Remembering how we beat the heat

Published 2:37 pm Monday, August 1, 2022

With the hot and humid weather we have experienced, it not hard to think back to the days when we did not have air conditioning.  Eastern North Carolina has experienced this humid weather in the past but not the heat.  The heat has reached into the 90’s many times and feels like 100 degrees and the Pamlico is lukewarm.  Guess with AC in schools, cars and homes we kind of got use to the coolness.

I can remember when the supermarkets had the only air conditioning in town or at least it seemed that way.  At home, Rose Ann and I looked forward to the nights we could sleep with the attic fan our dad would cut on.  Yes, it brought the humid air into our home but we slept well and our windows were open so that we could feel the cool breeze blowing through our windows.

 During the day to beat the heat, Bubba, Thad, Betty, Jane, Rose Ann and I would turn on the water hose and run through the sprinkler. We used the water hose to spray ourselves with cold water and dodged in and out.  There were times that our parents would send us to the Turnage Theatre to stop us from getting too wet.  The Turnage was air conditioned and the drinks from the soda fountain had crushed ice.  A good coating of popcorn on top made the drink taste better.

At night after supper, we would play whiffle ball in our backyard.  Jane was the best whiffle ball player in our neighborhood followed closely by Betty.  That game got very intense and over the trees was a home run and you could hit a person with the ball and they were out. These games lasted until the mosquito truck would pass on Ninth St. and Bubba and I would ride our bikes through the fog it sprayed.  Betty and Jane were smart enough not to and would go home until the fog lifted and we would continue our game.

 The next morning, we would dig a hole and cover it with brushes to camouflage it from the older boys in the neighborhood. That fort would last until it rained or the two big boys (David Weatherly and Warren Everett) tore it down.

The days were hot and humid but it did not take away from the fun we had in the summer. Later on, we added the Walkers, Roaches and Renns to our group and sometimes outsiders from other neighborhoods. Still, we had fun regardless of the heat and humidity.

They were the best of times with the best of friends and in the best of places, Washington, N. C.! The Original Washington!

Harold Jr.