Monday, July 14, 2014


I'm suffering from mild hypothermia at the moment. I dozed off on the balcony (north facing) this afternoon, wearing only shorts and a short sleeved shirt. Slept a couple of hours. In the meantime, it got breezy and cooler. Viola!

Did you know that you can die from hypothermia in 60 degree weather with no clothing or shelter?

I have a bit of a history. Worst case was in July of 1979. I was still living in Lubbock, TX although my 1-year commitment to help with the start-up of Texas Instruments' adventure with high-tech manufacturing in CEO/Prez J. Fred Bucy's hometown had expired. Transfers were frozen. So I spent the plant-maintenance-shutdown period back in Dallas. I drove back out west on the last weekend, taking Doug, who was 15 at the time, with me for a visit. I don't remember for sure, but I think the girls stayed in Dallas. I do remember that I got popped on the face that morning when I was taking down a yellow-jacket nest in the back yard.

This was during the 1979 fuel crisis, and since the 302 in my Maverick Grabber din't get very good mileage, I decided not to run the A/C on the trip, despite the broiling temps. We actually had a very good trip. I decided to show Doug Ft. Belknap ( where public schools from Olney and other area cities had grade-level outings every year. Then we drove up to Olney (, where my family lived from 1952 until 1956, and we visited with Fred Rowe, our old neighbor. Fred ran the Perkin-Timberlake Department Store, and he had four kids that I had been friends with, most notably Cecil, who was one year younger that I. Then we ran into Cecil's brother Calvin when we stopped at a convenience store. Fortunately, Fred had told him about our being headed there, because neither of us would have recognized the other. I had grown up from being a 75 pound runty 13-year-old, and Calvin had developed from a rail-thin 7-year-old to a bearded bear of a man at about 5'10'.

Being a little refreshed, Westward-ho through the heat with the A/C off. No relief until dark, and only a little then. We got to Lubbock about 10:30, as I recall. We climbed up to my apartment, flipped the t.v. and A/C on and flopped in the living room floor. I was clad about like today, except I may have shed my shirt.

I woke up about 3:00 am, shivering and needing to go to the bathroom. So, I went and sat down on the toilet, and, very shortly - I passed out cold! I fell off the pot, giving my right forehead the mother of all rug burns on the indoor/outdoor carpet. When I started coming to, I was totally paralyzed and blind as a bat. I finally got to where I could move my left hand a little and started tapping on the wall. As I gained strength, the taps got strong enough to rouse Doug, who came to check on me. He totally freaked out and responded in true Doug fashion - he called his Mom in Dallas! "Dad's dying! What do I do?" By the time he came back to check on me, I could mumble a little, and then I gradually started getting my facilities back. Doug got me a blanket and wrapped me up. I think I made some coffee and started pouring it down. Wow! Scary stuff!

A couple of years later, I had the anaphalactic shock to the bee stings, which I think most of you are aware of. I can tell you that the symptoms were exactly the same, except with the bee stings, the reaction lasted a little longer and led on to systemic hives during the night.

Moral of the story: Be aware of the dangers and symptoms of hypothermia, even - perhaps especially - in the summer.

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