Except, it seems nobody does that anymore.
It was 1976 when the funk group War sang about riding around town with all the windows down in their hit “Summer”. Although that tune is still groovy today (and certainly ripe for use in a beer or a soda commercial, if it hasn’t been already), the lyrics show how long ago the summer of ’76 really was.
Back then, we were riding with the windows down, mostly because we didn’t have A/C (and wouldn’t for another five years). Now everyone has air-conditioning-it’s standard on even the cheapest econoboxes. That’s great, for when it’s really hot. But today nobody rides with their windows down even in really nice weather.
New York State, where I live, has suffered through a hot, sweaty, rainy spring and summer. But for the past few days we finally have been enjoying picture-perfect weather (the kind that southern Californians get 360 days a year). So you’d think my fresh-air-starved fellow citizens would open a window. But no.
It’s as if everyone has turned into my grandfather, you could complain about a draft on even the hottest day. (His car, ironically, was a Mercury Monterey with the reverse-angled, Breezeway back window that powered down like a station wagon’s.) If it’s not too much wind, then maybe it’s too much noise-makes it hard to talk on the phone. Of course, back in the summer of ’76 nobody had a phone in his car, except maybe Gerald Ford.
Sorry, but as long as this weather hold up, I’m going to have to let my calls go to voicemail. It’s just too nice to ride around sealed up in a metal and glass cocoon, breathing off-gassing plastics. I’m rolling down the windows, and maybe cranking up some War.