Cooling centers were open, pools and fountains were packed and fans and air conditioners were gone from store shelves as Wednesday's temperature...
Cooling centers were open, pools and fountains were packed and fans and air conditioners were gone from store shelves as Wednesday’s temperature climbed to a record 103 degrees in Seattle.
But to the people who braved Seattle’s hottest day in history to catch the ballgame or shop for fresh flowers, the rest of us looked like weather wimps.
There’s no place at a Mariners game for pasty Seattleites who can’t handle a little heat, said the fans who sat through triple-digit temperatures Wednesday.
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“We’re making history today,” said Karen Ford, 53, of Seattle. “Hottest Mariners game ever. Got to be there.”
Canadians who packed the stadium for the game against the Toronto Blue Jays said they wouldn’t change the day one degree.
“We put up with rain all winter,” said CTV sports anchor Mira Laurence, 33. “I’m not going to complain about a couple weeks of sun ever.”
Niall Harvey said the blazing sun was an excuse to buy a Mariners baseball cap.
“It’s tradition. It’s got to be hot,” he said.
Fans agreed that when it comes to baseball, heat isn’t a bad thing.
“You should be sunburned, sweaty and drinking lots of beer,” said Mimi Harvey, Niall’s mother.
It wasn’t air-conditioned like a grocery store, but locovores still packed Columbia City’s farmers market for fresh produce and flowers.
“The food at the farmers market makes you feel good, and you need some of that when it’s 100 degrees and you feel like you are going to die,” said Sarah Cole, 38.
Cole packed a cooler in her car so she could keep her fruit cold as she drove home. “It’s all about strategy,” she said.
Besides, it’s the perfect time of year to find watermelons, corn, lettuce and berries, said Bob Scheidler, 65, who came from Alki Beach to shop.
“It’s terrific, even though it’s hot,” he said.
“I’ll go regardless. I’m an all-weather shopper.”
Tuesday evening — a night that would later set a record for the highest overnight low temperature in Seattle — lovers of marching-band music sweated in an un-air-conditioned brick building to practice Sousa’s greatest hits in 95-degree heat.
“John Philip Sousa’s band had to play in worse weather all summer long,” said director Liz Dreisbach.
One hundred years later, the Sedentary Sousa Band gathered in the Wallingford Community Senior Center, fanning each other with sheet music and getting ready for an upcoming performance at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks.
“We play regardless. Didn’t bother me,” Edwin Pund, 86, said about the heat. Pund went snow-blind while climbing Mount Rainier in 1959, so he’s memorized all the numbers — 500 songs in 13 keys.
The weather was perfect for rehearsing “Joyce’s 71st NY Regiment,” which Dreisbach says conjures up images of miners braving the elements to strike it rich in the California gold rush.
“You have to feel like you’re trudging through the heat,” Dreisbach told the band as they rehearsed. “If only the Donner Party had this playing for them, they would have made it.”
Jamie Kitchens will always remember how he felt on July 29, 2009 — not because it was Seattle’s hottest day ever, but because it was the day he got his first hole-in-one.
“Even in this hot weather, I got the chills,” Kitchens, 32, said.
Kitchens and friend Brett Fraser, 29, said Wednesday was the perfect day for a round of golf at Jefferson Park Golf Course in Seattle.
“We thought it would be so hot that there’d be nobody else here,” Kitchens said.
He was right. The golf course was mostly empty, but luckily there was a ranger nearby who verified his shot, a hole-in-one with a pitching wedge on the 167-yard 10th hole.
“A lot of Seattleites know, we do things whether it rains, snows or is 110 degrees,” said Kitchens. “You can’t live indoors.”
Lindsay Toler: 206-464-2463 or email@example.com