Pages of History

The newsletter of the Naturist Education Foundation and the Naturist Action Committee.

Volume 1, Number 7.  July 2020.

Nelson Jones Appointed to the Board

Richard Mason, NAC Board Member
Naturist Action Committee - Media Informational
July 15, 2020

  • The Naturist Action Committee (NAC) announces the appointment of Nelson Jones to its board of directors.
  • Nelson Jones takes the seat of the recently deceased Rich Pasco, a nationally recognized leader in naturist activism as well as the leader of the Bay Area Naturists and editor of "Nudes in the News."
  • Nelson Jones is currently president of the Treasure Coast Naturists, a long-time naturist activist in Florida, and a supporter of the goals of NAC.
  • Nelson Jones led the team effort in the development of Blind Creek Beach, Florida, from a recognized naturist beach to an officially designated naturist beach. Designated by ordinance by the County Commission of St. Lucie County, this was a first in the United States.
  • NAC provided financial support at a critical stage in the effort to designate Blind Creek Beach, consistent with the mission of NAC.
  • Nelson Jones is welcomed by the Board of Directors and the naturist community to this new position of national activism where his experience will assist the Naturist Action Committee in carrying out its Mission.
  • The Naturist Action Committee's Mission is to be proactive in the national effort to protect and expand the rights of naturists in North America. This includes protection of existing naturist beach locations, assistance to new naturist groups forming, training in the development of new designated nude beaches, as well as providing assistance with Top-Free issues.

Government Affairs Programs representing Naturist interests are included in the strategies of the Naturist Action Committee.

We can only continue to Protect and Serve national naturists interests through the generous donations from naturists like you.

Donations to support the “Pro-Active” efforts of the Naturist Action Committee can be made through the following:

Checks can be sent to:  Naturist Action Committee, PO Box 132, Oshkosh WI 54903

Or donate online with your credit or debit card.

Thank You for your support.

*If you can’t be active, support those that are*

NAC and NEF Boards - Election Status

Jim Dickey, NAC Secretary
Many changes have been occurring more recently, both in the Naturist world as well as the world in general, and NAC and NEF have been actively going through their due diligence process in making appropriate adjustments accordingly.

With the creation of TNSF as well as other more recent changes within NAC and NEF, the boards sought and received both non-profit guidance and legal advice to guide in the process of taking the most proper steps in moving forward to make necessary changes in the governing documents and election policies and procedures.

The unexpected arrival of the pandemic certainly effected both individuals and organizations, including it playing a major role in TNSF’s gatherings being cancelled (as well as NAC’s and NEF’s ability to promote the elections and recruit board members at those gatherings) as well as TNSF’s substantial delay in the printing and distribution of the Spring issue of N magazine.  Although the delay shortened the available time remaining to complete the election process, it was decided that the Call for Candidates article (with a revised extended deadline) would remain in the magazine in hopes of the board being able to finalize required changes and proceed through the election process steps within the limited remaining time-frame.

At board meetings during the past three months where the status of the election procedures and the remaining time-frames available were monitored and reviewed, like a number of other non-profit organizations during these extraordinary circumstances, the difficult but appropriate decision was recently made by the boards to stay the elections and extend all current board positions for 12 months.  The decision was made both in consideration of the complexities and delays caused by the unprecedented uncertainty of the pandemic as well as other relevant factors including allowing the board time to assure the proper implementation of necessary changes in the governing documents and election procedures, and to be able to get word and ads out in a number of different venues as planned to best recruit a range of diverse candidates from far and wide.

We encourage you to answer the Call for Candidates next year if you are available and interested in being on the boards.

Treasures of the Library

Doug Hickok, NEFRL Director

Although magazines and books take center stage at the NEF library, there's a couple of shelves that instantly perked my interest.  Those shelves collect all of the random stuff that don't fit anywhere else.  Some of it is quite unique!

As always, the things I talk about in this column are available for "digital loan" if you have a NEF library ID.  Membership is free and this page talks about how it works.  These items are "loaned" as pictures, just request items other100 and other101 to see all of these and more. 

This month, I'm starting small, with the smallest things we have in the library.

Perhaps the smallest is a coin, about the size of a dime.  On it, it says "National Sunshine Club - Cincinnati Times Star".  It depicts a person playing a horn or two and he appears like he could be naked.  Although I've found this item online with a pin back and some text stamped on the back, the one we have is smooth with no markings.  I'm sure there's a story behind this item.

There are several pendants at the library.  One is from "Ile du Levant", which is still a naturist paradise in France.  Spanning 197 acres, the "Domain of Heliopolis" (the city of the sun) allows nudity anywhere except a few public spaces like the village square and the harbor.

Another interesting pendant was created by "G&S" in 1988 per the stamped information on the back.  On the front, it proudly states "Be Natural - Skinny Dip!" with a nude couple in the water.

On the topic of pendants, we have a huge one as well!  It's a Bare to Breakers medallion from 2004 (per the matching pin), "Presented for Achievement in Outstanding Streaking Excellence."  As I mentioned in the newsletter last month, the NEF library has 42 songs about streaking to help get you motivated.

ArtPrize Entry Offers Snapshot of our Culture

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.  This piece is from September 13, 2013.  Want to see the artwork he's discussing, and read more about the event?  Here's two articles with photos: "Nude sculpture in public at ArtPrize 2013; should anyone care?" and "Nude ArtPrize sculpture at DeVos Place not the first controversial public art for South Haven artist".]

Of the 1,524 pieces of art being placed on display for the upcoming ArtPrize in Grand Rapids (competition runs from Sept. 18-Oct. 6) four are getting all the comments (and press) already.

One of the pieces had to be moved to avoid causing traffic accidents.  Astute readers may either guess or have read about the four lifelike nude sculptures situated in front of DeVos Hall.

What is adding to the interest (for me) and the indignation of some more uptight citizens is the nudes are life-like in two ways: First they are anatomically correct with penises and vaginas and secondly, they reflect the body shapes of average people ... with the flaws, pear-shaped bodies and a lack of model attractiveness.

Reading the comments made to the media, it's difficult to tell which sensitivity is outraged more ... the nudity or the fact the sculptures reflect average humans with the level of attractiveness most of us possess.

"You know this is really one ugly ... entry," and, "The nudity doesn’t bother me a bit, but that is one ugly sculpture."

But, then there was the anticipated outrage over the nudity "Oh the insanity!  Won't somebody think of the children?"

Some viewers though, absolutely were thinking of the children "... my son ... and my girl ... (6 and 2) wouldn't think twice about these sculptures, except maybe they would be jealous that they (the sculptures) get to hang out in public without clothes on."

This mom went on to point out "If you teach your kids that bodies are natural you won't have to shield them from harmless things like this."  Is she from Europe or what?

Of course, Europe has nude sculptures everywhere and Americans just have to deal with it when they're over there.

But to bring nude sculpture to Grand Rapids?  Is this art or cheap sensationalist exploitation?

I'm not qualified to answer that ... but I will say I believe this is art and the reaction to it is a snapshot of American culture ... which is often what art is about.

As a naturist, when I talk about social nudism, I'm sometimes confronted by people who either believe non-sexual public nudity is immoral or, more often "I would never let anyone see me nude (outside of my spouse)."

"Why not?"

"My body is terrible."

"No it isn't...."

But, far too many of us haven't been able to accept our own bodies ... let alone others.  So when we see a nude sculpture, we get uncomfortable and when we see one that reminds us of us ... it’s even worse.

It is the lack of acceptance of our own bodies, not the nudity that is affecting an entire generation (or the greater number thereof) of those children that one viewer was so distressed about.

I gave a talk to the Optimists Club in Battle Creek recently about naturism and mentioned in the 1950s, segregated classes of boys (and I presume girls?) swam nude at Battle Creek Central and other school swimming pools.  It was no big deal.  Several of the older members of the audience perked right up when I mentioned this ... and confirmed my report.  They recalled swimming nude back then and smiled at the memories.

Contrast that with today's inability of schools to get students taking P.E. to take a shower afterward.  The problem is so bad there are products on the market students use to camouflage the smell of body odor that comes from working out.  They will buy and use those products rather than take their clothes off and take a shower.  Want to talk about insanity?

The sculptures at ArtPrize may shock or make some nervous ... but they may just encourage some people (teens and up) to confront their bodies with a little more tolerance and acceptance.  But don't worry about the 2 and 6 year olds ... they’re just fine with their bodies and being nude.  Seeing this exhibit they may well be jealous those sculptures get to hang out in front of DeVos Hall without clothes on.

Me too.

May they hold that comfort level with their bodies as they grow.  There may be hope for body acceptance in the future if we have enough exhibits like this.  In the meantime, take your kids to ArtPrize and be open to the art.

Assembled and published for NEF and NAC by Doug Hickok,

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