Bridgeport swimming pool says a humble “so long” to Mama Fishy

July 19, 2017

By Sandi Argo

For the past 14 years, the residents of Bridgeport (and surrounding cities) have known that there would be one “constant” in local life. They knew that once the weather got warm and the kids got out of school it would be time for Summer, and that meant it was time for Mama Fishy to shine! Found each summer teaching little ones (and a few bigger ones) to swim at the Bridgeport pool, Mama Fishy has seen what has been figured to be well over 1400 kids learn in the time she has taught at Bridgeport. Factor in that she spent over 30 years teaching in Montgomery County before arriving here, that puts the number up into the 6000 mark! Quite a staggering number when you think of her, a team of 1 (and a few helpers along the way). Mama Fishy indeed made an impact on those around her. A reception was held at the Bridgeport Lion’s Club in her honor, with families stopping to say so long to the icon. Smiling faces, cake and even a few tears were seen that day, but mostly it was fond memories of the days spent with Mama Fishy as she patiently watched each and every one of her students catch on to the summertime’s favorite activity.

These kids really didn’t care if they got cake, they wanted time with Mama Fishy!

Mama Fishy (right) with Debbie Dolphin. Handing the program to her side-kick of 8 years, Debra Barnett, Jan Pierce (Mama Fishy) knew it was the right time and the program would be in good “fins”.

Celebrating the retirement of Jan Pierce (aka Mama Fishy) was a bittersweet event for the city of Bridgeport. Wishing nothing but good thoughts for her, the city says she will be sorely missed.

As family after family waited in line for a photo or just a moment to wish her well, the thought crossed her mind…

” what if they need me for just one more summer?”

Then just as quickly, she dismissed it. Her farm needs her, as does her family. And retirement calls. Believing in staunch preparedness, Mama Fishy has been training Debra “Debbie Dolphin” Barnett to hold the reins for her from here on out. Having been her side-kick for 8 years, Barnett is ready to take on the task, after all…she was taught by the very best. So long and we wish you well Mama Fishy. And thank you for being one of those folks that do what they can to make the world a little better than it was.

Mama Fishy has a website ( where she shares her very interesting adventures she has experienced through the years. Dubbed “Fishy Tales” they take readers through many places and introduce us to some familiar names of people she has known. Very cool stories, check them out!

In the famous words of Dory™ (from the Pixar™ movie called Finding Nemo™) “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming just keep swimming, swimming, swimming, swimming…” It may be out of the water, but somehow we feel that is exactly what she will be doing.

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