Thursday, July 21, 2011

Days of Summer Past

- - Forgive me, but some people get awfully wimpy when it gets hot. If you've walked on this earth for a few decades, probably you can remember when not every place was air conditioned; go back a bit further, and the majority of places were not air conditioned. I've attended non-air conditioned schools and shopped in non-air conditioned stores and markets; I've lived in non-air conditioned houses, resided in non-air conditioned dorms, and ridden in plenty of non-air conditioned cars on the hottest of summer days. I didn't die...sure, it was hot and it was uncomfortable, but everyone else was likewise suffering. It's just the way that it was in the not horribly distant past. To state the obvious, most of human existence occurred prior to the widespread use of air conditioning. People tend too often these days to confuse inconveniences with real problems.

There was a time when only ritzy stores and movie theaters boasted air conditioning; theaters would post signs outside to lure you in that said, "Come on's COOL inside!" It was a real treat to go inside a movie theater for a few hours back then to escape the summer heat. Home treatments for hot days included cold drinks, popsickles, and maybe an electric fan. You'd sit outside at night because it was often cooler out after dark than inside within your house.

The vast majority of cars were of course not air conditioned, and you hoped that you could drive fast enough to get some cooling from open windows as you traveled; forget about keeping your hair neatly styled! Car upholstery in those days tended to be vinyl, which could get hot enough to burn skin when the vehicle sat out in the sun. Vinyl upholstery also doesn't breathe or allow much air circulation, so you sweated when you sat upon it and stuck to it.

All of this is submitted as a reminder that many today don't realize how good they really have it...and that the "good old days" weren't really that great!

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