Archive for the ‘ Things I’m Thankful For ’ Category

Keeping Your Cool…

It’s July.

I live in Georgia.

It’s HOT!

I remember when we got air-conditioning for the first time.  We were living in Ohio, and I was already in High School, or possibly, Junior High.  It seems it was 1966.

Prior to A/C, we lived with the heat, a few fans, and spent a lot of time outdoors in the summer.

I don’t remember being terribly miserable without it, but I do remember walking into stores and relishing the cool air inside.

These days, well, we’re spoiled.  Problems with the air are not only expensive, they are a major issue, and in some cases, a health hazard.

A/C had been around for a while prior to coming to our house.  It was actually invented in 1902 on July 17 by Willis Haviland Carrier.

Carrier was born in 1876 in the town of Angola, NY.  He went to Cornell and graduated in 1901 with a BS in engineering.

The following year, he came UP with a plan for A/C when he presented a drawing for a solution to a problem at a publishing company in Brooklyn.

His installation in the same year is considered the birth of modern air conditioning as it added humidity control.

You know, they always say, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.”

Well, it’s both, and Carrier figured that out.

The air conditioning gods deemed that A/C should do four things:  1. Control temperature. 2. Control humidity. 3. Control air circulation and ventilation. And 4. Cleanse the air.

After about four years of tweaking and tuning and a field test or two, Carrier received U.S. Patent 808,897 for an “Apparatus for Treating Air.”

Around the same time he discovered that “constant dew-point depression provided practically constant relative humidity,” which created the Law of Constant Dew-Point Depression.  He used this principle to design automatic controls.  He got a patent for that too.

In 1911 at the Nerd Prom annual meeting of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, he presented a paper that became known as the Magna Carta of Psychometrics.  It wrapped it all UP in a neat little package tying together the concepts of relative humidity, absolute humidity, and dew-point temperature, which made it possible to tailor make A/C;  prior to that it was one size fits all.

This was a pretty big deal, it allowed A/C to come home, not just go to giant work places.

The Great War and the Great Depression slowed things down in the A/C field.  People were busy wiping out the Gerries in Europe and trying to stay alive back home in the Dust Bowl.  It was hot and everyone realized though there was A/C out there, it would have to wait.

Carrier did start his own company with a group of engineers in 1915 calling it Carrier Engineering Corp.  It merged a couple of times during the Great Depression and would UP as the Carrier Corporation with Willis as the Chairman.

Sales were bleak during the depression.

But all was not lost.  After spreading things out to stay afloat, Carrier moved to Syracuse in 1937, and became one of the largest employers in NY State.

Willis debuted his Igloo at the 1939 World’s Fair giving folks from the farm a look into the future, but before it could take off, those darn Germans stirred things UP again in Europe, the boys went off to war, and well, things would have to cool down over there before they could really cool down back home.

Once the Hun had been harried into submission, A/C became bigger than bobby socks at Boarding School.

The 1950s showed a tremendous boom in A/C sales, and nowadays, well, stores, homes, and cars without it, well, they just aren’t too popular.

Carrier globalized his company in the 1930s taking his trade to Japan and Korea.  South Korea is the largest producer of A/C in the world.

His cooling machines changed the way we live.

By making temperatures bearable, factories were able to work in the hot summer, increasing production.  Places like Florida and Arizona became much more attractive for year round living and the migration to the Sunbelt began.

Carrier married three times, was twice a widower, and died in 1950.

Frankly, now that I know this, he’s my new hero!



The invasion of Normandy took place on June 6, 1944; it was part of a great battle plan, Operation Overlord, which took place during World War II.  It was a turning point in the war against Fascism and Hitler’s Germany.

There were 120,000 Allied Casualties between Jun 6 and July 24.

To put that number in perspective, every citizen of Norman, Oklahoma or Allentown, Pennsylvania would have to die to equal it.

Remember them today, and be thankful.

We Were Cute!

The recent death of our long time neighbor, Hazel Slone revealed a hidden Germantown treasure.

Her granddaughter, Tracy, found years and years worth of class pictures from the Germantown Elementary School.

Connie Poorman Hoslapple, Tracy’s mother and a lifelong friend of mine sent me the class of 1970’s 1st grade pictures.

Here they are.

Class of 1970 1st Grade Mrs. France

Class of 1970 1st Grade Mrs. France


Class of 1970 1st Grade Mrs. Basham

Class of 1970 1st Grade Mrs. Basham


Class of 1970 1st Grade Mrs. Storer

Class of 1970 1st Grade Mrs. Storer


Class of 1970 1st Grade Mr.s Durr

Class of 1970 1st Grade Mr.s Durr

Class of 1970 1st Grade Mrs. Reason

Class of 1970 1st Grade Mrs. Reason

Hazel’s husband, Mr. Alonzo Slone was the elementary principal at Germantown for years.  Hazel kept each class picture from each year, and wrote the names of the children on them.

This y’all, is a treasure, and couldn’t have arrived at a better time.

Thanks Connie for sharing them, and God Bless Hazel!

Skinny Bobby and the Gang

I’ll have to say my interest in history started early.

I couldn’t tell you the first history book I read, but the first biography was one about Robert E. Lee.  Mrs. Kindig at the Germantown Library thought a nice southern boy like me should know about the Confederate General, and was frankly quite surprised and a tad disgusted that my dad hadn’t indoctrinated me with the great man’s history.

Born in an historic home – the only home Stonewall Jackson ever owned –  in a most historic town – Lexington, Virginia – I had no choice but to have an interest in the past.

Through the years that interest has increased; often times at the influence of others.

I became enamored with the British Monarchy in the fourth grade much to the concern of my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Gingerich, and by the time I was nine had memorized the names of the kings and queens of England and the years they reigned starting with Athelred back in 1014, and running all the way to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

Ok, so I was an odd kid.

At 12, when I read Winston Churchill’s History of the English Speaking Peoples, all 2000 pages, and the fat Prime Minister became my new hero, Mr. Fancher, our 6th grade teacher thought I was the oddest child he’d ever met, but he did nothing to discourage me from reading and was glad I kept learning.

In the 7th grade, it was Bill Longman who sparked an interest in Ohio History, and if not for that man, there’s much I’d not know.  He made the French and Indian War come to life and the Industrial Revolution in Ohio make sense.

Then it was High School where I met Skinny Bobby and ever thing I ever thought about world history changed!

Of course we never called him Skinny Bobby to his face, but I’m sure he knew.  And skinny he was!  Really skinny!

Skinny Bobby, Dwight, and Mel

Skinny Bobby with Dwight, and Mel

But he was an awesome history teacher!  World History took on a new meaning made sense in his classroom.

Of course American History was already a favorite, and Mr. Coghill did nothing to hamper that.

As I travel back to Germantown and my 45th HS reunion, I’m glad these teachers came into my life, and I’m grateful for their influence.

They inspired me to learn, they made history fun, and they made me better.

We should all do that, strive to make things better.