Looking back: the city is suffocating in the heatwave, the children are enjoying the park, the dog is wearing shoes
Excerpts from July 21, 1936, Paso Robles Times:
The city is suffocating in the heatwave; signal prostrations
-The sweltering heat wave that swept through California’s central coastal area early last week continues unabated today, with little relief in sight. Temperatures in Paso Robles were reported from 102 degrees to 114 degrees in the shade during the week.
The citizens, for the most part, contented themselves with wiping sweaty eyebrows and saying that “it could be worse”. Tourists flocked to garages and gas stations to drain rusty water from their cars’ radiators, many of which were boiling furiously. Those who were able to do so flocked to cool beaches or went on vacation to the more temperate northern parts of the coast.
Dr Charles R. Kennedy was called to San Miguel early Sunday afternoon, where five elderly people from the north, on their way to a vacation date in the downstate, were shot dead by the intense heat. They had left Salinas early in the day but were defeated before they could reach here.
Three soldiers, en route to National Guard camp in San Luis Obispo, passed out from the heat shortly after disembarking from their sheeted truck, which was pulled over at a Spring Street gas station early Saturday afternoon.
However, no deaths were reported in this area and a majority of local residents escaped to cooler places or confined themselves to shady homes over the weekend.
Crowded city park
The city park took on a metropolitan appearance on Sunday, filled almost to capacity with visitors lying, without shoes, in the cool shade of trees on blankets, rugs and newspapers. Many took picnics and the grounds were littered with scraps of paper, toys and discarded food. One or two inhabitants of the room were energetic enough to use the games provided and the crisp, clear ring of angled horseshoes, mingled with the children’s laughter on an otherwise silent day.
One of the brightest places in town was the open-air plunge, where hundreds of people swam and splashed for comfort. So far this season, no sage has made the claim: “the hottest year on record.” No statistician has presented the usual comparative temperature history.
The official Paso Robles weather station is located a few miles northwest of the city, where cool breezes moderate even on the hottest days.
Reginald White, a blind sales demonstrator for a nationally advertised range of electrical appliances, tied shoes to the feet of his guide dog, “Wickie,” on Tuesday morning. The shoes offered protection from the scorching heat of the Paso Robles sidewalk. Just a small gesture of appreciation for the service and companionship rendered to him by the dog through what must be long hours of eternal darkness.
A obviously foreign-born family, lounging in the grass of the city park on Sunday afternoon, watching with amusement and some indulgence the antics of one of their younger descendants who was either in too much of a hurry or perhaps being too indifferent to bother to find a toilet block. Modern civilization is sometimes terribly trying.
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This report on the history of Paso Robles comes from one of the hundreds of local newspapers in the Paso Robles Area Historical Society’s collection. Several local newspapers, dating back to the 1800s, reported on local, national and global events, providing invaluable historical views of our community that are not available from any other source. The historical society is seeking community support for the phased newspaper preservation project to help fund the transfer of these aged and fragile pages to microfilm and digital images. The photograph of the old newspapers is by Gigi Greene. News in this column is curated with the help of Corporate Vice President Nancy Tweedie and Research Director Jan Cannon. The Paso Robles Historical Society is located in the Paso Robles History Museum at 800 12e Street in downtown city park. Visit the Paso Robles Historical Society website for more information on exhibits, research, membership, volunteerism, or donation.
Thanks to the Sponsors of Looking Back
Paso Robles Pioneer Museum – Come take a real peek at the local history of Paso Robles. Open Thursday through Sunday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 2010 Riverside Ave., Paso Robles, CA 93446, www.pasoroblespioneermuseum.org (805) 239-4556.
Estrella Warbirds Museum is an aviation museum dedicated to the restoration and preservation of airplanes, vehicles and military memorabilia. Woodland Auto Display is also open. Hours: Thursday to Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 4251 Dry Creek Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446, ewarbirds.org, (805) 227-0440.
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In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.
In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.