Friday, November 8, 2013

Wintertime Flu Equals Wintertime Blues

So many times in my early years I was my own worst enemy.  I don't know if I didn't develop common sense early on or if I just didn't care about mundane things like dressing properly.  The year was 1969 and the winter had been a brutal one.  I was so excited when my mother told me I could go to a concert.  I probably should rephrase that because I know I would have found a way to go whether she had said yes or not.  Let's say that I was excited because my mother had given me the money to buy my ticket. 

During Christmas vacation the temperatures had dipped below zero and those were the days before a wind chill was factored into the temperature.  All I know is that when it gets that cold, it hurts to breathe and ice forms on your eyebrows, eyelashes and nose hairs if you remain outside for more than a few minutes.  The best rule of thumb is to remain inside when it's that cold, but I chose to go downtown to purchase my ticket for the James Taylor/Carole King concert while it was 25 below zero dressed in thin cotton pants and a jean jacket.  Walking to downtown wasn't too bad because I was walking with the wind.  I really didn't notice how strong it was until I left Viner's Music Store after purchasing my ticket.  The wind immediately went right through me and  chilled me to the bone.  I had to stop in every other store along Main Street to get warm. 

Between the last store and my house was about a ten minute walk if you're hoofing it right along and not lollygagging.  By the time I got home I was just about frozen, but I had tickets in hand for my first concert.  That's all that mattered until I open the kitchen door and went inside!   That first burst of heat that met my chilled skin caused me to have a headache so severe I had to go lay down.  I fell asleep for awhile and when I awoke I was running a fever.   I don't know what the incubation period is for getting the flu, but the Hong Kong Flu had run rampant the last two winters and that's what my family doctor said I had. As my flu symptoms worsened, I got sicker.  Strep throat and laryngitis to go along with the Hong Kong Flu was a miserable way to spend the remainder of my Christmas vacation and to launch into 1970.    Thank goodness the concert wasn't until February.  I had plenty of time to recuperate or so I thought.


  1. The only time I can remember having comparable temps was in Jan 1994 here, when Louisville was paralyzed by more than 2 ft of snow, and then the temp dropped to 20 below. Normally 30 is about as cold as we get, if that.

    Hong Kong Flu sounds terrifying.

    1. Yeah, it was and I was pretty sick. There's more to that story I'll write next.

  2. Fashion before function was the key phrase in our younger days, we would stand at the bus stop in a raging blizzard with our coats flying looked cool.