‘Ain’t no sunshine’ for this fair lass

Print Article

I donít do well in the sun. This is because my Nordic heritage makes me one step removed from being declared an albino. I donít tan, never have. Instead I turn different shades of a hue I like to call fish-belly white.

Most of the time my fair skin isnít a problem. I wear a hat and long sleeves and largely stay out of the sun. During a summer like this one, though, with day after day of sunny hot weather, itís a challenge.

Sunscreen you say? Hereís the rub. I developed an allergy to most sunscreen products a few years ago. Every year I try a different one, only to develop yet another rash that takes days to clear up. So Iím left to don a shirt and hat even when Iím at a water park with my granddaughter or kayaking on Whitefish Lake.

When the conversation in the newsroom turned to SPF (sun protection factor) the other day and how much is enough, it brought back painful memories of my younger years. These days parents slather up their kids with waterproof sunscreen with 50-plus SPF and turn them loose.

Sunscreen was commercially available when I was a kid. Coppertone was the go-to sunscreen starting in the early 1950s, but it wasnít something my mother ever bought. If we were going to sit out on the tractor all day, we were advised to wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and a hat.

My fair-skinned brothers and I were prone to sunburn and inevitably weíd turn lobster-red after a summer afternoon spent bike-riding or swimming. My motherís only remedy was to treat our pink skin with a vinegar rub, which made it sting even more.

I was a complete idiot in college when I decided one day to sunbathe with one of my roommates who already was sporting quite a tan. We laid out in the sun for close to two hours on one of those aluminum foil reflectors popular in the mid-í70s. All we need is some baby oil, my roommate assured me.

Afterward, I began suffering symptoms of a heat stroke and became disoriented when I was talking on the phone to my mom. To her credit, she recognized my distress and quickly drove the 30 miles to pick me up and haul me to the ER. My back blistered and I was in pain. To make matters worse, I hopped on a plane to Europe a couple of days later and was miserable during the entire flight.

It was a lesson learned the hard way.

These days there doesnít seem to be as much pressure to get the perfect tan, though tanning beds are still popular and self-tanning sprays can give a person an impromptu bronzed appearance.

I ran across a Popular Science article that detailed some of the earliest means of achieving a tan. In 1938 sunbathers at Willow Lake, California, sprayed milk on themselves to expedite the tanning process, using a motor-driven atomizer to spritz the milk concoction, the article said. That same year Popular Science wrote about a rotating tent that let sunbathers follow the sunís movement.

The coin-operated tanning lamp was introduced by General Electric in 1950 so you could ďtoast your face while you waited at the doctorís office, at restaurants and even at railroad stations,Ē the magazine noted.

By 1970 sun worshipers could buy a do-it-your-self kit to make an aluminum bowl big enough for the entire family! And hereís one more interesting tidbit: the earliest sunscreen had an SPF of only 2.

Sunshine is a glorious thing. Thereís no better feeling than tipping your face upward and soaking up the warmth and light. Itís good for the soul, so I sneak in a ray or two. But most of the time, youíll find me in the shade.

Features editor Lynnette Hintze may be reached at 758-4421 or lhintze@dailyinterlake.com.

Print Article

Read More

THE EVENT: Local rider reflects on 16 years of The Event at Rebecca Farm

July 24, 2017 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake By EVAN MCCULLERS The Daily Inter Lake Kim Liddell has been through it all with The Event at Rebecca Farm. She remembers when there was no such thing, and she and several close friends would g...

Comments

Read More

American Legion Baseball Lakers AA face Helena, again, in state tourney opener

July 24, 2017 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake The fifth-seeded Kalispell Lakers will face the No. 4 seed Helena Senators on Wednesday at noon in first-round action at the Class AA Montana/Alberta American Legion state baseball tournament in Bo...

Comments

Read More

Reunion to reconnect employees from í60s and í70s

July 24, 2017 at 8:16 pm | Daily Inter Lake Itís been a half century since they carried luggage, cooked, scrubbed pots and pans, changed sheets and waited tables surrounded by the beauty of Glacier National Parkís Lake McDonald Lodge. These...

Comments

Read More

Flathead fire danger Ďvery highí

July 24, 2017 at 8:16 pm | Daily Inter Lake In the hours following Montana Gov. Steve Bullockís announcement that the state had entered a fire emergency, Flathead crews worked to douse flames of small fires throughout the valley as the fire ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

News: (406) 837-5131
Advertising: 406-758-4410
Bigfork Eagle
c/o Daily Inter Lake
PO Box 7610
Kalispell, MT 59904

©2017 Bigfork Eagle Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X