I had always had skin problems. The problems ranged from extremely dry, scaly skin to red rashes. Humidity seemed to really antagonize my problems and I had a horrible problem with eczema while we were living in Hawaii. Back in California, with dry air, my skin was primarily just dry and scaly.
I had always been self conscious about my skin. Most of my problems occurred on my legs. I used lotions and creams to try to moisten my skin, but my skin just soaked up the creams and continued to be dry. I confided to my Aunt Avis about my embarrassment when people noticed my legs. She would reassure me that my true friends would be there for me and not to listen to kids who said mean things to me.
So when one of the girls in my gym class began referring to me as "Lizard Legs" I wasn't sure how to react. I finally decided to go along with the joke and to become self-deprecating. So I made fun of myself and referred to myself as Lizard Legs. The nickname spread and pretty soon perfect strangers were greeting me as Lizard Legs. Soon, most everyone in my high school called me Lizard Legs. And strangely, it began to sound like an affectionate endearment when some people called me that. I began to enjoy being called Lizard Legs and would tell other kids to call me Lizard Legs. And more strangely, by embracing the name, I had become more popular. And I loved being the center of attention.