Some people love to lay in the sun to get a tan. I don’t tan, I stroke.


I’ve known many people who love to lay in the sun. I’m not one of them. I burn very easily, so I tend to hang out in the shade. I’ve been ridiculed by people because of this behavior but I don’t care.


Some people have olive colored skin and tan easily. They can lay in the sun for hours and not have to worry about getting burned. My daughter, Sarah is like that. She loves the beach because she can just lay on a towel and go to sleep.


On one of my trips to Hawaii, I saw a guy with a light complexion like mine asleep on the beach. He had to be air lifted to a hospital in critical condition! I’ll take the ridicule. I would much rather have that than a sunburn.


When we were kids, I used to hate going to the beach. We only went once a year, and it was always a disaster. My siblings and I would play in the water all day, until it was time to go home. So, we’d load up the car and head home. I could feel the burn start right away, and by the time we got home, I could barely move. Add some sand in to rip your skin off and it marked the end of a wonderful day. The only good thing was missing school for a couple of days.


Once, my mother drove us up to a place in Oregon called Kaneeta Hot Springs. We played all day in the water. Later on, when we got back to my brother’s house, my shoulders began to blister. I’m not talking about the small blisters you get under your sunburned skin, I’m talking about huge blisters that rose to a half inch. Lots of them. I looked like an alien.


The blisters turned black, indicating a severe burn. My mother had to take me to the doctor. He prescribed some ointment that was nearly impossible to apply. I missed a week of school because I couldn’t put a shirt on. I’ll never forget that pain and disfigurement. I had to keep telling people, “I’m not an animal”!


My younger brother, Fred, got it the worst. At some point, when he was the last kid at home, my parents lost their minds and moved to Tucson, Arizona. Where its 800° year round. My brother’s complexion is about as light as you can get, without being Albino. The kid used to get a sunburn by opening the refrigerator.


He has had four surgeries so far to remove skin cancer. Very scary. So, the next time someone ridicules me for having blinding white legs, I’ll just smile and say, “I’m fine, you go play”.


I eventually learned to love the beach, because I would go early in the morning, or just before sunset. The only time I would get a little hot then was if I got a little too close to the bon fire.

See you tomorrow.

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