between these Olympians and me.

RIP Anna Mae Gorman Lindberg.

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