HOWARD WARD: Yeah, It's Hot, But It Was Back in '55
The weather we've had recently has been a skosh on the warm side. Gives credence to all those environmentalists who keep preaching that global warming is something real.
But you know what? My memory still goes back a few years and I can remember periods in the 1950s when the weather was just as hot as it has been the past few days.
Of course, the setting back then was a tobacco field instead of a golf course. And maybe it's a tad warmer when you're bent over sand-lugging tobacco on a row that has no end than it is on a green golf course.
How hot was it on that Chadbourn farm during the summer of 1955? Listen to this:
It was so hot our cow was giving evaporated milk.
It was so hot we had to supply the birds with potholders so they could pull the worms out of the ground.
It was so hot we picked hot red pepper to chew on and cool our mouths.
It was so hot our mother made instant sun tea.
It was so hot -- and this is no joke -- the trees were whistling for dogs.
It was so hot that on one Tuesday the temperature peaked at 95 degrees and we were getting chill bumps.
It was so hot that we had to feed our chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying hard-boiled eggs.
It was so hot that our seasons that year were tolerable, hot, really hot, and ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!!
It was so hot that we learned to drive that old Massey-Harris tractor with two fingers, rotating them very rapidly.
It was so hot that when we drew water from the outdoor well, we had to use ice to cool it enough for bathing.
It was so hot that we didn't dare ride our bikes on the paved road for fear that we'd have an accident, fall off the bike and cook to death on the asphalt.
It was so hot and dry that summer that my mother actually prayed, "Lord, please let it rain. Not so much for me, 'cause I've seen it. But for my sons."
It was so hot that our apple trees were producing apple crisp.
But that was 1955 and we were young. Actually, I don't think we even realized how hot it was back then. That's just the way it was. I didn't know one family with air-conditioning. A window fan was close enough to Heaven.
I do remember those neat air-conditioning signs on the front doors of some businesses, though. "Come on in. It's cool inside." I can still feel the cool air hitting me in the face when I walked into Derrick's Drug Store on Brown Street.
Yeah, it's hot on the golf courses these days -- too hot for many of us to be out there. But if you're reasonably healthy and you drink plenty of fluids and spend as much time as possible in the shade of trees, you can make it without too much problem.
One of the biggest problems I find playing in the heat is keeping focused. Along about the 14th hole, I find it difficult to hit quality shots.
But wait a minute! I have trouble hitting quality shots on cool days. Maybe I can't blame the heat for finishing that round bogey, bogey, double bogey.
One thing I've learned this week is to be careful leaving the golf course. If you don't find a shady place to park your car, you'd better let the air-conditioner run for a few minutes before trying to drive.
Those seat belts can feel like branding irons when it's almost 100 degrees outside.
If you're like me and keep your clubs in the trunk of your car, you may find yourself losing your grip. Literally.
Cooking in the trunk is probably not the best way to keep those grips fastened securely to the clubs. I know the glue on my putter grip has given up the fight.
But I'm leaving it like that. A loose grip gives me one more excuse for missing that dreaded two-footer.
More like this story