CHICAGO - A Chicago area tanning salon was rocked Tuesday by the news of the firing of Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo.
Over the past ten years, Angelo has been a regular customer of Lakeview's Chi-Tan salon. For Chi-Tan owners, losing one customer wouldn't be a big deal...but the overwhelming services that Angelo demands on a weekly basis provides a big chunk of income for the business.
"We're not talking about some ordinary 'Joe'," stated Chi-Tan owner Linda Bristow. "This is a man who receives a full treatment on a weekly basis. He usually starts with a hydration treatment and spends time in our Silver Bullet bed...that's our best bed. Plus, he's got a ridiculous collection of lotions and emergency spray tan material...guess you could say he's the Walter Chayton of tanning. Or was it Mayton? Sorry. Payton. Walter Payton. Don't use that in your article."
Angelo's dedication to Chi-Tan has given tens of thousands of dollars to the company over the years. For Chi-Tan, this means that Angelo's departure isn't just another customer leaving town...it's a part of the tanning community.
"He wasn't just a tanning connoisseur...he was a tanning advocate," stated Jenny Givens of Hinsdale. "He fought endlessly against the tyranny of the media against tanning bed users. His dedication to the plight of tanners is well documented. E-mail groups, chat rooms, fliers, public service announcements, self-demonstrations to various Bears players...the white ones, of course...all of this made our community strong. So, he's leaving a big void. A big...bronze...semi-burnt void."
Angelo's departure has left the former general manager with fond memories of his time tanning in Chicago.
"You know...uh...there isn't a lot of sun here like in Tampa. You can't predict when the sun is going to come out. You have to wait and see to really grade what type of a 'sun year' you've had. So, seeing that's the case, I have to be proactive with various spray tans and lotions. The assistance I've gotten here (at Chi-Tan) with properly exfoliating, moisturizing...you know...taking the time to make sure you don't get those stains...you want it to look natural. When you're not using a spray, and you use a regular bed, you still want to make sure you have the applicable lotions. I use this lotion that's high in hemp seed oil...keeps everything healthy. You know, you can't predict how your skin is going to react to these things."
Angelo's firing had a lot to do with his failures in the draft. Oddly enough, it was his draft experiences that created his tanning philosophy.
"People don't realize this, but tanning is kind of like the draft. You take a project in the first round and you want to see how that guy will develop. I like experimenting with various lotions...some have a higher content of natural butter, some don't...you have to take big risks. For instance, I like players from small schools in Texas that haven't proven themselves on the big stage...some of the oils I use have been banned in certain countries...you have to say 'big deal'. You have to be willing to take a risk on a passive offensive tackle who is known as a mediocre run blocker, you have to be willing to draft linebackers in the second round that probably would've gone three or four rounds deeper, and you have to be willing to occasionally use a conditioner that's higher in copper for an occasional summer glow. It's just the facts."
Angelo's leaving will create a hole in Chi-Tan and the tanning community...something that leaves Bristow wondering aloud.
"Will the next guy like to tan? Will the offensive coordinator tan? Are we gonna get somebody who can be a tanning advocate? We're on pins and needles. I'm just hoping it's somebody in need of a good tan."