Tuesday, Ellison posted a story about air conditioning, or the lack thereof. Like most people my age we did not have air conditioning when I was a kid. I remember the sweltering nights lying on sweat-damp sheets trying to sleep. My bedroom was on the northeast corner of the house. I had a window facing each direction. Those of you who live in the Midwest know that the wind never blows from the East or North in the summer.
For some reason my Mom had an aversion to electric fans. It never occurred to me to question it, that was the way things were (I have to ask her about that). Since it was so hot in the house Otter and I usually put up a tent in the backyard and slept in it. The tent usually went up the first days after school let out in May and we took it down around September. I guess we averaged sleeping out three or four times a week from the time we were seven or eight until we were twelve or thirteen, maybe older. It was not exactly roughing it. Mom usually had some Kool-Aid Popsicles in the freezer (in those Tupperware gizmos).
Some kids might have used the opportunity of sleeping in the backyard to run around the neighborhood after everyone had gone to sleep. Maybe I was "some kids". I will admit, some forty years later, that I did participate in the streaking craze of the day. Was it brave for a kid of eight or ten to strip off his clothes and run around the block buck-naked? Is it less an achievement if he did it at three in the morning?
Look out Ethel...