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Wed Jun 24, 2020, 09:43 PM

The Hottest Day Ever in Phoenix: An Oral History

Esmé will always remember June 26, 1990. People don’t tend to forget days when their underpants literally melted due to the heat. The Valley resident was working at Sky Harbor International Airport as a wardrobe artist on a commercial shoot for the now-defunct America West Airlines.

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The temperature outside would eventually reach 122 degrees, a record hasn’t been broken since. It was part of a miserable, weeklong heat wave in Arizona that — in addition to baking everyone’s brains and giving transplants a reason to second-guess their decision to move here — resulted in dozens of hospitalizations and at least three deaths.

Phoenix earned headlines nationwide and was the butt of quips from late-night TV talk show hosts. Valley meteorologists had a field day. Entrepreneurs made a fortune selling commemorative T-shirts within hours. Local utility Salt River Project reported sky-high power usage figures. A lot of people freaked out.

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https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/arts/hottest-day-ever-in-phoenix-oral-history-122-degrees-11477223

I was working in Sun city at the time, driving there on my motorcycle. The heat was just unreal.

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Hottest Day Ever in Phoenix: An Oral History (Original post)
Mosby Jun 24 OP
TreasonousBastard Jun 24 #1
ZZenith Jun 24 #2
Kali Jun 24 #6
underpants Jun 24 #3
Devilsun Jun 24 #4
ChazInAz Jun 25 #8
WyLoochka Jun 24 #5
pansypoo53219 Jun 25 #7
DesertRat Jun 26 #9

Response to Mosby (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 09:48 PM

1. That's hot! I was there around that time when it hit 115 and that was bad enough.

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Response to Mosby (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 09:51 PM

2. We played a gig in Phoenix that night!

Pulled in at 3pm and all the gear in the truck was too hot to touch. We were in the swimming pool at midnight and it was still 111 degrees. Frickin’ miserable.

They say “the worst weather is the most memorable” and that’s exactly right. And with so many swimming pools in Phoenix it is actually a muggy heat. Ugh. God forbid that record ever gets beat but it probably will.

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Response to ZZenith (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 11:34 PM

6. more like golf courses, lawns and fake lakes

and back in the days, actual farms

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Response to Mosby (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 09:57 PM

3. Very cool all the perspectives from musicians

Nice article.

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Response to Mosby (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 10:09 PM

4. I had just started working as a carpenter

We were working on a roof in Mesa. It was surreal.

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Response to Devilsun (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 25, 2020, 11:47 AM

8. I was on stage.

Playing Richard III in an outdoor theater, made of concrete that was like an oven.
In Medieval brocades and velvets, plastic armor, and a foam rubber hump on my left shoulder. And Richard is onstage almost continuously in the play!
The show went on, but we players were afraid that the play's body count would be higher than Shakespeare intended.

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Response to Mosby (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 10:26 PM

5. I took my one and only golf lesson

On that day.

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Response to Mosby (Original post)

Thu Jun 25, 2020, 06:10 AM

7. i embrace milwaukee snow. no fucking way.

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Response to Mosby (Original post)

Fri Jun 26, 2020, 11:59 AM

9. I remember it well!

I spent the day lounging in our backyard pool. I didn't realize that we'd broken a record until we made national news and out of town friends and family started calling to see if we were ok.

Here's the next morning's newspaper:

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