Everyone seems to be up in arms over this global warming thing. I suppose there isn’t any doubt that the Earth has been heating up these past several years, but personally I think that we are going through a normal cycle, one that has repeated itself year after year for thousands of years. This is my opinion and you can have yours, but I’ll still think you are wrong and I’ m right.
While temperatures do seem to be warmer than they were when I was a kid, I can only think of one reason why I may be more aware and that is I hear about it almost every day. When I was a kid growing up in the fifties, who ever heard the weather forecast or paid any attention to how hot it was outside’ In my hometown, if you wanted the temperature you had to call a number where they would give you the correct time and the current temperature. I can’t recall doing this a lot, I was too busy playing or riding a bicycle or something. but not on the phone asking someone how hot it was. I knew how hot it was by going outside. When it got so hot you couldn’t spit, you knew it was time to find some shade. You drank a lot of water, there wasn’t anything like an energy drink, and water was good for you. Heat was relative.
I don’t think I had air conditioning until I was in high school. Our family had attic fans. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this concept, a attic fan was located in the ceiling of the hallway and sucked air in through all of the open windows. At night you would scoot your bed over to the open window and let that hot breeze wash right over you and put you to sleep. The monotonous whoomp-whoomp of the fan blades in the hall were enough to knock anyone out like a light. Generally you’d wake up about three in the morning shivering and freezing since the sheets and the bed had gotten damp from the humidity and the breeze was still coming in strong. You could always tell where someone had their bed placed even from the outside of the house since that window screen would be the one most covered in bugs. In arid areas they used a water cooler of ‘swamp’ fan that used water flowing over straw to cool your house. The trick there was to talk into the fan and hear your voice change. Remember this is before television and game boys so you had to get your amusement from wherever you could find it.
There wasn’t much concern over recycling since none of us had anything to recycle. You used your shoes up and had them resoled when they wore out on the bottoms, the only way you got a new pair was when you outgrew the others. Everyone got new shirts and jeans for the start of the school year, but other than something from your grandmother at Christmas, that was about the extent of your wardrobe planning. Jeans and shirts for school, sport coat and slacks for church and a pair of dress shoes, a pair of school shoes and a pair of play shoes and you were all set. What kids spend on a pair of tennis shoes today would pay for your entire wardrobe for a whole year. You’d go to Sears or ‘ Monkey Wards’ a week before the start of school and get everything in one fell swoop. Sears used to have an x-ray machine in the shoe department where you could stick your feet (or hands or whatever) in, press a button and see where your feet fit into your shoes. Google ‘shoe fluoroscope’ if you don’t believe me. No telling how many shoe salesmen got some form of illness from being around all of that unprotected radiation everyday. Amazing that the kids seemed to have survived as well.
No one had a clothes dryer, we had clothes lines. Here’s a practice that we could bring back today and save some energy, except most subdivision rules won’t allow you to have your clothes drying on a line. Jumping into bed and smelling sheets that had been taken off the line earlier in the day was an experience you would never forget. Sun dried sheets are a treat our kids have not gotten to live through.
We lived through those years and came out fine. Our parents and grandparents lived through harder times and did just fine as well. I always say that what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.