- Posted July 4, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Heat and droughts strike U.S.
2 videos of the cool weather at the historic, beautiful, VA hospital at Togus, Maine
It's a 4 hour drive, so when I left my house at 6 am, it was about 57 degrees up by the Canadian border, a few miles from East Grand Lake on Route 1 between Houlton and Calais. I wore heavy jeans and a polo shirt, because I knew the day would start cool, and end that way, up here in Maine.
At the VAMC near Augusta, in central Maine, I videoed this wonderful lily pond. This hospital was the very first hospital built, exclusively to care for Union veterans, shortly after the Civil War, and has a proud tradition. I think around the the turn of the 19th/20th century, there were almost 19,000 homeless, sick veterans living here, as back then, most people were cared for by a doctor in their homes, and hospitals were mostly for those who did not have those resources of family, a home, and money to pay for a doctor?
Shortly after I took the first video, we had a thunderstorm and a shower. The temperature dropped from around 80 degrees with a ten mile an hour breeze, to about 70 degrees, with a ten mile an hour breeze. You can see that cooling shower in the next video.
No matter where you live, people become adjusted to their circumstances. Although it’s only about 80 degrees with a breeze, people in Maine think that’s hot. LOL
The buildings are very old, with many corridors connecting the many different buildings. I was walking down one connecting corridor (not a building, but an enclosed corridor connecting two different buildings, so patients and staff can move between them without having to go out in to the deep snow in the winter), and two staff members were remarking that the heat was on and the windows were open (once again, this is an enclosed corridor, built a very long time ago, connecting two buildings), and NOT THE BUILDINGS THEMSELVES. Sure enough, warm air was blowing out of the vents, and the windows in the corridor were open.
Although, it could have been that the air conditioning had shut off, and warm air was merely being circulated in this long corridor connecting two, large buildings? So I would NOT/Nada want to state, categorically, that on July 2nd, the heat was on in a corridor, connecting two buildings at VAMC at Togus, Maine, but am only reporting an overheard conversation between two staff members.
As you can see in the rain shower video, taken at the main entrance to Building 200, contractors are constantly repairing the buildings, which are very old, as this was the very first VA hospital in the USA. I usually get my medical care at the VA clinic at Lincoln, Maine, about 45 miles from my house, but for major heart care, I have to travel to the main hospital at Augusta. So I only go down there, several times a year. Every time I do, maintenance people and contractors are busily repairing this older facility.
It is always a very pleasant visit, because you can’t find a more friendly place than a veteran’s hospital, probably because we are all veterans, perhaps with different experiences and different problems, but we all share a certain, major experience in our lives.
Vehicles donated by the Disabled American Veterans (of which I am a life member) circulate at the parking lots, staffed by volunteers, and they always stop to ask if I need a ride. It’s the most pleasant hospital in the world, I think.
I am very sorry that I did not get a mortgage on a house closer to this VA hospital, because it is always wonderful to be there, among other veterans.