Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Letters to the Editor

August 1, 2013

The window fans of summer

Even on the hottest nights of the summer, my father knew how to make our house ice cold.

We lived in a modest two-story home typical of the ‘60s and ‘70s — red brick on the bottom, white aluminum siding on the top. There were four bedrooms upstairs and a master bedroom downstairs (my parent’s room, which we added onto the back of our house in 1972).

Only one house in our neighborhood had air conditioning back then. It was locked up tighter than Fort Knox.

Most houses were wide open all summer. This allowed the outside sounds to come in and the inside sounds to go out.

I woke every morning to the sound of birds chirping, a dewy chill in the air. I’d hear sausage sizzling in a neighbor’s kitchen. A screen door slamming, a car starting, a father lumbering off to work.

The afternoons were quiet — the older kids went on bike hikes or swimming at the community pool — but as evening arrived, the sounds came alive again. At dinner time, kids were called home through a variety of shouts, chants, bells and horns. Pork and chicken sizzled on grills. Families ate and talked on back porches.

As darkness fell, a range of new sounds echoed throughout the neighborhood: a dog barking; a motorcycle downshifting on some faraway hill; Bob Prince and Nellie King broadcasting Pirates games on the radio; a baby crying; a couple squabbling...

And window fans humming.

My father was a master at driving the hot, stale air from our house. He installed an industrial fan in the attic that sucked the hot air upwards and pumped it through a roof vent. Then he put a window fan in the downstairs bedroom to pull cool air inside.

It took him years to perfect his method, but by closing some windows and doors and adjusting others to varying degrees of openness, he tuned our house like a fine violin. He could drive down the temperature 15 degrees or more in a matter of minutes.

Text Only
Letters to the Editor
  • Baseball icon joins echo chamber This week, Hank Aaron broke the hearts of millions of Republicans and conservatives who supported him and cheered him on in 1974 while racists threatened his life. USA Today quoted "The Hammer" in an interview as saying, "We can talk about baseball.

    April 24, 2014

  • Annual Talent Show an awesome evening Dear Editor, Our new venue this year offered us everything for a delightful evening of entertainment, praise and worship. The John Bain family, new owners of the Rathbun Country Music Theatre, worked really hard to get it ready for us to hold our fou

    April 24, 2014

  • We want politicians to lie Get this: The U.S. Supreme Court is about to decide whether false accusations and mudslinging during political campaigns are illegal. As it goes, during the 2010 election in Ohio, an anti-abortion group, the Susan B. Anthony List, sought to launch a

    April 24, 2014

  • Hire to enforce building code compliance issues? The Daily Iowegian will publish an Editorial Question of the Week on the Opinion page. The Iowegian wants readers to think about building code compliance. One Centerville resident at Monday's City Council meeting proposed the city create two new posi

    April 24, 2014

  • Representative Larry Sheets' Snapshot Dear friends, The House was ready to finish but the bills are not forthcoming from the Senate. April 22 is the last day the taxpayers pay for our services, so I expect the Senate to drag it out that long. Last Monday the House debated a bill concerni

    April 22, 2014

  • Social Security debt collection: Is it right? If the federal government overpaid someone in your family more than 30 years ago, should you be held responsible for the debt? And should the government have an indefinite amount of time to try to collect the overpayment? Those questions are pending

    April 22, 2014

  • State Sen. Ken Rozenboom Newsletter Nearly two weeks have gone by since House File 2462, a bill that would protect Iowa workers and create a more transparent government, was passed in the Iowa House. During that time, the Senate majority party has talked endlessly about the need for mo

    April 22, 2014

  • Farmers engaged in Iowa water quality initiative Many Iowa farm fields are turning green earlier than normal this spring as a rapidly growing number of farmers are using cover crops to help better protect the soil and water they depend on to make their living. Farmers are always looking for new and

    April 17, 2014

  • Raising permit fees will harm city Dear Editor, Surcharges, fees, franchise fees, (3 percent on Alliant bills -- council voted 5-0 on 04/10/14), special assessments, $5 million bonding (which will raise property taxes), and now city's attempts at increasing permit fees for landlords f

    April 17, 2014

  • What do you think about rental permit fees? The Daily Iowegian will publish an Editorial Question of the Week on the Opinion page. The Iowegian wants readers to think about rental permit fees. The Centerville City Council has conducted two working sessions and a third one is planned in order t

    April 17, 2014

  • The talk radio party? So what does the Tea Party want this fall? A repeat of 2010, or a repeat of 2012? The Tea Party succeeded spectacularly in 2010. Its principled enthusiasm put Republicans back in charge of the House of Representatives and, if the Tea Party hadn't bee

    April 17, 2014

  • State Sen. Ken Rozenboom Newsletter Traditionally, voting on the department budget bills signals the end of a legislative session. The budget process lasts through much of the session. This year, the process was tweaked to move things along faster than in past sessions. House Republica

    April 15, 2014

  • Make Centerville, Iowa your home Centerville, "America's hometown." Centerville, "Home of the world's largest square." Centerville, "You can't describe it, you just have to go there." Centerville, "Welcome home." These are just a few of the brands depicting Centerville that have bee

    April 15, 2014

  • April is National Community College Month Buy someone a cup of coffee. Read to a child or an older adult. Volunteer at a local hospital. Play games with or offer services to senior citizens. Walk dogs at Heartland Humane Society. Assist neighbors with yard work or spring cleaning. Volunteer

    April 15, 2014

  • Former resident applauds mayors Dear Editor, Recently, I read the March 30 Daily Iowegian story “Area mayors combat sexual assault.” I want to applaud the mayors of these local towns for signing proclamations to battle sexual assault, especially those in Centerville, Moravia and Ra

    April 10, 2014

Obituaries
Featured Ads
Poll

The Iowegian wants readers to think about building code compliance. One Centerville resident at Monday's City Council meeting proposed the city create two new positions in the police department to only deal with minimum housing and nuisance abatement issues. The city currently has George Johnson as the only employee assigned to enforce building code compliance issues. Does Centerville need more than just Johnson to enforce code compliance issues? So, the question of the week is, "Should Centerville hire additional help to assist George Johnson enforce building code compliance issues?"

A. Yes
B. No
C. Not sure
     View Results
Iowegian on Facebook