Further Memories of the 1954 Heat Wave


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Since the Great 2012 Heat Wave (can we call it that yet?) ended last week, it seems like the most logical thing to do, in order to avoid haunting nightmares of being boiled alive, would be to forget it altogether. It seems, though, that some memories are indelible.

We got this letter today from Don Hinkle, who lives in Cedar Hill in Jefferson County, south of Eureka. (And can we just say how exciting it was to get a handwritten letter, sent through the mail?) He writes:

Wanna hear another story about heat waves? Just pick up the RFT and finished your story about the 1954 heat wave. I remember that like yesterday. I was 14 yrs old and I'm now 73.

He continues:

Pop and me was living at 4100 [block] of Blaine ave. in a 4 family flat and Pop was working the swing shift at the old Carter Carburetor on Dodier.

I remember we get out of bed and sheets and pillows would be wet from sweating. I don't know where Pop got the idea to clear out the crib in the basement and put in a bedroom. He bought a used bed, a small table for his small lamp and a wind-up clock and 2 chairs, one for the fan and the other for his pants. We taped the Globe-Democrat newspaper on the windows to keep the sunlight out and for privacy and we slept good!

Hinkle recommends sleeping in the basement to anybody who has the misfortune of living without air-conditioning. He still occasionally uses the strategy himself.

About 4 or 5 years ago my air-condition quit on me and I still got my camping cot and went to the basement for two nights until the repair man came.

You can read Hinkle's entire letter after the jump: Don Hinkle letter

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