How Did I Ever Survive My Childhood?

Posted by V. T. Eric Layton on Apr 26, 2010

I didn’t wear knee pads or a helmet when I rode my bicycle. Mom gave me aspirin for a fever. My parents didn’t have my Halloween haul X-rayed either.

Despite all that, you know what really makes me wonder how I survived my childhood? It’s the fact that we didn’t have air conditioning in my house when I was a wee lad. I didn’t sit in a classroom with AC till I was in 9th grade. This is Florida I’m talking about here, folks. Even pre-global warming it was HOT. I still remember my parents, my brother, and me sleeping in the south room of our house in the summertime with a big shop fan running and nothing but white cotton sheets on the beds and cots.

I remember one day my dad installed a window rattler (AC) in the back bedroom (mine and my brother’s room) window. My older brother had a difficult time with childhood asthma back then. I believe that my father installed this unit in our room to help my brother. It was so nice, though, that everyone again ended up sleeping in the room together; this time with quilts on the beds and cots. It was NICE!

Today was hot and muggy here in the Tampa Bay area. There was a weak cool front moving in, but ahead of it were storms, warmth, and heavy humidity. It was nasty. At about 6PM, I couldn’t stand it any longer. I had to crank up my ACs. In about an hour, it was nice and cool in here. I’m such a wuss. Back in the old days, I would have sat here sweating while a fan blew all that hot humid air around the room.

Thank you Mr. Carrier. That’s all I have to say. You made the world a much cooler place to live and work in. I can’t even imagine what office buildings and hospitals used to be like before AC. It must have been miserable. I got a small taste of it growing up without AC at home or in school, but I’m sure it was even worse for office or factory workers. Maybe we were hardier folks back then. Young folks nowadays tend to be wussies. They can’t live without their zippy little foreign cars or their iStuff or their cell phones, not to mention their social networking sites.

HA! When I was a kid, social networking meant going over and sitting on the neighbor’s porch for some coffee or tea, a smoke, and some decent conversation. Remember that? Talking, it was called. You actually spoke to someone and they listened and then responded. It was pretty cool. You usually spoke in complete sentences, too. And the world moved on…

Which was probably a good thing. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have had all that cool progress and new technologies, like AC. I’d be miserable trying to sleep tonight if I didn’t have my ACs running. They are running, though. It’s COOL in here. I’ll be sleeping like a comatose tree sloth. I guess that progress stuff ain’t all bad, huh?

I’m off to bed…



This article was originally published on my Nocturnal Slacker | Lockergnome blog. You can read the original comments by clicking HERE.

About V. T. Eric Layton

vtel57, Nocturnal Slacker

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