It’s the middle of the summer, and not yet the hottest month, but the heat and drought are already taking their toll.
The living and working are clearly not easy, according to Frank Bill, either in a warehouse in Louisville, Kentucky or on the farms of southern Indiana.
It’s July and the temperatures throughout southern Indiana and northern Kentucky are an inferno, in some cases scorching to over 100 degrees, and we know it’s not even August yet; it’s only going to get hotter. Several days in a row I get a mind-splitter headache; it’s so bad, it hurts to blink.
At my job, it’s the huff of chemical fumes and the smell of dirt from truck tires cranking up and down 13th Street and into the Southern Clay warehouse in Louisville, Ky. I sit on a forklift from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., loading inner-city semis and overseas shipping containers with paint additives. Sweat coats my body like moist insulation.
In the evening, on the drive home, the heat beats down on the traffic. Crossing over the Sherman Minton Bridge to Indiana, I can see the Ohio River has receded, revealing stair-stepping stone formations below the former banks. On Interstate 64 West, cars and trucks are stalling, breaking down, not built for the high temperatures. Exit onto Crandall Lanesville Road, past shrunken feed corn crops. Windows down, a sticky breeze whirls in as I speed past corn and soybean crops into Harrison County. Past homes where yards are dead foliage and scabs of dirt.