The clocks have changed; leaves have fallen, and a cold front is coming through. With a click of the gate, clubs around these parts are now closed for the season. In this spirit, we present the following article titled “A Mother’s View of Nudism” by Arlene Frazier. It was published in the February 1936 issue of The Nudist magazine, and it shares a mother’s end of summer reflections about her family’s life at camp. Much like a Norman Rockwell illustration, it conveys a sense of what America was like in that simpler time, but it also captures much of what can still be experienced at a nice naturist club today. Enjoy!
“Boy, do I wish it were May again, or that I might fly with the birds to Florida! Such glorious summers of fresh air and sunshine have I never spent before!
However, the warm days being over and chill winds just around the corner, methinks clothes won’t be so bad – a few at least. There are times when even a nudist can shiver! For instance, those last few volley-ball games have been rather goose-pimplish but, after all, well worth our travel to the camp. Who among us wants to give them up? There is companionship, fun and jollity in a merry crowd out for a game or two before old Jack Frost is with us for good! Of course we are nudists, but we are sensible, too, and nearly all of us have worn sweaters, shorts and shirts these last few weeks.
How it all came about you ask? Crippled with Rheumatism several times over a period of years, my husband was told he should acquire all the sun possible. So, in his younger days he and several others of his chums camped out mostly in the nude on one of our many secluded, wooded spots where they had access to the river for swimming. They had a fine time. Folks that knew about it thought they were “nuts.” Maybe they were. However, they enjoyed themselves, and my husband’s health improved radically.
We now have three husky youngsters, and they do love it at camp! They have learned to swim, dive, play numerous games with others of their own age, all unhampered with clothes, and it certainly is a sight to behold our youngest, at the tender age of three, his chubby little body wrestling with a big volley-ball, and getting it over the net sometimes too! And they are learning about nature the same as in olden times when the Greeks and Romans considered their beautiful bodies something to admire and respect, not just to be used as clothes-trees, – to be hidden away and never exposed to the exhilarating sunlight and fresh air. Have you ever walked nude in the woods with God’s glorious sun on your body? That is really to live, as we who have tried it know.
What is more inviting than a panful of sizzling bacon cooked on the camp stove near the open tent, or the prospect of a delicious meal eaten on the tiny porch of a bungalow overlooking the trees and fields in the distance? And the comfort of preparing those meals can never be compared to other days and other ways, summer days when clothes in the hot kitchen were inevitable and all the cleaning-up an inescapable aftermath. But now we have the prospect of a peaceful sunbath after dinner on our blanket, or a lazy hour in the hammock with a book or magazine!
Towards afternoon the crowd gathers on the playfield, some to indulge in deck-tennis, others in volley-ball, while here we find quite a lovely game of baseball in progress. Doctors, lawyers, ministers, artists, teachers, one and all are youngsters again! And the children with their see-saw, swings and wading pool are happy little gnomes enjoying nature as God intended they should – with no agonizing thought for starched dresses, or clean suits but just life in another world of mud-pies, sand trails, miniature rivers and waterfalls, for all the world like their happy Indian brothers of long ago.
Now for a shower with plenty of soap, a shower enlivened with quips and jolly laughter, many splashes and gay talk. Then to our wonderful pool with its ever-fresh water flowing directly through at all time, built under such difficulties and therefore all the more appreciated. Now there is a game of water-polo on and the big ball comes at you, now disappears, to come up again at some far distant point least expected. What fun! Have you ever tried it? No slipping shoulder straps or tight suit to interfere with the glorious freedom – truly, how can one ever don a suit again?
“Watch this one, Ma,” and here we have our oldest demonstrating his high dive, proud of his performance – and well he may be for he practiced and learned how all by himself. And it certainly is something to have the children learn to swim for, apart from service in the emergency of life-saving, the beneficial and health-giving qualities of swimming and its development of muscle, poise and beauty of body can never be too highly praised.
Goodbye till another time. We leave our beautiful Eden, and the click of the gate brings to mind another workaday world.
Oh, we truly are nudists, and proud of it!” 1
1 Arlene M. Frazier, “A Mother’s View of Nudism,” The Nudist, February 1936, Vol. V #2, p. 10.