BARE AND FREE
|Volume 26, Number 4||2014 November|
In this Issue
Days To Remember
Christmas Banquet Returns to the Lake
This year, our Christmas Banquet returns to the lake on Sunday, December 14. In case of cold or rainy weather, Steve Haley has offered his house as a back-up location. If we decide to move indoors, you will receive directions a couple of days ahead.
Bring two passing dishes for this one. The club will provide chickens. Because this is a board meeting day, we will eat at 1:00, and meet at 2:00.
MAP of Trynudethon
It's Been a Busy Fall
We had fine weather, but few competitors at the Trynudethon in September. That's because it was pouring rain in Tallahassee, but not at the lake. Still, we enjoyed the opportunity to test out all the parts of our competition. For the first time, we were able to use the full course (including the swamp trail and the new trail connecting the sandy field to the nature trail). And we learned that the lite course takes about 26 minutes less than the full course. Having competitors from the two different races approach the finish line from opposite directions works. Craig was our Trynudethon champion, and Luke was our Trynudethon-Lite champ.
Back in 1998, we set an October attendance record of 120 people. Many times, we have come close to that, but the record stood for 16 years. This year, we broke it decisively with 141. That included 59 at the October Full-Moon Skinny-Dip
In November, we tried our first Full-Moon Bonfire. A dozen hardy souls attended. Unusually cold fall weather killed any plans of a repeat in December. But because the full-moons and the skinny-dips align awkwardly next spring and fall, we plan to extend the season with bonfires in April and October.
Consider the Midwinter Naturist Festival
Every February, nudists from around Florida gather to plan legislative strategy. This year, there's a lot to talk about, with an anti-nudity bill stalled in Clay County over near Jacksonville—as well as active efforts to establish nude beaches at Jacksonville, Fort Pierce, and Venice. For the first time in many years, Florida nudists are holding the line, and starting to take the initiative.
This year's festival runs February 12-17, with most of the serious discussions happening on the weekend.
For five or six days, the festival offers workshops for just about every interest: raising children as naturists, African drumming, body painting, archery, edible mushrooms, yoga, drawing the nude, birdwatching, stargazing, canoe trips, and a pudding toss for young and old. Paul and perhaps Mark will lead a workshop on attracting college students. And on Valentines day, Paul will present a slide show about Cupid in art through the ages.
You can find all the details at www.sunsportgardens.com. Or Paul has the schedule with reservation forms. Consider going this year.
AANR Board Chooses a Few Changes
This spring, the AANR board hired a new executive director. This fall, they fired him. He had recommended a lot of changes, but the one that drew opposition was finding a place in AANR for swinger clubs.
Committees had studied all of his recommendations, and the national board met in mid-November to evaluate them. Besides saying no to the swingers, the board decided to do nothing at present about establishing more efficient instructions for the executive director, changing the association's name, reviving the Trade Association for Nude Recreation, or putting out a new park guide. They did decide the fired director was right about selling the national office, which is located in a deteriorating neighborhood in Kissimmee. And they agreed that AANR prices need some standardizing. Details have yet to be worked out.
Steve Gets Interviewed
Our own Steve White has been interviewed by Will Forest (author of Co-Ed Naked Philosophy, a novel about nudity on campus). Here is the beginning of that interview:
Steve White maintains one of the most body-positive Facebook pages and Twitter feeds you will find anywhere. Follow him, and his inspirational messages and images will remind you every day how important you are, how beautiful you are, and how much you should love yourself first and foremost.
1. Steve, how did you become interested in naturism? Was there a particular day or event that sparked the interest in you, or was it there from as long as you can remember, even before knowing what "naturism" meant?
SW: Technically speaking, my initial involvement with naturism and the positive concepts it promotes is actually posted via the Internet upon my local naturist club website (Tallahassee Naturally). It's a unique sporting event called the Greek Athletic Meet. My name is posted there on a side link of victors who have won that competition in the past. It was back in 2000 and I'm listed as Steve.
As someone who has been involved with many sports throughout my school years and recreational sporting activities even today, this particular event back then really piqued my interest due to competing with this type of track and field which has the dress code of nudity and was very intriguing to me. However being involved with that particular naturist event for the first time really opened my eyes to a whole new world—something that immediately took me by surprise. The nudity that day was nothing more then a tool, the result of using the tool was the concept of body acceptance, basically the byproduct of naturism anyway. I was there to just compete, but I found that due to everyone being nude (expressing and exposing) all different body types, there was an appreciation of the human body form and all of its uniqueness. Which led in return for individuals to love their own bodies by appreciating and accepting others while others are appreciating and accepting of theirs. That's a very powerful concept.
You can read the full interview at nudescribe.blogspot.com/2014/11/interview with steve white.html?spref=tw&m=1&zx=d07fc33d6ab8144b
Two Voices; One Purpose
by Paul LeValley
Tallahassee Naturally has the nation's only affiliated campus nudist group functioning today. While closely linked, the two organizations operate under different rules. Tallahassee Naturally is governed by our bylaws, procedure manual, and the principles of AANR and The Naturist Society. Naturally FSU must operate first under the rules of FSU, which include being student-run, no nudity on campus and no visible genitals on bulletin boards. Secondarily, if they want to use our land, Naturally FSU students must abide by our principles of behavior, and not bring disrepute to our club. And one of our founding principles is that all activities be conducted so that parents may bring their children. We're not budging on that one. Even though our student members are still a bit young to start families, and other members have passed that point, ours is a family-oriented club. Anyone who does not want to be around young people can go somewhere else.
For more than five years, the various leaders of Naturally FSU have functioned within those parameters. This year, we have been pleased to see the NFSU president regularly attending our board meetings for closer communication. Of course, we don't agree on every little point; that would be too much to expect. Our board members don't agree on every little point either, but we give and take, reach a consensus we can all live with, and part as respected friends.
Lately, Naturally FSU has found its own voice on their Facebook page. They haven't been around long enough to know that it is actually an old voice that has been silent for a while. For years, Naturist Society founder, Lee Baxandall published controversial articles in Clothed with the Sun (later known as Nude and Natural). The magazine's slogan proclaimed "Body acceptance is the idea; nude recreation is the way." Lee outraged a few people by publishing articles on gay naturists, mastectomies, pagans, even the confessions of a child molester. Were these the ideals to which we aspired? No, but we learned from reading those articles; we learned to understand; we learned to be more tolerant and inclusive.
Now Naturally FSU has published this fine statement: "Here at NFSU we ask hard questions, we defy old standards. We discuss the fascination of our society with body parts, from the importance placed on a man's genitals to the extreme pressure placed upon young women to possess an arbitrary physical quality like the right body shape.... We question the division between Christianity and Nudism, which so many people confuse as being mutually exclusive. We show the role nudity has played in the spirituality of humanity since its inception, such as in the Druid tradition, Wicca, Eastern religions, and so on. We do nothing but act in accordance with the philosophy of Nudism, to reveal to society the triviality of its anxieties towards the human body."
Nothing much has changed. It's good to hear that slightly discordant voice again. If, on the other hand, you offend easily, don't go to the Naturally FSU Facebook page. It's as simple as that.
Of course, treading close to the borderline of acceptability means an occasional misstep. I suspect there has been at least one already. That was a link to a piece of humor that can best be described as sophomoric, or the sort of thing likely to amuse college sophomores—who actually are their target audience, rather than old fuddy-duddies like me.
I speak as an old professor. We should hold our students to a little looser standard of expression than we would expect on Tallahassee Naturally's official pages. They still have to behave at the lake. Half a century ago, I was a sophomore writing on the college newspaper, and I delighted in shocking people. I didn't know then that college students have been shocking their elders by singing rowdy songs for the last 800 years. Again, not much has changed.
Woodrow Wilson once said that "the use of a university is to make young gentlemen as unlike their fathers as possible." College is a time when people can explore a variety of ideas without damaging their careers. And if successful, college will produce responsible citizens who think for themselves. (And in a few model families, that already happens before the children go off to college—but such instances are rare.)
I look around at the younger leaders coming up in our club—people like Steve, Rick, and Dustin—and I am pleased. We never told them how to become responsible leaders. We only set the example. And now they are bursting with good ideas of their own. At the same time, some of our delightful children are now reaching college age. Our future is in good hands.
The 2015 Tallahassee Naturally Calendar
© 2014 Tallahassee Naturally