Pages of History
The newsletter of the Naturist Education
Foundation and the Naturist Action Committee.
Volume 1, Number 4. April 2020.
NAC News -- Call for Candidates
Doug Hickok, NAC Board Member
If you haven't visited the NAC
website recently, we've put up the annual Call for Candidates.
The Call is usually led by NAC, but board members serve dual roles on both
organizations. If you're interested in helping out NAC and NEF in a
formal way, feel free to apply for a board position! If you're
interested in helping out in other ways, get it contact and let us know too!
Naturism Under Lock-Down
Susan Shopiro, NAC Chair
[Editor's Note: With much of the country looking forward to a
warm summer of clothes-free sunshine, I asked Susan how the Florida
resorts are coping with the pandemic and what we might expect as other
venues open for the season.]
It’s been a quiet month here at Cypress Cove. In order to
protect our residents the management of the Cove has closed the
business down to bare essentials. For at least the month of
April, our hotel rooms are closed, no tenting reservations, and only
long-term RV reservations are being honored but new arrivals must
agree to a two week self-quarantine. The retail businesses, our
salon, massage, concession, and the boutique have been closed since
mid-March. The pool, hot tubs, gym, clubhouse, and game room
have also been closed since then. All of our famous activities,
classes, pickle ball, golf, pétanque, water aerobics, and line dancing
to name only a few are canceled. The only food service is from
Cheeks with take-out only, and they charge to our accounts with no
signature required. The only drinks available must be from a can
that you have to open. (There goes my martinis.)
Many of the residents who have homes elsewhere have left and we
only have the folks who live here and the full-time RVers left.
There are no day visitors allowed, even if they are Cove
members. Those of us that are here are requested to follow the
physical distancing guidelines and wear face masks. We have
access to the entire park property including the lake. Naturists
are smart people and the compliance with the guidelines is very
high. We are not visiting people in their homes but standing in
the street and shouting to people on the porches and driveways,
talking to each other across the street, and waving when we pass by on
bicycles and golf carts. There are no gatherings of 10 or more
people and those that gather sit 6 feet apart. Yes, you do see
folks with face masks and nothing else and our selection of face masks
make a traditional nudist fashion statement. One of our members,
Suzanne, will make you a beautiful and functional mask and you can
pick your own fabric.
As of this moment, we have had no one in the resort come down with
COVID-19 and we are working to keep it that way. Most of us are
taking advantage of food delivery services including our weekly
pizza/pasta in-home party, with delivery by a Cove member who is still
working and we all do our part to keep her working. A special
Cove project, organized by Linda, was to take donations and have the
Chef prepare meals that were delivered to our local hospital staff and
A quick call to Morley Schloss at Sunsport Gardens tells of a less
restrictive regime that requires the naturists living there maintain
strict 6 feet distancing and many are wearing masks and of course
nothing else. However, the pool & hot tub are open and
pétanque is still on their schedule, no tennis or volleyball.
Sunsport still allows non-resident members to enjoy the facility but
they are very quick to call out distancing violators. Morley
states that following the lead of Palm Beach County, he will reopen
the seating in his restaurant and has hopes of hosting the Young
Nudist Weekend the end of May. Regardless, the physical
distancing requirement will remain in force. Morley also reports
that they have not had any COVID-19 cases at Sunsport and there are a
certain number of people who live there that are working in essential
Michael Kush, Marketing Director from Lake Como, reports the same
efforts as at Cypress Cove with no visitors allowed and physical
distancing requirements. Lake Como was one of the first resorts
to impose restrictions starting after their Volleyball Tournament that
ended on March 8. The pool and hot tub are open but with strict
time, distancing, and numbers restrictions. There are about 200
residents still on their grounds.
I suspect if you ask naturists at Sunsport Gardens and Lake Como,
they would say exactly what the Cypress Cove members say: "I can’t
imagine a better place to be locked-down." We are all looking
forward to more freedom of movement but we are even more concerned
that we all stay healthy.
Treasures of the Library
Doug Hickok, NEFRL Director
Consider this Part 2 as I highlight more of the interesting items
from our audio CD collection. Part 1 covered some Skinny Dipping
songs. This time, I'll point out some audio recordings that are
spoken word comedies. If you're a library member, you can listen
to any of these by requesting the audio tag numbers.
Bea Arthur, born in 1922, might be a recognizable name for
many of you. After a few years in the US Marine Corps Women's
Reserve during WWII, and a quick job as a medical technician, she ended
up in theater and then on television. Perhaps her most
recognizable role is that of Dorothy in Golden Girls.
Later in her career, after Golden Girls, she went to Broadway with a
collection of stories and songs based on her life and career titled
"Just Between Friends" (audio103). The NEF library has a
live recording of this show, because one of the first tracks is "What
can you get a nudist for her birthday?" It's a short track,
stating her sister "joined a nudist colony". After a couple ideas
won't work, she ends with "I'd send a check but dash-it, how could she
go and cash it?"
Peter Cook, sometimes called the "father of modern satire",
performed in numerous places on stage and on TV in the 1950's - 1970's,
even including co-hosting Saturday Night Live. For Cook's
first regular TV spot, he played a character "E. L. Wisty" who is
described as a "bland monotonal know-it-all". NEF has a 1965 CD
recording of Cook's with this theme (audio123). One of the
tracks, "Peace Through Nudism", describes his hopeful role of "Shadow
Minister of Nudism" to promote peace. This role would put him on
television every evening, where he'd start with "Good evening, this is
the Minister of Nudism. Take off your clothes, and begin to dance
Garrison Keillor led a popular Minnesota Public Radio show
called A Prairie Home Companion, which ran from 1974 to 2016
(with a break from 1987 to 1993). His show was syndicated on radio
stations internationally, performed in venues all around the world, and
was popular enough to get a call from Barack Obama congratulating him on
the 42 season run of the show. Part of the show was a segment
titled "The News from Lake Wobegon", which is a fictional place
but is based on the area Keillor lived. On the CD NEF has (audio170),
there's a good funny story about hot summer days and a couple going
skinny dipping in the middle of the night.
Doug Hickok, NEFRL Director
We're expanding beyond just Audio! Through April, I've been working on
some of the "Other" items we have at the library. A few shelves
were dedicated to things that just didn't fit anywhere else, or small
collections that don't quite earn their own recognition, and simply weren't
even indexed and listed on the website. Things I've been digitizing
include items like a puzzle, jewelry, buttons, decals, signs, stamps, a
coin, an ash tray, card decks, and 35mm slides to name a few. Check
page for the newly available items, and feel free to request them if you're
a library member.
Another exciting new arrival is our Celluloid Film Collection
Visit our Videos
page to see the 9 celluloid films
that we have recently finished digitizing. Most happen to be
nudie-cutie or striptease films, but two stand out as pretty good naturist
films. One is detailed next.
Optical Audio on Celluloid Film?
Doug Hickok, NEFRL Director
The NEF Research Library only has one 16mm celluloid film: "The Take
Off", which is a 1970 film from the American Sunbathing Association (now
AANR). Since it costs money to digitize these old films, we asked
the other naturist libraries if they have the film in a digital format
already. The AANR-NW library has another copy of the 16mm
film. ANRL at Cypress Cove has a VHS copy of the film in OK
condition. (Most old VHS tapes are slowly degrading, so if you have
something on VHS that you'd like to keep, you'd better digitize it
soon!) At some point, the film must've been converted and
re-released on VHS because VHS didn't exist until the late 1970's.
It has never been re-released on DVD. Neither library had this film
in a digital format, so NEF decided to proceed with digitization along
with 8 other 8mm films.
We would like to give a shout out to Memory Keepers
for providing an excellent service in
working with all of our celluloid films. The cost was very
reasonable, and they use the best equipment available. Their scanner
goes frame-by-frame and assembles a 1080p video, which is higher
resolution than the film itself seems capable of. They can process a
magnetic strip audio track, but none of our films had a magnetic strip and
thus no sound to deal with, right? Wrong...
The film has something called an "optical audio track" that Memory
Keepers cannot process directly. They work with another company who
exclusively works with video conversion businesses and not the general
public. This would've doubled the cost of digitization, but I had
another method in mind.
An optical audio track is actually a pretty neat technology. The
sound information is imprinted directly on the celluloid film, so that it
looks like an audio waveform. Wikipedia has a nice article
with graphics about it for those who
are interested. After we got the film back, I unspooled it enough to
see the audio track, and there it was! The ASA film has the "stereo
optical sound" (which looks like two waveforms along the edge of the
film), "variable area" type.
This type of optical audio isn't as good of quality as a magnetic
strip, but magnetic strip is more expensive to work with since it needs to
be attached to the celluloid. The VHS copy of the film that ANRL
has, which actually uses magnetic tape since it's VHS, is probably a
better quality audio track than what could be pulled from celluloid.
Since NEFRL has the best-quality video, and ANRL has the
best-quality audio, it's time to make a trade! ANRL kindly
provided me with a freshly digitized (to DVD) version of their VHS, and I
paired the audio track with the celluloid video. I delivered the
final product to ANRL so they have a good-quality digital copy for their
Below is a comparison of the VHS version and the 16mm celluloid
version. The frame I chose has text so it's easier to assess the
quality. Both have been scaled down to be the same size for
See this film yourself by requesting "video100" if you're a
Nothing to Hide -- Body Shame is a Shame
Bill Schroer, NAC and NEF Board Member
[Editor's Note: Bill wrote a weekly column on Naturism and Social
Justice for the Battle Creek Enquirer
from 2012 to 2014.
Since not everyone has seen Bill's writings, I'll occasionally reprint
columns relevant to naturists here in this newsletter.]
Last Sunday’s Enquirer featured a story of a young woman struggling
with anorexia, an eating disorder not uncommon among (mostly) teen girls
and women. When the subject of the article said "You'll be surprised
how many people think the same thing" (as she does about her body image)
she wasn't kidding. While incidents of anorexia have continued to
skyrocket among young women...the issue of negative body image is endemic
and hurting an entire generation of women.
A recently completed six year study by Dr. Brene Brown from the
University of Houston found 90% of respondents aged 18-80 struggle with
negative body image. 90%. This is not a niche
issue. This is a national epidemic. Why does it matter?
Because body image is, according to Dr. Brown, the one issue that comes
closest to a "universal trigger" for causing feelings of body shame.
"Body shame is so powerful and often deeply rooted in our psyches it
actually affects....sexuality, motherhood, parenting, health, aging and a
woman's ability to speak out with confidence. Unfortunately, how a
woman views her own body may have little to do with her actual
The issue is the media "ideal" of the "perfect body" that is young,
extremely thin, toned, nubile with large breasts, perfect hair, teeth and
skin. Fewer than 5% of women will fit this model and almost no woman
could really live up to this. The majority of runway models meet the
Body Mass Index (BMI) criteria to be considered anorexic. The
average U.S. model weighs 117 lbs and is 5'11 while the average U.S. woman
weighs 140 lbs. and is 5'4. And as Andrea, from last week's article
noted, many women look in the mirror and, regardless of the reality, see
themselves as overweight. Even anorexics.
Media and culture have, through perpetuation of this unrealizable
ideal, created a toxic environment that dishes out self-loathing and low
self-esteem for women with every turn of a magazine page or viewing of a
TV show or commercial. The only amazing thing is more women aren't
anorexic, bulemic, or clinically depressed because of it. But just
because all women aren't anorexic or on Xanax doesn't mean they're
ok. Too many women are coping but not living...surviving not
thriving. Far too many women (and men) don’t feel good about their
bodies and as noted above, it affects everything else. Everything.
I'm going to suggest a solution that may surprise you. Take off
It sounds crazy and counterintuitive. And, it's way too
simple. No pills, therapy, electroshock, residential treatment
centers. Simple, yes, easy, no. There will be
discomfort. Too many women in our culture are so uptight about their
bodies they can't bear to look at them...at least not for long. So,
going nude in your home (and you can work up to this) for a few minutes at
a time...working up to several hours...will be stressful at first.
One Hollywood actress took this approach after realizing she was becoming
anorexic. "I developed a devastating case of body hatred.
Striving to achieve the airbrushed status of popular stars...I hired an
esthetician, dermatologist, and chiropractor, became a member of a
gym...and nitpicked...my food."
The recommendations from naturist websites seemed strange...but she
went along. "I stood nude before the mirror and showered myself with
words of love and beauty, accepting my body as is in that moment.
Okay, I was desperate. I did this for months, first cringing at the
sight of myself, then adapting, then finding enjoyment. It had taken
about a year to hammer the idea of my hideousness into my brain and took
considerably less time for me to rediscover my comfort. How do you
tell the world that being naked saved you from yourself without receiving
ridicule in return?"
The answer is...you don’t. Many will scoff or ridicule what I am
suggesting. But the simple truth is when you are alone and naked
confronting yourself in the mirror there is no escape. Sure, you can
put clothes on...continue to perpetuate the self-loathing, denial and
pretense. But if you stick with this exercise you will start to
experience a change. A change in your feeling about you. You
will begin to accept you..and then like you...and then love you. And
you can't really love anyone else...your husband, lover, children or
anyone else until you love you. When you can love and accept
you...you can move on. Naturism is all about body acceptance.
And the first body you have to accept is your own.
In our society we are dealing with a post-Victorian prudish hysteria
that combined with an impossible, sexualized media ideal conspires to have
us hate, loathe and be ashamed of our bodies. When the message of
fear and inadequacy is so ingrained in the culture is there any surprise
that we cannot accept our own body? Or others? No good ever
comes from hate.
If you can find peace with the skin you're in, healthy adjustments will
follow. Freedom and the truth love the open air and sunshine.
Given the chance, so do our bodies.