I saw this DIY project on Pinterest the other day. What a flood of memories it brought back! The idea is simple — as all good ideas are. Take a plastic tub with lid. Cut a hole for air to enter and for air to leave. Attach a fan and a plumbing elbow. Put some ice, or even just some water into the tub, and voila, you have a camping cooler for your tent. Simple. It will aid a little in keeping your comfortable during the dog days… but more important it’s a reminder of the old days.
Which Old Day?
These old days….
I actually had one of these … back in the day… We had a 1966 VW Beetle and the auto supply store in Chicago called Warshawsky & Co. on Archer Avenue was just down the street from us. That was back in the days before they changed their name to J.C. Whitney — a name change that came about because it was better in those days to have a more generic name, not so ethnic. Anyway, there were no air conditioners in cars in our day. And even if there were such a thing, the little 50-ish horsepower motor in a 1968 VW wouldn’t have had the power to drive one. Heck, I remember downshifting going up Interstate 80 in Pennsylvania in the summer of ’67. For that matter we made an entire trip from Chicago to New Jersey and back with a non-functioning starter! We push-started the car every time we had to turn off the engine!
But I digress from my story….
These little gadgets slipped into an opened car window. There was an arm that rested against the window to hold the air cooler in place, and a clip that slipped over the glass. Once in place the passenger didn’t have much of a view, but they did get a heedful of wind blown onto them as air entered the tubular vortex, blew across some water in the tube and came out the other side ever so slightly cooled.
They didn’t last long. Eventually air conditioning — the real kind — overtook the water cooler. But you still see water coolers mounted on housetops in the south. It’s a more economical way (or at least it used to be) of making your Southern house a little more livable in the midst of the heat. Of course it also made it more humid — the value of which always eluded me. But times were what times were and there was a time when any respite from the sweltering heat was welcome.
So much for fond memories of days gone by. I hadn’t thought of those window coolers in a long while and for that matter I had almost forgotten the name Warshawsky! But hey, those were fun days. We lived in Chicago for two years while I did my alternate service and our apartment was literally the cheapest place we could find as I was working (in 1968) for $1.98 an hour at one of the biggest hospitals in the Windy City. My, how times have changed.
Y’all have a great day and stop by again tomorrow. Who knows what I might be talking about then!