Pat Shingleton: "Stretching the Clothesline and Washtub Cool Downs"
A summertime task during our younger days was “stretching the clothesline.” The line was secured at the garage, the flagpole, the porch, and stretched back to the garage. Here is where my mom “hung-out-the-clothes” - kept off the ground with a “clothes-prop.” A shower emptied the house whereby kids, a grandfather and a few neighborhood buddies scrambled to retrieve the clothes before they were rinsed again by Mother Nature. My brother Denis was never alert when it came to bike riding and often strangled himself on the line, traversing the yard before it was taken down. In the latest green initiative, people are opting to hang their laundry on clotheslines instead of using energy-sucking dryers. And finally, with 50 days left until a break in the heat, our Heat Index could register above the 100 degree mark until the end of Summer so keep the A.C. humming, the ceiling fans rotating and stay hydrated. Years ago, my mother instructed me to “fill the washtub” so that my brother Kevin would get a “cool-down” during episodes of blistering weather in Pennsylvania. That same wash tub was also used to ice down beer and pop for summertime events. The washtub became obsolete when inflatable pools came along and another invention – the lawn sprinkler - offered another quick cool-down as we dashed through it. As we got older, the Ewing Park Swimming Pool provided heat relief. One of the best neighborhood gifts was the decision by the Shultz and the Lutz families to install backyard pools.