The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

2007.07.18 Shutting out the summer

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Now that the 90° days have passed—at least for a little while—perhaps it’s safe to bring up the topic of living with the heat.

I read an essay recently suggesting that air conditioning, in effect, shuts out the summer. It’s July just outside the door. It’s a steamy Midwestern summer on the other side of the closed window. But inside the air conditioned house, it’s a whole new climate, one that isn’t exactly summer.

The essay, written by Oliver Broudy at Salon.com, didn’t say that AC is bad. He didn’t say that we shouldn’t have air conditioners. He just wrote about life without one.

You’d think he just declared allegiance to al-Qaida, judging by the intensity of the letters in response. The reactionary types seemed itching to say that AC is a God-given right of Americans, blah, blah, blah. Others simply thought that Broudy was nuts when he wrote words such as these:

This is summer. In summer we pack up the blankets and sleep beneath sheets. In summer we listen to the leaves. Sometimes we can smell the stone-clear river water on the breeze.

That notion was too much.

• “I don’t believe you have seriously experienced what it is to be hot. Hot all the time. Heatstroke, malaise, and lethargy were the virtues of a summer without air conditioning.”

• “I’m from Memphis and I think you’re insane. People die here from heat. You speak as if there's virtue in losing sleep and being unproductive.”

• “It always amuses me how this tough-it-out attitude attaches to heat. Anyone writing about living through the winter without heating would be regarded as clearly insane. But the fact is heat kills more people every year than all other natural disasters combined—cold, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods. It's nonsense to ignore that. Yet we persist in the idiot notion that the only people who complain about the heat are pampered pantywaists.”

I don’t recall that I’ve ever lived in an air conditioned house. We didn’t have one in the big old house on Cawley Road. We suffered in the summer, or as Broudy might put it, we lived through the summer heat. That’s what was to be expected in July and August.

We had a good window fan that sucked in the cool air at night and made the house comfortable before morning—just in time to heat up again the next day.

When Colleen and I married, we lived above the Observer in the Reporter’s Quarters, possibly the hottest place I’ve lived. We weathered the heat the best we could via the time-honored principle of the dancing molecule.

Evaporation, through the motion of molecules, is a cooling process. When a liquid evaporates, it absorbs energy from the surface and the loss of energy cools the surface.

We sprayed each other with a fine mist of water from a squirt bottle. It was shocking when it first hit, and then as you moved or sat in front of a fan, the water evaporated and the cooling began. It really works, for a few minutes.

Our first couple of cars had no air conditioner, so we used the bottle when we went on trips.

“You need a squirt?”

“Yeah, hit me.”

Whoa! What a shock!

The faster a liquid evaporates, the more pronounced the cooling. With the car windows open, it was a delicious feeling—for a few minutes—and then came another squirt.

We heard a lot of complaints over the years from our kids about the lack of air conditioning in our home. Now there’s only one voice remaining to tell us how odd we are. But we aren’t alone.

Broudy’s “shutting out the summer” words also received several supportive letters.

• “It’s somewhat refreshing for the soul to have it nearly the same temperature outside as inside. You can leave all the doors and windows open and welcome into your home the breeze and noises of outside. And soon enough, your body adapts to living at a hotter, sweatier temperature.”

• “I’m OK with sweating (it’s very good for the skin). It’s easy, it’s pleasant, and I like the seasonal rhythm it creates in my life.”

What wackos.

I’ll admit I’m an oddball on this subject, but like some of Boudy’s crazy supporters, I think that putting up with the heat is just part of life here in this region of the country. I’m not opposed to other people having AC. We have a unit at the office where the night breeze doesn’t get sucked through, but most days we never bother to turn it on.

Here at home, when the heat moves in day after day, I move a little slower, I drink more water, I eat a little less food and I take a shower before bed and don’t dry off.

And, of course, I suffer a little with the heat. But I know it’s summer—I can almost touch it on those humid nights—and that’s really not such a bad feeling.

 

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