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Brian’s Blog: Worst Sunburn Ever

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Summer’s here and with it comes the chance of an epic sunburn. I distinctly remember the worst sunburn I ever got.


I have the typical complexion of someone with Scots-Irish-English heritage. Light hair and eyes, with fair skin. I do tan if it’s multiple short exposures, not long bakes in the sun.

During it’s run, the Yakima Air Fair was one of the most well attended events held in the Yakima Valley. Held the last weekend in June, it drew big crowds. It’s also the place I got the worst sunburn I ever had.

In 1984, Air Fair weekend was hot and sunny. KIT Radio was handing out paper sun visors to the people who attended. My now ex- wife and I were doing a shift handing these out, and were supposed to be relieved at noon by another announcer and his girlfriend. They didn’t show, and we were stuck out in the direct sunlight in 90 degree plus heat for about five hours. We were both wearing shorts and t-shirts, no hats, and no sunscreen. My face, neck, scalp, and arms were burned a beautiful magenta color, as were my legs. Did you know that UV rays can reflect off of asphalt and still burn the heck out of you? They can, and did.

It was so bad, when we went out to dinner that evening, we were shivering uncontrollably in the restaurant’s air conditioning.  We stopped by a store for some Noxema to apply to the sunburn, and the same thing happened while walking past the beverage cooler.

It remains the worst sunburn I have ever had. I’m much more careful to use a good sunscreen now.

How about you? Where and when did you get the worst sunburn you ever had.

Get more information about sun protection here.

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