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Making a Splash: Joe Biden Returns to His Old Lifeguard Chair

Image: Joe Biden in Delaware lifeguard chair
Joe Biden sits in the lifeguard chair Monday at the Delaware aquatic center renamed after him. Tim Furlong / NBC Philadelphia

As a teenager in the summer of 1962, former Vice President Joe Biden worked as a lifeguard at what was known as the Prices Run swimming pool in Wilmington, Delaware. On Monday, the aquatic facility at Brown-Burton Winchester Park was renamed the Joseph R. Biden Sr. Aquatic Center in his honor.

"I was a kid from suburbia," Biden, who lived in Mayfield, Delaware, at the time, told the audience during the dedication speech. "I wanted to get more involved. And I realized I lived in a neighborhood where I'd turn on the television and I'd see and listen to Dr. [Martin Luther] King and others. But I didn't know any black people. No, I really didn't. And you didn't know any white people, either. That's the truth. So I wanted to work here."

"I owe you all," he said. "I owe this neighborhood. I learned so, so much. You've always had my back. The neighborhood has always had my back, and God willing, I've always had your back, and I'll always have [it] as long as I'm around.

"And if I was still a lifeguard, I'd say, 'Time to get in the pool.'"