Chickens don’t sweat. Really, this is absolutely true. I was behind a chicken truck driving along the Eastern Shore yesterday.
The moment I saw this truck (I was driving) I yelled at my husband, “It’s a chicken truck! Get the phone. Please get a picture!” I had to capture that memory of forty years ago.
We lived in Virginia back then, and it was the hottest summer on record. So hot that animals were dying in huge numbers, specifically the chickens destined for the big processing plants along the Eastern Shore, like Perdue and Tyson.
In the height of this chicken tragedy, farmers with small chicken farms, and farmers who simply raised chickens, were the heroes. They put their chickens in trucks and drove them around, just to cool them off. Chicken trucks were running day and night to keep the animals cool and alive, basically saving the farm. It worked!
That summer was a scorcher. My childhood in the south had many such summers. And my memories are much like the chicken truck, piling into the back of a pick-up truck with my sisters and friends and driving around. I remember the breeze. There was nothing better than an evening breeze and an ice cream cone after dinner. We had no air conditioning. Our big old house had a whole house fan. My Dad knew just what windows to open and close to pull in the cool night air. And, it was lovely.
A summer breeze does wonders for the soul and mind. It brings us familiar smells ands sounds. It can evoke memories, even forty-year-old ones, of chickens, summers, and childhood. I still have no air conditioning today. Some things are too good to let go.