Remember the Heat

Somehow, the extremes of summer make our days more memorable. Here are some of our reminiscences. We’d love to hear yours. Share them below!

Growing up in the pre-Green Valley days of Henderson, specifically during the late 1970s and early ’80s, there really weren’t many kid-friendly options within the city, nor in most of the Valley, for that matter.

My friends and I once spent a significant part of our summer carving out a bike-racing track in the desert along the northeast corner of Greenway Road and Horizon Drive, toiling for hours in the summer sun. On that very spot now stands a beautiful, city-operated recreation center, complete with tennis courts, indoor basketball courts, and a pool and water slide.

Not that I’m bitter or anything.

— Sean DeFrank

How many times have we heard about the importance of drinking plenty of water during the summer? Well, I’m telling you that the concept is overrated, at least if you’re a kid.

Living at the base of Black Mountain for most of my childhood, one of my favorite summer pastimes was exploring the miles of desert that surrounded me. My friends and I would leave in mid-morning and usually not return until dinnertime. We took no provisions with us—no food, no water—but that never curtailed our adventures.

Now I can’t even walk around the block without guzzling a bottle of water.

— Sean DeFrank

In Hermosillo, in the state of Sonora, Mexico, in August 1997, I volunteered to videotape the wedding of an aunt on my wife’s side. Dressed in full suit and tie, I filmed the entire ceremony, sweat dripping from every part of my body, in a church that was hot and unbearably humid. The next morning, after tossing and turning through a sleepless night, staring at an overmatched swamp cooler instead of a TV, I opened the newspaper. It was the last time I would learn about a global event in newsprint rather than on a screen: Across the world, in muggy Paris, Princess Diana had died.

— Paul Szydelko

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I’d been charmed by the decrepit Happi Inn for years. A two-story motor lodge built in 1973, it sat across from Mandalay Bay without offering even a hint of the same comfort or safety. It was a couple of plain, two-story buildings covered in fading salmon paint, with rotting AC units hanging under each window like loose teeth. For a long time, the marquee sign was missing the panel that said “Happi Inn,” leaving just “MOTEL.”