Outdoor workers share how they stay cool

From Staff ReportsJuly 14, 2014 

Reporter Corrine Jurney asked small-business owners and others who work outside how they stay cool during the summer months. This is what they said.

• “We try to create a cross-breeze within the bus, wear hats and cotton, which absorbs heat, and just sweat it out,” said Melanie Pierce, owner of Cary-based Bikini Bus, a mobile swimwear boutique. She said she and employee Anna Beth Gawarecki enjoy air conditioning on the way home.

• “We’ve got cool rags on our neck. I take the water from our cooler, douse the rag and it brings the heat down about 10 degrees. You have to drink a lot of water. I drink four bottles a day,” said Ricardo Zambenedetti, co-owner of Groovy Dogs, a Raleigh-based hot dog stand that operates on the corner of Martin and Fayetteville streets.

• “You condition yourself and get used to the heat after so many years of working outside,” said Bill Gabello, who spends more than seven hours a day outside. “The biggest problem is the heat coming from the cars; you’re around a vehicle that can be more than 120 degrees. ... You pace yourself. Get a lot of stuff done in the morning and find ways to get through the day, whether that’s getting your mind to a better place or spraying the water to cool off.”

• “Stay hydrated. I probably drink a gallon of water a day just being up here, not counting at home. Fruit is all I eat most of the time,” said Coley Lyon, a sales representative for Lyon Farms, a Creedmoor farm that’s owned by her father and also operates a produce stand in Raleigh. “With the heat, we have to be careful with delicate things like lettuces; we keep them watered with cool water. When we get the butter beans in, we’ll keep them in a cooler. The rest of the produce does fine as long as it isn’t in direct sunlight.”

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