In this heat, I am adding my truck A/C to the prayer list

Published 9:40 am Friday, July 28, 2017

I had a crisis recently.

The air conditioner in my truck went out.

During the winter, that wouldn’t have been a problem. It probably wouldn’t have made much difference in the fall. But this was July in the south; one of the hottest times of the year when the temperatures soar in the upper 90s and humidity reaches somewhere near 90 percent.

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This is the time of the year when ice cream and Popsicles melt the minute you walk out the door. After five minutes outside, the sweat pours out soaking your clothes and making you feel like you just got out of the shower. The sun is so intense you need to put sunglasses over your sunglasses to give your eyes relief. The heat shimmers off the sidewalk and you can actually see the humidity hanging in the air. And the regular scattered pop-up thunderstorms that are so common this time of year only make things hotter after they stop.

And it was in that kind of atmosphere that my truck’s air conditioner decided to go on strike. People up north, I believe don’t seem to understand the relationship between southerners and our air conditioners. Those marvelous machines make living our paradise bearable. Down here, air conditioning is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. And when it goes out, whether in your home or your car, you appreciate it more when you get it back.

Since about May of last year, I’ve had a running battle with my truck’s air conditioner. It went out in May 2016 and went in the shop. I’ll never forget the call I received from the mechanic.

“We’ve found the problem with your air conditioner,” he told me. When I asked for the estimate, I asked, “Should I be sitting down?” He told me “Yes.” The computer system that controls the air conditioner went out. The cost to replace it was $900; I could see my life flashing before me.

After a long moment of silence, he asked, “Would you let me put a switch in your car?” The plan was to bypass the computer and link the system directly to the compressor. The cost was $190. It didn’t take me long to say yes.

Things were fine until early fall, when the system began blowing warm air-again, and I figured I’d wait until spring to have the problem checked out. Besides, with cool and cold weather coming; I wouldn’t need my air conditioning.

Wrong. We had a warm fall and winter and I suffered. Once spring came, I put my truck back into the shop to have a leaking line replaced. I was fine until this month when the air went from cold to hot, and I put her back into the shop. This time, the problem was a short that was fixed at no charge.

So now I’m cool, literally. And every day I say a little prayer my A/C won’t go out again. I never liked a sauna.

John Surratt is a staff writer with The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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