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This is amazing. It's exactly what I've been saying to everyone I know since a window air conditioner unit died on me about a month ago. Went to Sears and got a new one, but it's had me remembering the days when only movie theaters had air conditioning, and they all used to brag about it--ads in the papers, big banners hanging from the marquees: "20 degrees cooler inside!" And I've been thinking about porches, too, and the days when all new houses didn't look so much like brick or stone fortresses.

Just yesterday I was going through an old neighborhood of Hyattsville, Maryland, and almost all the houses had porches. So I started looking for chairs and swings on the porches. According to my observations only about half of the porches had chairs on them, but it may be just a bit early in the season yet. I've always felt nostalgic when going through that neighborhood, and now I know why: it reminds me of the West Brighton of my childhood. The whole family would sit on the porch and talk and play games, and greet any of the neighbors we saw going along the street. . . and they'd all wave and smile back. Incredible.

Jim Donnelly

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