L.A. In September

Okay - so you fainted. They stare at you like you're going to explode.

It’s September 1968 – You’re A Teenager – You Live In L.A. – First Day Of School – It’s The Hottest Day Of The Year – You Forgot.

L.A. In September
Okay – so you fainted. They stare at you like you’re going to explode.

KHJ – Bill Wade – September 1, 1968 – Bill Frankel Collection –

You forgot – you forget every year. School starts and you’re too busy being pissed off that Summer is over – too busy rushing for classes – too busy getting new clothes for Winter.

It happens, just like clockwork – September and L.A. becomes god’s own frying pan. People back east say “oh, it’s a dry heat – that’s not so bad” – all you know is, your nostrils burn and you sweat gallons, it’s 102 and it’s not even 8 in the morning. It’s going to be the day from Hell, you can feel it.

You take the bus to school – there’s no air-conditioning – all the windows are open. Your nose is on fire and your eyes are burning from smog. You can’t think. You drip on your Geography book. Your brain is fried.

Somehow, it slipped your mind that your school isn’t air-conditioned either. Heat waves seem to catch everybody by surprise, even L.A. City Schools. In an effort to create the illusion of cool air, all the windows are open and the hallway lights are turned off. You walk down the hall to your locker in semi-darkness. The illusion isn’t working – it’s hot and it’s smoggy, even in the Administration building.

Your gym teacher takes pity on you. Third Period – 104 degrees and he tells you to run two laps instead of four.

And why is the water in the showers hot? You step out and the air gives the impression of cool. You don’t take a towel, you get dressed, dripping wet – at least you feel a little better for a few seconds before the humidity in the locker room turns the place into a swamp.

The last thing you remember is staggering down the quadrangle to your 4th period English class.

You open your eyes and focus on these two faces, staring at you like they should call an ambulance. The school Nurse appears and gets you stable enough to trudge down to her office where she makes you drink a gallon of water and lie down on a cot before you get your land legs back and return to semi-normal.

And another whole week of this.

First day of the new semester – Where is Malibu when you need it?

At least you have KHJ to listen to – Bill Wade from September 1, 1968, exactly how you might have heard it if you owned a small cheap transistor radio and put it under your pillow – lucky you.

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