Dragonflies assume the obelisk position to cool themselves, basically a sustained handstand to minimize the amount of surface exposed to the rays. Again, not a practical solution for beating the heat on the job. No one ever called me "Olga Korbut"!
And so, here we are at the first digression. Forty years ago yesterday President Nixon resigned. That was about two years after he met with Olga Korbut and the Soviet women's gymnastics team after the Munich Olympics.
Problems buzzed in my brain once I was offered the job:
- How to keep from getting sunburned to an irritable peeling mess and dying of skin cancer?
- How to cover up flabby upper arms so as not to scare little children?
- Why don't they make those socks with the bunny tail pompoms any more?
- Where to get golf shirts that breathe?
- Why do lawn care guys wear long sleeves, long pants, hats, and bandanas?
- What brand of walking shoes give best poofiness?
- How dorky of a hat can I stand to wear?
- What wardrobe wisdom can I glean from female explorers, scientists, athletes, authors, artists, archaeologists, real and fictional?
So I assembled an advisory team for adult beverages, guac and chips, hummus and carrot sticks. Seated on the living room floor around the coffee table were (clockwise) Jane Goodall, Margaret Mead, Georgia O'Keeffe, Nancy Lopez, Mary Leakey, Ann Garner, Ms. Frizzle. Seated on the couch were Joy Adamson, Nevada Barr, and Amelia Peabody. Since they were imaginary, I got all the guacamole.
And now for the second digression. Ann Garner was my Camp Fire Girl leader in 1965 or 1966. She was the smartest woman I had ever met at that point in my life. My mother was the assistant leader that year. When we had to write essays in sixth grade about who we wanted to be when we grew up, I didn't write about a celebrity. I wrote about Ann Garner.
Mrs. Garner had been a Camp Fire Girl herself when the organization (founded in 1910) was very young. I have no doubt Ann would suggest long navy culottes, a long-sleeved white blouse, a neckerchief and a sensible hat. To this day I can hear her recite:
Whether the weather be cold
or whether the weather be hot
Whether the weather be bold
or whether the weather be not
Whatever the weather
We'll see it together
Whether we like it or not
My team of advisors had several suggestions, some more practical than others. I am still finding my own functional, protective, and not too scary look.