Beating the Summer Heat
Has it been hot enough for you? How did we ever do it as kids? I don’t ever remember complaining about the August heat. Maybe because I was too busy complaining about how summer was too short and school was about to begin. Or was it because we were outdoors most of the time and we could feel the breezes – even if they were light Kona winds.
How did we deal with it then? Maybe I’m a lightweight now but one of the best investments I made is a window air conditioner in the bedroom. Yeah, it’s not as quiet as a split-air a/c unit but it serves its purpose.
But thinking about back in the day… Nobody in Hawaii had an air conditioner in their home. Even my rich uncle with the color console TV (with remote control) and the Buick in the garage, didn’t have a/c in the house. If anything, it might’ve been the auntie or cousin with respiratory problems that had an a/c in their room. And even then, it took an act of congress or severe wheezing before they got the green light to turn on the a/c. Electricity doesn’t grow on trees, you know.
Us, we had fans. The free kine from First Federal Savings & Loan (“Where your money… Grows) promos when you open a new account or deposit a certain amount of money. Or was that International Savings & Loan? Anway, it was the kine fan with 3 speeds that you controlled by pushing the button speed. Was either Toshiba or Panasonic. It had the silver grill and the translucent blue fan blades and it oscillated. And if your transaction was big enough, you got the deluxe fan that came with a dial timer that you could set for up to a couple of hours. Remember how we used to put our face right in front of the fan when it was on and make the “aaawwww” sound and listen to it sounding all chopped up? No lie, I know you did it too.
Last week I had the opportunity to ride inside of Pearl Harbor. While we were driving around, we came across the old three story wooden walk-up building that my dad used to work at. I remember, because it was kiddie-corner from the Credit Union where he used to cash his checks. The building looks pretty much the same, except all the windows are sealed as the building is air conditioned.
I remember my dad taking us to his work place a couple of times and there wasn’t a/c back then. They actually opened windows and had paper-weights on their desk to keep papers from blowing away. When was the last time you saw a paper-weight on someone’s desk that wasn’t just for decoration?
I don’t know how they were able to work in those non-a/c conditions. I’m sure it was a struggle to stay awake in the afternoon when the building started to heat up. Maybe that’s why my dad only took a sandwich for lunch – so he doesn’t fall asleep after a big meal!
How about air-conditioned cars? Air-conditioning was not standard equipment in a car like it is today. It was usually dealer installed and took up about every open area in the engine compartment. I remember that my mom had a/c in her 1972 Plymouth Valiant. Since she was into selling real estate, she needed the a/c for when she had to take clients around. It felt so odd riding in a cool car with all the windows rolled up. Actually, it felt “rich”.
Popsicles were always good for beating the summer heat. Remember, they used to cost 6¢ each at the drug store. But buying pretty much anything was out of the question so we had to be creative.
That meant ice-cup or ice-cakes. Bust out that Malolo syrup, mix up a batch and pour it into cups or ice cube trays. The only problem was that we couldn’t wait for it to harden. And we’d keep poking the barely frozen top until our finger poked through telling us that it’s not ready yet. And we’d keep this up after every other cartoon until we couldn’t take it any longer and just slurped up the half frozen juice. Oh man, those were the bestest! Standing outside the house (because no way would mom let us eat that stuff in the house), everyone has an ice-cake in their hand trying their darnedest to bite off a corner – while the melted juice dripped down their arms. And if you drop ‘um, no problem. Just rinse ‘um off with the garden hose (not too long or going melt away), and continue where you left off. So ono…
Can you imagine if offices weren’t air-conditioned? For one thing – all the desktop computers would overheat. LOL How did you beat the heat growing up small-kid-time? I bet you didn’t have a/c back then. Do you have a/c in your house now? Remember ice-cakes and ice-cups? Do you have a secret recipe for them? Or just syrup and water? What other kind of summer treats do you eat to cool down?
Ok folks. This is it. The Caliente’s last time together is going to happen this Saturday at the Manoa Grand Ballroom. I’m not about to miss this one. With Wasabi and White Light to get the night started – it’s going to be a blast. No fool around already. Call Russell at @ 224-9224 before the place is sold out. And if you go, come look for me!