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Posts tagged: sunburns

The mark of Skyfest

“I'm wondering how many folks went home with a sunburn from this weekend's Skyfest shows,” wrote Nadine Timm. “Despite knowing better, my arms are the euphemistic lobster color. My son is fuchsia. As is a co-worker at my place of employment.

“Feels rather like a badge of honor. Usual excuses — allergic to sunscreen, didn't wear long sleeves.”

A sunburn story

As threatened, here is my sunburn story.

During the summer before my junior year of high school in Burlington, Vermont, I spent a few weeks with my older sister's family in Southern California.

Like many 16-year-old boys, I secretly wished that I was a bit cooler and more confident. So one of my goals while I was away from home was to acquire a stunning tan.

I wanted to possess a golden glow that, upon my return to the Green Mountain State, would make people stop and say, “That guy must be from California!”

Ridiculous, I know.

Anyway, I spent a lot of time outdoors during my visit and was probably well on my way to an OK tan. But remember, I was going for mind-blowing. So on a day when we went to a beach shortly before I was to head back East, I pulled out all the stops.

Eschewing any sort of sunscreen, I went for a full roasting there at the ocean's edge.

And, of course, I got a sunburn that made me ill.

I think I started to peel about the time I got on the plane. Soon it appeared that I had a case of the mange.

So my dream didn't quite come true. Upon my return, not one beautiful Vermont girl approached me and said, “Kind sir, I see from your tan that you are from a mystical, romantic place inspired by folk-rock and freeways. Could you tutor me in the ways of love and good vibrations?”

Not one.

If only I had used a few dabs of sunblock.

The next summer, I stayed home. 

Agree or disagree

Just about everyone's “My worst sunburn” story is pretty entertaining.

I happen to think that is true.

Tell me yours and I'll tell you mine.


Next year, there will be a few Spokane area residents who still refer to the “surprise Father's Day sunburn of 2012.”

Granted, it wasn't beach temps — where the need for sunscreen would have been obvious. And it was cloudy much of the time. But those kinds of days can be deceptive. So the sunburns in question would be of the highly localized variety. You know, back of the neck, ears or knees or whatever.

Where on your body did you once get a surprise sunburn?

Souvenirs of the weekend

I'm not suggesting they will be this ridiculous.

But it's a good bet that we'll see some sunburns today. 

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About this blog

Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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