Friday, September 03, 2004

Heeeerrrreee you blog!

It finally feels like summer hereabouts, reaching the upper 80s today along with a measure of humidity, just in time for the beginning of meteorological fall –- September, October and November, a definition I like better than one that hinges on the equinox. Gradually, though, the trees are touched with yellow and brown, and the daylight is dwindling, so this is a passing heat.

A more human sign of fall is in the park next to Lilly’s school, which we can see from our back yard. Amateur and pickup baseball (the park has a couple of diamonds) have given way to pee-wee football practice most nights. Some parents and siblings watch the proceedings, and it creates a minor festive atmosphere.

Both of my regular readers will recall that the subject of manually operated elevators came up a little while ago, when I chanced on one in Minneapolis. In response to that, my cousin Jay in Mississippi e-mailed me the following.

“I can remember elevators with operators in some of the magnificent retail emporiums in Meridian, Mississippi, when I was growing up. There were, of course, no buildings with elevators, except probably the three-story hospital (which, not being a sickly type, I never entered) in my hometown of Philadelphia, Mississippi.

“Here in Jackson, I can remember automated elevators with operators in the Woolfolk state office building. I asked a friend who worked there about them, and he told me that they were charity cases -- persons who could manage that small job but nothing more -- who had somehow gotten on the payroll. I don’t know if they were state employees who had been injured in some manner, or if they were the governor's cousins.

“One of them was enthusiastically cheerful. If a passenger said ‘three, please,’ he would announce, ‘Floor three! Heeeerrrreee we go!’ On arrival he would announce ‘Heeeerrrreee you are!’

“The building was completely remodelled several years ago and I believe that the human operators are no longer there.”

Sic transit gloria mundi.


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