Florida is home to almost 1.6 million residential swimming pools.
But it’s a safe bet that one in the Tampa Bay area is one of a kind in the Sunshine State, and its owner recently snagged some media attention.
That’s because it’s shaped like a gun.
Fresh Take Florida, a news service of the University of Florida, reported last week on the six-shooter design of the pool belonging to Louis Minardi, a former gunsmith who lives in Odessa, north of Tampa.
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“Neighbors that have bought houses around here have all come by. They’re all, ‘Is this guy a whack job?’” Minardi told FTF.
The in-ground pool has been in Minardi’s yard for a while.
FTF noted that the plan for it stretches back almost four decades.
“I was the shortest, littlest guy growing up, and bought a damn 12-gauge,” Minardi, 67, recalled of his first gun, purchased when he was in middle school.
From that purchase, he developed a love for firearms and became a gunsmith in 1976 in a shop he co-owned with his brother.
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His wife, Raye, told FTF that the couple wanted a pool in the 1980s because they were concerned about their children swimming in a lake.
Because of snakes and alligators, Raye was forced to mind the kids armed with a shotgun.
It was a high school friend, Albert Jones III, a Tampa pool contractor, who suggested the gun design.
“You swim your lap down the barrel,” Louis recalled Jones saying. “It gets deeper on that end. You can flip over from it, and then you can swim back.”
Jones actually “pleaded” with Minardi to build the pool, because he was fed up with typical kidney-shaped styles.
The pool is modeled after a Ruger Blackhawk revolver, and runs 55 feet from the “barrel” to the hammer.
FTF noted that Jones, who died in 2010, ensured the pool was color-coordinated, to reflect a brown handle and silver body. The tiles on the pool’s bottom delineate the actual gun parts. The hammer also contains a hot tub.
FTF reported that Minardi is no longer a gunsmith, and left years ago to work in his family’s taxi service. But he remains a big proponent of gun education and concealed carry.
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He also expressed surprise that people on social media had caught on to the shape of his pool after it was captured in an overhead photo.
Ironically, he lives on Gunn Highway.
“I don’t know. I never thought about Gunn Highway,“ Louis said. “It just happens to be the road we live on.”
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