Summer is fast approaching and of those that were wishing the cold would go away are only days away from cranking the air conditioning down to the lowest point. Janet has already gone into semi-summer-hibernation(if that is possible). That poor girl can not take the heat. While sitting here at the computer, trying to ward off the onset of frostbite, I started thinking of our childhood days in Hogansville. I know there were some families with the ability to afford such a luxury, I just can not call any names.
I think we all sat
through some of the worst movies ever made just to enjoy the cold air in
the Royal Theatre. When I was a pre-teen, I would do my chores on
Saturday morning, wash up(Mother would not let me go to town looking
like a 'hobo'), get my 25cents, and take off in a steady trot to the
Royal. By the time I got there I was so hot and sweaty, it felt like the
North Pole when I walked up to the counter to get a very large nickel
bag of popcorn and a 10cent big orange drink with lots of ice. Who cares
what movie was playing, comfortable seat, cold air, your best friends
sitting with you, popcorn and soda. What else could a person want?
TOM DENNEY'S ICE HOUSE was the second place that came to mind on this
cerebral journey. You could get the BIGGEST, COLDEST, WATERMELON for
little money. I want to say we bought some for 50cents, but I can not
swear to it, but knowing the Cook Family Finances as I do, I would say
that was about right. Also, if you were polite and friendly, Doc Black,
would take his ice pick and expertly knock off a long sliver of ice from
a block of ice and hand it to you. There are many of you that have
never seen 'block ice' or an ice house that will not get that thrill.
McKIBBEN FUNERAL HOME is an early place of coolness that I remember. I
still think many people came to 'sit with the dead' because it was cool
more so than their closeness to the departed. I once asked Mother if we
could go to the Funeral Home to see someone and she asked who was it and
did we know them. I told her no. it was just cool there. That woman
blew a fuse as she did not take such things lightly.
I think the
first car we owned with A/C was a 1964 Chevy Nova. I had rolled the 1962
Nova and Daddy bought a much nicer one(an for some reason would not let
me drive it, hmmm). After your first car with that luxury(?), you can
never go back. I have owned 'piece if crap' trucks that I had to strap
the door shut with an old belt, BUT the A/C was blowing as cold as the
North Pole. Some things just move from the luxury column to the
necessity column pretty quick.
I do not remember the date of your
first window unit at our house on Power Plant Road, but an image of
Mother coming home and walking over and standing directly in front of
it, with the look of pure contentment comes to mind. You could only
afford to cool one room, maybe two, at a time, and then not all day
long. I remember when I worked for Daddy, he sent me home a few minutes
early on particularly hot days to turn on the unit and crank it up on
high so that Mother would have a cool room to come home to. The first
time I saw a house with Central Air, I thought, how wasteful! Now even
my laundry room has cold air. How times change.
Now you can't
have school if the building is not air conditioned and almost all school
buses are as well. These poor children! When I drove the bus for
Alternative School, I refused to drive an air conditioned bus. That was
part of their punishment from me----a hot as hell school bus! Behave and
you can go back to riding a cool bus.
The days of buying a car
or a house that does not come standard with a good cooling system are
gone. Our children and certainly our grandchildren have missed out on
just one more life defining event in their lives----looking for a place
to get cool!!