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A Florida couple is capturing renewed attention for their uniquely shaped pool that shows off their affinity toward guns and gun culture.
“Neighbors that have bought houses around here have all come by,” Louis Minardi, who lives near Tampa, said about his pool shaped like a revolver that has sat in his backyard for about 40 years.
“They’re all, ‘Is this guy a whack job?’”
Minardi says the story goes back to an idea proposed by his high school friend, Albert Jones III, who was a contractor that was growing tired of building traditional pools.
This Jan. 24, 2023 photo shows the gun shaped pool in the backyard of Louis and Raye Ellen Minardi in Odessa, Fla., The swimming pool in the backyard of Louis Minardi’s home may be distinctive to Florida: The custom-built pool is shaped like a six-shooter revolver, in a state made famous – sometimes infamous – by guns, gun politics and gun culture. ( Mary J. Whitworth/Fresh Take Florida via AP)
Minardi was reluctant at first, but the idea resonated with him, given his lifelong relationship with guns. Now 67, Minardi said he grew up hunting with friends and remembers receiving his first firearm, a double-barrel shotgun, when he was in middle school but already mindful of gun safety.
Minardi said he opened a gunsmith business with his brother after attending classes in 1976 and in the 1980s he and his wife decided they wanted a pool and called up Jones, who owned A.H. Jones Pools Inc.
That’s when the decision to make the 55-foot gun shaped pool was born.
Louis Minardi and Raye Ellen Minardi sit by their pool on Gunn Highway in Odessa, Fla., on Jan. 29, 2023. The swimming pool in the backyard of Louis Minardi’s home may be distinctive to Florida: The custom-built pool is shaped like a six-shooter revolver, in a state made famous – sometimes infamous – by guns, gun politics and gun culture. (Lauren Whiddon/Fresh Take Florida via AP)
“You’re going to think I’m crazy,” Jones said, according to Louis Minardi. Knowing Minardi’s background as a gunsmith, Jones showed up with plans modeled after a Ruger Blackhawk, a 1950s-era, Western-style revolver characterized by its long barrel and known for its durability and accuracy.
“You swim your lap down the barrel,” Louis Minardi said Jones told him. “It gets deeper on that end. You can flip over from it, and then you can swim back.”
The city of Tampa’s downtown skyline (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Jones pleaded with him to let him build the gun pool, Louis Minardi said. He said he was tired of building kidney-shaped pools, a staple of Florida’s backyards. Minardi agreed — provided he stayed within his project’s budget.
Jones, who died in 2010, color-coordinated the perimeter pool tiles to accurately reflect the revolver’s brown handle and silver body. He detailed tiles on the bottom of the pool to distinguish the gun’s individual components, like the trigger and ammunition chamber. And he installed a jacuzzi in the hammer.
The pool has been resurfaced over the years but the original shape of the gun remains and Minardi says it is popular with family and friends. Additionally, Minardi says it serves as a reminder of the importance of responsible gun ownership.
“If you’re qualified, mentally able to have one and protect yourself, I think you ought to have one if you want one, whether you keep it at home or you carry it with you,” Minardi said. “But it’s like everything. It’s educating. It’s educating the people about the guns, how they work.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Andrew Mark Miller is a writer at Fox News. Find him on Twitter @andymarkmiller and email tips to [email protected]