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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

You Can Have the Cold Weather

You Can Have the Cold Weather

I don’t know about you folks, but I don’t care all that much for the cold weather we’ve been having. Don’t worry, I’m not going to get into this warming climate business. I’m so dadgummed tired of listening to first one liar claim it’s getting hot enough to loosen the bristles on a wild hog and then another swearing it’s getting colder than a witch’s kiss. Folks are either ignorant or lying.

Why, even the weather scientists lied about warming conditions. Their explanation was that they suspected it was coming, but they wanted the world ‘powers-that-be’ to do something about what they thought was going to happen. (hey, I’m just as confused as you by their logic)

All that being said, I just don’t care for cold weather. I had my fill when I lived up in the Texas Panhandle where the only thing between me and the North Pole was a barbed wire fence, and it was falling apart with rust.

Now, in our little town, the only paved roads were the state highways coming in and going out and those around the town square. Half a block beyond the square, the dirt roads commenced, and from October to March, all we had was mud and ruts.

In the late forties, we moved to Fort Worth, which to me was a semi-tropical paradise. In fact, the weather was so balmy-opposed to that in the Panhandle- my Dad bought a 1948 Kaiser without a heater. Big mistake. Big, big mistake. Not the Kaiser, the heater.

Now, you had to know Dad. The fine old guy was like all who came up through the depression. He was going to save where he could, and in that paradise in which we had found ourselves, where the weather was balmy, who needed a heater?

Let me stray a tad here. Going with him to buy a new car was what turned me off about car buying. He’d haggle and quibble and wrangle about every single item on the vehicle. I can remember more than once going to sleep on the couch in the salesman’s office while he and Dad negotiated. And often with Dad, the negotiations became heated.

Now, Mama Conwell lived up in the Panhandle. After Papa died, she paid us a visit one year. We’d spent Thanksgiving up there, and she came back for a two or three week visit.
All of a sudden one morning, she wanted to go back home.

My Dad was a good son. A lot better than I believe I was. Mom once told me that when Papa Conwell was in the hospital in Pampa some forty miles east of Wheeler just after Mom and Dad married, that Dad drove the forty miles every day after work to see after Papa. Back then, that was a one hour or longer drive one way.(provided nothing went wrong with his old Model A)

But back to Mama Conwell and the unheated Kaiser.

As I said, Mama spent some time with us, and then she wanted to go home. That Friday afternoon when Dad came in from work, we took off. Mom and my brother stayed home for the ‘semi-tropical’ weather that day was right at freezing.

And the Panhandle, some three hundred miles north, was so cold—well, let me tell you how cold it was. When I was in the third, fourth, and fifth grades, we got our milk from my uncle’s cow there in Wheeler. I milked that bovine, and I saw it so cold one winter that one time, believe or not, the milk came out as icicles. It’s the truth. I wouldn’t lie to you.

And that’s how cold it was driving up there in that 1948 Kaiser without a heater. I lay in the back seat under two blankets; Dad and Mama sat in the front, topcoats wrapped about them.
Dad refused to admit he was cold, and when Mama jumped him for not having a car heater, he vociferously defended himself. But guess what, the next month he bought a brand spanking new 1951 Chevrolet coupe, with a heater.

Talk about heaven on earth. That’s when I fell in love with General Motors cars and been with them ever since.

Now, I know there’s a bunch of folks who enjoy cold weather. All I can say is ‘live it up. You’re a hardier soul than I.”

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