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  • Susan Gallagher

Moving Air

I learned to drive in a 1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. That car had a wider turning radius than the USS Saratoga, and only slightly better fuel economy. It also had push-button AM radio, manual everything, and no air conditioning. Whether the AC was broken or simply not there I can't recall. I do remember cruising around with my high school friends with the windows down, our poufy 80s hairdos anchored in place by half a can of hairspray each. You can't do that in cars today. They all have what I call "bad windage." Roll the windows down and it's like getting hit on the back of the head with an F5 tornado. You've no choice but to roll 'em back up and turn on the AC. There's something about that freon-filled blast that just doesn't feel right to me. Given the option (and better windage) I much prefer moving air. The same stuff that lifts monarchs and turkey vultures, and blows the sweat out from under your armpits; the stuff that carries pollen and dandelion seeds and good smells, that rustles the leaves and keeps the mosquitoes away on a summer night. So you go ahead and you keep your air conditioning. Tomorrow's gonna be a hot one, but I'll be fine as long as there's a breeze. For those of you lucky enough to own anything at all like a '76 Oldsmobile, I suggest you slap on some hairspray and take that baby out for ride.

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