Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I hate hot weather. Every year about this time I silently thank those African ancestors of mine who got themselves captured and brought on a slave ship to these shores, thus sparing me from having to curse the African sun. But who knows? Maybe they hated the heat, too, and took their chances that the slave ship was going someplace cooler.

I grew up in Kansas, Arkansas, and Tennessee in the 1940's and 50's when, for the most part, air-conditioning was non-existent. You might think we got accustomed to the heat. We didn't. During these times poor people didn't have refrigerators, and a man would come through the neighborhood on a mule-drawn wagon selling 25 and 50 pound blocks of ice. People would put a block of ice in a galvanized washtub and let an electric fan blow across the ice. It sounded good in theory, but it didn't help. Nothing did. Hot is hot!

A few years ago I was in Maine and happened to see a college classmate. She grew up in Alabama, and when I asked her what she was doing in Maine, she said, "I looked at the map to find a place that was as far away from the heat as I could, and this was it."

I understand. I read a novel that was set in a town that was above the Arctic Circle. I seriously thought about moving there until my wife said that was grounds for divorce, which goes to show that love does not conquer all.

The only thing that gets me through summer is knowing that winter is coming. I just wish it was coming tomorrow.

© 2008 by Julius Lester


Roozles - Wretchedness of mind.

Now, there's a word. Roozles! How do you define "wretchedness of mind"? How do you recognize a "wretched mind"? What would someone say that would cause others to nod and say, "Tsk. Tsk. His mind is roozled." Am I suffering from the roozles because I hate hot weather? Well, I am going to keep my eyes and ears open, and if I come across anything that I thinks reveals the roozles, you'll read about it here.

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