Jimmy Del Ponte
Yes, Mr. Originality, it's plenty hot enough for me! Thanks for asking!
Speaking of the heat, I have a pet peeve. There are a lot of us who like to wear flip flops and sandals. Do us a favor, cut your toe nails and use some foot powder. If you're going to parade your dogs around , show a little courtesy. Your comfort, is very uncomforting to some of us. There is nothing worse than the "agony of the feet," in a closed in area. Can we all say Dr. Scholl together? Thank you!
When we were kids there were no room air conditioners, like the ones that will be selling out at BJ's and Home Depot. Each kid had a rickety old noisy metal, and later on, a plastic fan. They were wonderful. They merely circulated the stagnant hot, annoying air around the room. We got ours at Bradlees.
Dad said it worked better in the window, but I used to put it in a chair directly in front of the bed , as close as it could get. Still, it was hot and my ears would be filled with sweat when I laid my head on my soggy pillow.
Remember when dad would try to turn the fan so it would "suck out the hot air?" That was a climate control fiasco!
Then low and behold, dad broke down and went to Lechmere Sales and bought a room air conditioner, for him and mom's room. If you were lucky, they would let you sleep on the floor of their room. As the fans got older, the grill loosened up , and they made more noise. We had central air installed 12 years ago but it decided to stop working. Maybe I will have it looked at, maybe not.
Here is what some of us Villens used to do on a sweltering day: running around the sprinklers at Albion Park, Conway Park, or hitting the Craigie Street Park pool cooled some of us off.
Traveling to the "Boston Pool" (near Science Park) aboard the number 88 bus with a transfer worked for others. My dad used to take us to what he referred to as, "The Arlington Pool." It was a concrete wading area with a geyser of water shooting out of a pipe in the middle. It was on Broadway near where the old "hepatitis Friendly's" was. One pal actually remembers the City of Somerville opening the fire hydrants on really hot days! Then there were those few kid's whose families had in ground, or above ground pools in their yards. I noticed those kids had had a lot more friends during the summer months.
Don tells us, "We had one 12-inch fan for six people. When it got really bad my father would take us out to drive with the windows down and get ice cream."
In later years, some kids were brought to the Aquarium to cool off. No, they didn't jump in with the penguins, there was a fountain out front. Gino's grandfather would squirt the kids with the hose while watering the tomato plants. My dad used to blow a nice swirl of cigarette smoke our way as he drove the 1953 Mercury (only kidding). Some of us went to the Dilboy Pool, turtle rock on route 93, Wrights Pond and the Mystic and "Lost" Lakes.
You had to be a Meffa resident to get into Wrights, but we snuck in anyway. HA HA! Sandy Beach was down the Mystics. We would swim during the day, then steam up the windows making out at night, until the MDC cop shined his flashlight in our faces.
Some sneaky Villens used to get money from mom to supposedly take the bus to the pool at Foss Park. But these little fibbers actually kept the money and walked to North Cambridge to "Jerry's Pit." Jerry's Pit was a very dangerous former clay pit on Rindge Avenue, adjacent to the WR Grace plant.
We used to make Kool-Ade ice cubes, and there was always the ice cream truck. We asked for slush money, had squirt gun and water balloon fights, and someone always seemed to have a Slip n' Slide. We drank "Fizzies" which were flavored alka-seltzer tablets that you dropped into cold water.
But we were Somerville kids.....and Somerville kids were cool....even when the mercury hit the 90's
I hope you all stay cool during this heat wave. And please, if you are driving with no air conditioning in your car, and you are getting aggravated and very hot under the collar, please stay away from the Powder House rotary.
Don't forget the Memorial Day parade, this Sunday staring at 1p.m. It's the biggest one "eva!" I will be joining my good friend, "The voice of Somerville" himself, Tom Champion, in Davis Square as we review and comment on the parade for cable TV. Come by and say hello, won't you?