Green Hills Literary Lantern

Southern Comfort Zone


Cool sheets in a cold room on a hot night in August

HVAC in the 21st Century in the years of our Lord

Central air for the masses

The Heart of Texas bakes at 92 degrees Fahrenheit at sundown

But the retailers, grocers, bowling alleys, movie theaters, restaurants and bait shops are climate controlled

Technology creeps in patiently, building dependencies

Summers at the beginning of the 20th Century weren't intolerable

Someone survived to invent the desktop oscillating electric fan and place one at the foot of the bed

Someone survived to install evaporative coolersSticky sheets dispelled illusions of ocean breezes as the giant squirrel-cage fan drew hot, dry air across fibers dripping with water cleverly tapped from a hose bib and routed through flexible state-of-the-art plastic tubing

Someone survived to install those window-unit air conditioners which provided luxury in 1968 to a single room chilled to perfection by a humming box dripping condensate onto the flower bed

A one room sanctuary in an uninsulated house of single-pane multi-light double-hung windows with no weatherstripping

Throats inflamed from snoring cold, dry air all night

Refrigerated air for the people




Bill Ware is a senior publications editor in the Office of Publications and Graphic Design at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, TX. With an M.A. in English from Texas A&M University, B·Ware produces art in various media when opportunity allows and also regularly plays guitar in church. He lives in Cleburne, Texas.