Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hot Town, Summer in the City

Karen: It's been a hot, nasty summer all about what you did as a kid to keep cool, or what you do now! Swimming pools, the beach, lakes, heck, the sprinkler in the front yard, cold beer, whatever made/makes you happy!


david_b said...

Currently it's my basement Man-Cave, with suds, AC, the two dogs (who worship my lap and thank me for keeping 'em cool, out of the sun..), and watchin' old recorded reruns of 'Green Hornet' and TOS Trek last night..

As a kid..? Didn't have too many pools around me growing up, but lake trips during summers were nice..

Trust me, I'm totally an 'Artic Tundra guy'.. Don't think much of the heat, but remember I've endured this type of heat March-November in Kuwait for a few years. This is a piece of cake.

William said...

I live in South Florida and the temperature here ranges from warm to hot pretty much year round. (I don't know how people were able to survive in this state before A/C came along). In the summer, you don't keep anything close to "cool" around here, so you spend a lot of time indoors, at the beach, or in a swimming pool, (if you have access to one).

Rip Jagger said...

In olden days this country boy and my siblings hit the creek that meandered though our property. It was often muddy, filled with crawdads, sundads, and even snakes, but we nonetheless swam and paddled and cavorted for endless hours.

These days I depend less on the refreshing oasis of Mother Nature and more on the man-made ones. Our brick home holds the heat in winter exceptionally well, and does likewise with the cool in summer save for the late afternoon when the whole house begins to heat up.

I feel for the poor blokes who have work the road crews or bale up hay. It's a hot hot day to do some very nasty jobs alas. I've done 'em, but don't have to anymore.

I've just come off my carport, the coolest spot outside where I was reading a Spider adventure. Even now at ten in the morning it's already too warm to sit out there comfortably even in the shade.

So now it's inside with AC, fans and Kool-aid.

Edo Bosnar said...

Currently, I just try to stick to the shade and not move around too much - as mentioned in a previous thread, the humidity is pervasive.

Back when I was kid, my family had no pool - except for a little plastic wading pool that I became "too mature" to use by first grade. However, there was a big river about a half-hour drive from where we lived, and during the summer my family always went to the Oregon coast a few times (and it's always cooler there than in the inland valleys).
When I got a little older and started riding my bike more, some friends and I would go take dips in these fish ponds in nearby park run by the state's fish and game department - of course, swimming was strictly banned, but this was big park with a bunch of less used ponds at one end, so we'd always hike out there. Sometimes we'd also pack along some snacks and comic books and magazines (and as we approached our teens, the content of the magazines got a bit racier).

Anonymous said...

Love that Wham-O spot. I seem to recall somebody in my neighborhood having a Slip N Slide. It's funny but it never seemed to stay as smooth as they depicted it on the commercial. Hmmm.

I grew up in suburbs in the '70s so it seemed like for a while everybody on my block was getting an in-ground pool put in his back yard (except us of course). I remember this one girl in my neighborhood who had such a pool. You didn't dare ASK to go swimming - it had to be her idea. But, when she deemed that we were bored and sweaty enough she would come out with "So...ya'll wanna go swimming?"

Today we have our own pool, thank you very much. Pool and beer are a great combo.


Karen said...

Luckily it never got too hot growing up on the central California coast. In the summer time it was typically nice enough that you could run around in shorts and a t-shirt during the day, and jeans and a t-shirt (or maybe a light sweatshirt) at night. We never had a pool but we would go to the public pool for fun, and we had the infamous Wham-O water wiggle, which was actually a very nasty toy -that thing left bruises! In my early teens, they built a water slide ( a primitive one, compared to the places now) a few towns away, and we'd go over there to ride it. I recall when it first opened, they hadn't properly smoothed out all the seams and if you lost your mat on the way down, you could get scraped up pretty good. Boy, now that I think about it, a lot of my summer time memories involve some sort of injury...

Nowadays, living in Phoenix, the summer is not a time to be outdoors. It's unfortunate - when I lived in the Bay Area I would spend summers hiking and generally enjoying being outside. Here, it's getting from one air-conditioned environment to the next. Like William, I don't know how people lived here before A/C. So summer now is staying inside, watching movies, reading, writing, and so on. I like a nice cold iced tea in hand for most of those activities.

Anonymous said...

NYC can be nasty in the summer, but I don't mind - I find the people who complain about it worse than the heat itself - and at least these days the subways are well air conditioned (when I was growing up less than half the subway cars had AC).

As a kid, I would post up in front of a fan and try to read comics by block the air stream with my body. My family didn't get an AC in the house until I was in my 20s. When some kid would illegally open up a fire hydrant I'd run outside and enjoy the spray until the fire department showed up and ruined everyone's fun.

I spent quite a few summers with mi abuela in Puerto Rico - and it'd be damn hot there too - but the good thing about a tropical climate is that it rains some basically everyday - so it'd break the humidity and cool off. I would have a stack of comics I had brought with me and swing on the hammock on the patio.

Garett said...

Being in the Great White North, summer is great here! Lots of festivals, music and so on...people pack a lot of excitement into the relatively short summer season. The hottest it gets is about +35C.

Yes the sprinkler seemed like a big deal of fun as a kid. Great commercial...I never got to try the slip n slide, or that water wiggle...looked like so much fun in the ad!

Karen said...

Garett, it looks fun, but that water wiggle was all hard plastic...if you're interested, you can read an early post I wrote, all about my adventures with it:

That was back in the days when toys were not for sissies! We also had those monster makers, with the hot metal plates, wood burning kits, lawn darts, guns that shot hard plastic bullets, chemistry sets...those were the days!

J.A. Morris said...

When I first read this, my first inclination was to simply type "is it Fall yet?" I've never been a fan of Summer, other than the fact that I got of school as a kid. Give me a blizzard any day over 90+ degree days.

My family belonged to a pool for a few years. Since then, I've cooled off in the James River when it gets super-hot.

But these days, it's AC and gallons & gallons of water to keep cool.

Doug said...

J.A., I'm with you! The older I get, the more intolerant I am of the humidity. When I was in DC last week it was really warm, but what was awful was that punch-in-the-face of the thick air upon leaving an air-conditioned building. Then I get home to the Chicago southland and it's mid-90's all week. Yuck! Autumn is indeed my favorite time of year as well.

As a kid we did a lot of the same things already mentioned -- run under hoses, sprinklers, or Wham-o products, go to other families' pool or the public pool, etc. But you couldn't beat curling up with a couple of new comic books in the air conditioning!

As an aside, I finally got around (shame on me!!) to reading Karen's article on the Champions in Back Issue #65. The link for ordering the print or digital edition is on our sidebar. Not only is her musing worth the price of admission, but the rest of the issue looks fun as well!


Anonymous said...

Now you're talkin' my language!

Trinidad & Tobago is hot all year round, although not oppressively hot as Kuwait, David_b! Osvaldo, Puerto Rico's weather sounds an awful lot like T & T's! Garrett, enjoy the snow in a few months' time, brother!

Most people have electric fans and /or air conditioning installed in their houses down here, or else go to the various beaches; it's one of the benefits of living on the islands, not to mention fresh fish all year round too!

I went to Tobago once when I was 17 and its beaches are much better than the ones in Trinidad. One beach had warm water no matter what time it was, even in the night. It was so warm you could literally take a nap in the water at midnight (although that might not be a good idea!). Another beach in Tobago was not as warm, but the water was crystal clear - you could literally see everything clearly in the water for miles around you.

Needless to say, ice cream and snow cones are big sellers down here too. Anything to beat the heat!

- Mike 'don't go to the beach much anymore - sand gets everywhere' from Hot Trinidad & Tobago.

Graham said...

When I was a kid, my dad worked summers at the local golf course/swimming pool, so I got to help him cut grass out there and also cut people's yards in town. When I wasn't cutting grass, I was swimming.

Today, my job takes me out in the heat fairly regularly, since I work for my state's DOT, so we get pretty hot (this week is hovering in the low to mid 90's, heat index in the 100 - 110 range). Seems like we run the A/C a whole lot more than we used to do. I guess we were out in the heat more back then and just didn't run it so much, we used our attic fan a lot at night and it was really nice and cool.

Anonymous said...

Summer of 76', my ma used to take me and my brother to Lake Okoboji to swim. It was a great year for comic books, music, and wearing T-shirts with Captain America on the front.

Garett said...

Haha--thanks for the link Karen. I like your description of the Water Wiggle contest with the neighborhood kids.

Yes, lawn darts! You mean they don't sell those for kids anymore? ; ) I remember being pretty good at throwing them. Looked it up--turns out they were banned in '88.

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