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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 15, 2007 / 29 Sivan, 5767

For Fathers Day — The Window Fan

By Tom Purcell


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Even on the hottest nights of the summer, my father (the Big Guy) knew how to make our house ice cold.


We lived in a modest two-story home typical of the '60s and '70s — red brick on the bottom, white aluminum siding on the top. There were four bedrooms upstairs and a master bedroom downstairs (my parent's room, which we added onto the back of our house in 1972).


Only one house in our neighborhood had air conditioning back then. It was locked up tighter than Fort Knox.


Most houses were wide open all summer, though. This allowed the outside sounds to come in and the inside sounds to go out.


I woke every morning to the sound of birds chirping, a dewy chill in the air. I'd hear sausage sizzling in a neighbor's kitchen. A screen door slamming, a car starting, a father slumbering off to work.


The afternoons were quiet — the older kids went on bike hikes or swimming at the community pool — but as evening arrived, the sounds came alive again. At dinner time, kids were called home through a variety of shouts, chants, bells and horns. Pork and chicken sizzled on grills. Families ate and talked on back porches.


As darkness fell, a range of new sounds echoed throughout the neighborhood: a dog barking; a motorcycle downshifting on some faraway hill; Bob Prince and Nellie King broadcasting Pirates games on the radio; a baby crying; a couple squabbling…


And window fans humming.


The Big Guy was a master at driving the hot, stale air from our house. He installed an industrial fan in the attic that sucked the hot air upwards and pumped it through a roof vent. Then he put a window fan in the downstairs bedroom to pull cool air inside.


It took him years to perfect his method, but by closing some windows and doors and adjusting others to varying degrees of openness, he tuned our house like a fine violin. He could drive down the temperature 15 degrees or more in a matter of minutes.


I remember coming home on summer nights when I was in college. I'd open the front door and be greeted by a burst of cool air. Sometimes the Big Guy would be in the kitchen, leaning on the countertop with his elbows as he ate his favorite snack — peanut butter crackers and ice-cold milk.


He'd hand me the peanut-butter-smeared knife and I'd spread it on a couple of crackers. As we chomped away, we'd mumble through a conversation about college or the Pirates or a variety of other conversations sons had with their dads on such nights.


Other times, the Big Guy and mother would be lying in bed in the back room, the lights off, the television light flickering as Johnny Carson delivered his monologue, the window fan humming. We'd chat for a spell before I headed up to bed.


I went to the hardware store to buy a window fan recently. I put it in my bedroom window and have been trying different adjustments to maximize the coolness in my place. Its sound transports me to a time and a place that I've been longing for lately.


It reminds me of the constant presence of the Big Guy, who spent years tweaking and perfecting the world to make things better for his kids. He was an old-school dad. He lacked skill at articulating his love, but he was a master at showing it.


I know now how profound his presence was. It established order where chaos and emptiness would have been. It permeated every nook and cranny of our home and our lives. It is in me still — it guides me still.


That's why I shut off the air conditioning most summer nights and run the window fan instead. It's wobbling hum fills me with peacefulness and calm.


It reminds me how blessed I was to have the Big Guy for a dad.

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