Well, yesterday county officials announced that the county schools that do not have air conditioning will not open today – the first day of classes. City officials announced that city schools will close early today because of the heat.

All very interesting. Neither the elementary school I attended nor the junior and senior high school I attended back in the 50s and 60s had any air conditioning beyond opening the windows. My sister, who has an uncanny ability to remember such things, assures me that we never got off because of hot weather.

Those of us who lived in dorms on what was known as “The Hill Area” at the University of Maryland had no air conditioning. So when classes were over we could not even find refuge in an air conditioned home. I cannot remember having any classes in an air conditioned classroom at Maryland, but with such a large campus I cannot say that there were no air conditioned classrooms. I can certainly remember sitting in classes in late May with a pen in one hand and a hanky in the other.

All of this brings to mind a comment I added to a posting a few weeks ago. My comment revolved around a situation in the 1960s when the courts ordered the State of Maryland to reduce overcrowding in Maryland’s prisons. Maryland proposed that they would acquire a surplus Navy troop transport and use it as short term incarceration for prisoners who were very close to being released. The court rejected the plan because the ships to be acquired were NOT air conditioned. Again, very interesting. Thousands of American Army and Marine personnel were crowded into these ships, NOT in balmy Baltimore Harbor, but in the South Pacific about 2 inches from the equator. I had two uncles who spent nearly a month so confined.

I guess the only “safe space” for a snowflake these days is the refrigerator freezer.

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