We were idiots…

We were idiots…we thought having a sun tan meant that we were healthy. We were idiots…because we would do almost anything to get that sun tan. We would spend hours in the early summer sun to earn our yearly rite of passage, the first red rash sun-burn of the year. We referred to that first sun-burn as “our base tan”. We were idiots…with only one goal, a deep dark tan. Sun block was nasty stuff that never rubbed into your skin. What was the point of being outside and not getting a sun tan. Sun block was something my mother used on her nose, we certainly would not/could not use sun block while water skiing or laying on the dock. We were only interested in using Hawaiian Tropic tanning oil…after all it had a coconut fragrance that reminded us of surfing and Hawaiian beach babes (like I said; we were idiots). Summer was all about the deep dark sun tan. But this was Canada and eventually the snow came. That is when it hit us…sun tan beds. A 20 minute nap every few days in a tanning bed seemed like a great idea. That way we could look “healthy” all year round. In case you missed it earlier, we were idiots. We were young and invincible and we never once thought of skin cancer. 

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Author: ianmn

FOX 9 Chief Meteorologist Ian Leonard...love my life, love my wife, love my daughters and love my dog...kinda like the cat. I am the #stayskyaware dude.

9 thoughts on “We were idiots…”

  1. Yeah, we were idiots and sun block was that gross white slimy stuff that no kid wanted. That awesome tanned look was “cool” and meant we were outside kids….not the ghost white kids made fun of who played inside. Besides mom always said “go outside and play you need some sunshine”. Who’s laughing now…. What’s our role in sun now….

    Hang in there Ian! And thanks for your blog! It’s helping me too:-)

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  2. #1 idiot here! I would lay outside with baby oil for hours to get a tan….of course you had to get that first burn out of the way. I loved it! So relaxing. Then when I grew a little older I don’t have the time to lay outside I tanned in a tanning bed….daily! For a 1/2 hour! Now being in my 40’s i have had a couple of moles checked and fortunately they were all ok…this time. Thank you for sharing your story with us Ian and the Morgan’s are sending you fast, painless healing vibes.

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  3. I was one of those idiots you write about. And for the last 10 years, I have been paying the price: two bouts of melanoma and several basal and squamous cell skin cancers, so far. I visit the dermatologist every 6 months, use sunscreen diligently everyday, and say many prayers. I will be saying prayers for you, Ian. 🙏🏻

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  4. I’m am one of the typical idiot teenager crowd as well. My brother and I used baby oil with a spray bottle of water nearby to spray on us to cool down while laying out in the sun on the picnic table in the back yard. Used to also put lemon juice in our hair to “naturally” lighten it. We were sun children. The first day the temp got above 60, we were laying out. Didn’t take me long before I had a dark tan, thanks to my German heritage. I was diagnosed with Lupus in ’94 and started using a mild sunscreen (30spf) if I was out on the water, but not otherwise. The medication I now take for my Lupus has a strange effect on my skin if I get even a little pink while outside that I now you a 75spf sunscreen. I try to wear clothing with the spf in the material (Coolibar brand), wear a big hat when outside, always add the sunscreen throughout my time outside. Looking back, yes, us kids were invincible, tan, and healthy. Thanks for bringing back the memories. God bless.

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  5. I understand to well. I spent all teenage years swimming and tanning. Baby oil was my choice of sunscreen in the day.. I can remember sitting out in a lawn chair and tanning when there was still snow on the ground. Then we get busy and tanning beds during the winter. But 7 years ago this Feb, I had MOHS done on my nose,then reconstructive surgery done. I have also had spots on my right arm and top of my hand removed. Now every time I see a new spot I get do worried. But sunscreen and floppy hats and staying out of the sun is the choice I choose those many years ago, with out knowing.

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  6. Idiots indeed! Can’t pinpoint the exact act of being stupid but not paying attention to my lips certainly was one of them. Never thought about sunscreen on my lips. Paid the price in Nov. with skin cancer surgery on my lower lip. Healing process is going well but still in shock that this happened to me. After all – I was suppose to be invinsibale! Gods speed to you Ian! You are an inspiration! Hang in there!

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    1. I am so with you on your journey. Will be praying for a complete healing. I always had the best tan and proud of it. I have dark skin and brown eyes. No worries!! That is until I was diagnosed with melanoma a year ago and now a basal cell. I love my Coolibar sun clothing. We spend 2 months in Florida so they are my daily clothes. I see so many people tanning here and just want to preach. But I don’t. My face is really wrinkled too☹️☹️! Keep the faith!! You can run this race.

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  7. My question is Ian..what can we do about those idiots? I was one of those..and wouldn’t listen. -I was diagnosed with melanoma at age 24. Here I am 8 years later..still trying to preach to deaf years about the sun and tanning beds. And they are truly deaf ears. Please keep spreading the word! You have a following and a Cham e for people to actually listen!

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  8. Ian, I just started reading this blog. I can only read a bit at a time because I am recovering from 4 bad concussions in the last 3 years. I too loved laying out in the sun and using oil. I have fair skin. I hope I never have to go through anything like you. I hope this gets over as quick as possible and you heal up great. You look great still even amongst the red patches. Hang in there. I’m thinking and praying for you!!

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