Well, we finally got into the 90's temperature-wise over the weekend for the first time this summer in Sheffield Lake. So we did what everyone else did – we turned on the air conditioner. (It was actually the first time we had it on all summer.) Which got me thinking: what did we do without air conditioning when we were growing up?
The answer: we sweated.
Oh, we coped like all the other kids. If we were stuck in the yard all day, we played in the sprinkler or inflatable pool, and chased each other around with squirt guns. If we were lucky, we went to the beach at East Harbor State Park in Marblehead, or at Findley State Park
We also drank lots of Kool-Aid (never soda pop) and enjoyed frozen treats now and then such as Kool-Pops (which were– what else? – frozen Kool-Aid that you squeezed out of a plastic sleeve) or popsicles.
In the house, fans were constantly running, especially the deadly exposed metal blade kind. At night, we ran an exhaust fan in the attic that sucked up the heat. (The distinctive sound of that exhaust fan on a hot summer night still haunts my childhood memories.)
At dinner time, if it was unbearably hot, my Mom would set up a table in the basement. In fact, I even remember sleeping in the basement a few times to beat the heat.
It wasn't until the late 1970s that my parents had air conditioning installed. Now it would be unthinkable not to have it.
Which just goes to show you how soft Americans are getting!