Jul 1 2012




Good Lord it has been quite the week in America. The heat wave has set records that count into the thousands, fires are burning destructively in the Rockies and a 'land hurricane' has hit the Eastern part of our country. Fortunately, New York missed most of the action but nevertheless it was super hot.

Defying good logic and good conservation measures, I have my air conditioner turned way up. Of course I am a senior and the radio keeps saying we have to take special precautions. So my attitude is let the young people sweat like boar hogs in heat so that we seniors get our rightful due and safety. Sounds reasonable to me.

Of course there were the days in youth when the only cooling method was washing down the walks, side of the house and porch with a battalion of hoses. Then there were the funeral home fans that you employed to fan away the afternoon heat while sitting on the stagnant front porch. Heat had a way of keeping people quiet - it was as if should they speak flames would shoot out of their mouths. Every once in a while as the family gathered on the relative coolness of the porch you would hear: "Oh Lordy, it is so hot!"

At night with windows open and holes in the screens letting in the bugs and bees, there would be an awful stillness. You would lay on your bed frantically attempting to sleep as the sweat poured off you. Every once and a while a slight breeze would enter the open window and the temptation was to throw yourself in its direct line.

Very rarely did we have the kind of temperatures that are common today. There is no question that climate change is rapidly taking place. Like Nero, the nations are fiddling as the nations burn. Ten of the hottest years have been in the last twenty years. Used to be hitting a 100 degrees was unheard of back in the days of my youth. Now it is surprising if you don't hit it several times during a summer.

Here in Hell's Kitchen I worry about possible 'blackout' that will cut off the cooling. In fact the workers of ConEd might go on strike tonight and it could bode bad news for the city. Not to worry, I still have a couple of those fans, know how to say "Oh Lordy, is it hot!" and am adept at putting cold water compresses on the body.

How far off is fall?