Saturday, July 24, 2010

One Red Arm

So you may be wondering what this One Red Arm thing is all about. Back in 1997 I was a senior at Central Michigan University. I was in my last year and was living in the Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity house. Knowing that this would be my last year in college, it only seemed right to go on Spring Break and enjoy my last hurrah. The Van Van was in running order and three other fraternity brothers were willing to take the trip with me to Key West, FL. After classes on a Thursday we left Mt. Pleasant bound for Key West. We drove through the night in hopes that we would get to warmer weather by morning. It was incredibly cold that first night. The mountains of West Virginia are just high enough to get below freezing in the Spring. With Frozen hands attached to the steering wheel, we forged on and made it to North Carolina by mid-day. We spent the night at Eric Kalamaras’ parents’ home before continuing on to Florida.

We pulled another all nighter and made it to Miami the next day where we stopped in the Everglades for an air boat ride. I was also making a point to try to find and talk to some Cubans that had made it to FL by boat. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any. Anyway, we headed south from Miami and entered Highway 1, the Overseas Highway that takes you through the keys and ends in Key West. We got about half way there and I noticed that my “lap” area was getting very hot. After a few moments I realized that the sun was shining directly on my “lap” area and I was wearing black shorts! Wow was it hot. I covered my lap with my hat and that seemed to resolve the issue for the time being.

Anyone who drives a VW bus knows that the most comfortable place to rest your left arm is on the door with the window rolled down. Unfortunately, I wasn’t wearing any sunscreen on our trip and my arm became very sunburned.

The next day, I looked in the mirror and was astonished at how unbalanced I looked with my One Red Arm. I kept sunscreen on my left arm all week but the rest of my body just couldn’t get tan / burnt enough to match the color of my left arm. I was known for the rest of the week as One Red Arm. I was also known as bald fat guy too but that story isn’t as interesting as this one. J

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