Yeah, it’s been hot this week.

When you get up at 5 a.m. and it’s already 81 degrees — and feels like 90 — you know it’s not going to be a pleasant day.

And, after a break this weekend, next week doesn’t look any better.

It’s one of those times when you give thanks each morning that your air conditioner made it through the night.

The last nasty heat wave we had around here was in 2012.

That year, we tied the all-time high of 107 degrees.

And we did it twice — on June 28 and June 29.

The mercury had only reached that level twice in the past — on July 13, 1936, and again on June 28, 1944.

By the way, 1936 is the yardstick that we continue to measure hot summers by.

And in 2012, we tied the 1936 mark for most days at or above 105 degrees — five.

We hit 106 degrees on three days — the same number as 1936.

But in 1936, they had nine consecutive days with temperatures at or above 100 degrees.

That mark still stands.

And hopefully, it will continue to stand this year.

And other records from 1936 will hopefully stand.

From May 27 to Sept. 22 that year — 118 days — the thermometer climbed to 90 degrees or more on 78 days.

The thermometer hit 95 degrees or more on 42 days in 1936.

And the summer of ’36 saw a total of 22 days with triple-digit readings.

The 1936 readings were taken by Henry Scott Berry, the official weather observer, at his farm at what’s now 2731 W. Second St.

Downtown, where the blistering sun reflected off concrete, bank thermometers soared to 120 degrees on July 14 that year.

But the thing that amazes me is that 1936 was before most houses in rural Daviess County had electricity.

Most houses in Owensboro didn’t have air conditioning.

But they at least had electricity — and electric fans that could stir the hot air a little.

In rural parts of the county, they didn’t even have that.

Air-conditioned movie theaters were packed with people trying to stay cool.

And many people were camping in their yards that summer, trying to find relief from the heat.

Folks that summer understood the meaning of “cool as the underside of a pillow.”

I can’t imagine how miserable that must have been.

And I sure don’t want to find out.

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301, klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com.

(1) comment

Steve Bailes

And the next year, 1937, was the historic floods!

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