Saturday, July 7, 2012

It's July, Dammit

I know there is climate change, global warming going on, but this is not the hottest summer I have ever tried to live through. I remember summers of month long 90 plus degree temps, when we would eat down in the basement because it was the only cool place in the house.
Weather people like to claim things like: "This is the hottest 2:00  P.M. on July 3rd on record  or, since 1905." TV channels are in love with their weather gadgetry, pinpointing tornadoes on your very own street, and urging you to get into the nearest closet. We have become edgy about weather, thanks to 24/7 availability of dire news. And lots of sweaty whingeing form the populace.
I remember when I was a kid in Georgia, sitting on the brown, dry grass in the back yard, listening to the cicadas and locusts or whatever bugs made shrill noises. . I don't remember feeling particularly hot. We used to go swimming almost every day at Mosely Park, where it was free before noon. Somehow that cooled us off for the rest of the day, even though we had to walk to get there, through some dusty old roads which felt good on our bare feet. (We had a neighbor who was convinced we would get hook worm by goinng around without shoes. She was sure I had worms because I ate a lot but was very skinny. But the, she had grown up in the country.)
Change of Subject (whatever that may be...)
PBS is running a neat series on arts on Friday nights. The first was called "Two Gentlemen of Cremona," and was about Amati, Stradivari and Guarnieri del Gesu. Emily took me once to Mittenwald, a Bavarian town noted for its violin makers, with a museum and an informative video on the violin.viola,cello making process.Theyy are lovely, hand made instruments, but not considered quite up to the standard of the Crenmona masters' work.
PBS show had more of that sort of thing. It is hard to imagine that these delicate instruments can last hundreds of years. The program compared the two main masters, Strad and Guarn, demonstrating the different tones they created. I guess if you're a violinist, you can discern the difference: Strads are brighter, Guarns are mellower. Since they are both worth millions, I don't think the average string player will ever have a chance to compare them by playing.
Last night (Friday) the program was about Islamic art, mainly architecture, which is sublimely beautiful. One of the most interesting was a mosque in an African town, made of adobe i.e., mud. It is so unique and a fine example of people adapting their own unique style and materials. The other mosques are grand and full of outstanding sculpture and marble and mosaics and intricate and sophisticated carving. Great show about something I know nothing about.
And almost all of this great Islamic art has been done in countries where is is VERY HOT most of
the time.

1 comment:

Mike said...

During high school I worked summers at Calvary Cemetery in Springfield - way out in the country - mowing grass and digging graves. One July it was so hot that, for a couple of weeks, the sexton allowed us to work from 4AM 'til noon and spend the rest of the day in Muzzy's lake.