Today in the comic strips Janis was fanning herself with a fan given out by a politician and it awakened a memory for me.
When I was a girl, we had fans like those in church in the summer. A light cardboard rectangle stapled to an over size tongue depressor kind of stick made a sturdy little fan. The local funeral homes would give out these fans to churches. They were printed with serene garden pictures and, of course, also imprinted with the name of the funeral establishment. The fans were lodged in the hymnal rack, along with the hymn books, —several to each pew. They provided a way for us to move the air around us and feel a little cooler as we sat in the over warm building in the heat of summer.
I haven’t thought about those fans for years. They were a common fixture every summer. Some women carried pretty, folding fans in their purses and they would really intrigue me. Made of many long straight spines, they would stack to make one long, narrow strip, then snap open into a semicircle to make a decorative yet functional fan.
Today we have the overhead fans going and we bring in standing, electric fans to keep the air moving. And if we live in an area where summer heat is a constant, there is air conditioning. What a wonderful invention that has been!
But today, I’m remembering the paper fans, stapled to a strip of wood, which helped us feel a little cooler during church services in the heat of summers long ago.