Copyright 2000 Lake Edun Foundation, Inc.
Official Publication of the Lake Edun Foundation, Inc.
November 1, 2000
Box 1982; Topeka, KS 66601 Voice Mail: 785-478-BARN e-mail: email@example.com Website: www.lakeedun.com
Business Meeting And Election Results
We held the annual business meeting of the Lake Edun Foundation on Saturday, October 28, 2000. The President called the meeting to order at 6:30. Minutes of the last annual meeting were reviewed.
Then the President asked the Treasurer to present the financial report. A report of our Net Worth and a copy of our income and expenses were distributed. These showed a budget in excess of $40,000. A general discussion followed. When the President declared a quorum to be present and upon a motion duly made and seconded, both the minutes of the last annual meeting and the financial report were accepted.
The President and various members of the retiring Board reviewed some of the accomplishments of the past year, including a report on our legal challenges. The President then recognized the members of the retiring Board of Directors for their contribution to the Foundation. On behalf of the Board, Webb presented the President with a plaque recognizing her two years of dedicated leadership to the Lake Edun Foundation.
There was a brief discussion about the vital roll played by the Board and all the volunteers who make it possible for our membership rates to remain among the lowest in the country. Several people offered to assist with various projects through the winter months.
Next, the President led a spirited discussion on three issues: 1) Should we restructure our membership rates to encourage members to take an active interest in our educational mission? This enjoyed broad support. 2) Should we consider restructuring our Return to Edun celebration? The general consensus agreed we should continue to offer Return to Edun as we have in the past. 3) We reviewed our policy on complaints about offensive behavior. After much discussion, everyone agreed our current policy is both adequate and appropriate.
Finally, we held elections for a new Board of Directors. The following members were nominated: Doug Bennett, Larry Forbach, Webb Garlinghouse, Mike Horst, Sally Juhn, Barry Lowther, Dee Merrifield, Sam Quakenbush, Eldon Rice, Susan Robitaille, Mary Lou Schulenberg, Kelly Shepardson, and Pony-Tail Mike. A motion to accept the slate by acclamation was made. The motion and slate were accepted. The meeting then adjourned.
Thanks to everyone for making 2000 a great year for Lake Edun!
Annual Christmas Party Set
December 9 has been chosen as the date for our annual Christmas Party. Be sure you mark your calendar now so you don't miss it. More details and directions will be in the December issue of Bare Facts.
Make Your Vote Count
Elections are just a few days away. Much is at stake-both on the National scene and the local scene. In Shawnee County, two county commissioners will be elected. It is important that all Naturists study the issues and use their vote to help elect representatives who will use their position to promote the freedoms we would like to take for granted. To aid our Shawnee County friends, we interviewed the candidates for the open commissioner seats:
Vic Miller defeated Mike Myer in the primary elections and now is unopposed. Unless a well funded opponent surfaces with a write-in campaign, he will be elected. Vic says that, philosophically, he has no problem with the lifestyle we seek to promote. If elected, he expects to be briefed on all the county's legal positions. If he questions the wisdom of pursuing any of them, he will make that position know. It appears that if he is elected, he will be beneficial to our cause.
Ted Ensley is the incumbent and is running against Dan Kingman. When asked his position on Lake Edun, he claimed he could not comment since there is litigation in process. In the past, he has voted to fund the litigation. There has been no record of any action on his part that is favorable to the Naturist position.
Dan Kingman is hoping to unseat Ted Ensley. When asked his position on Lake Edun, he said ours was the first inquiry he had received on the subject. He was sufficiently interested that he visited our facility on October 17. He was impressed with our special place. He said he has no problem with our lifestyle and as he was leaving, he reaffirmed that he would cause us no problems.
Halloween Party Well Received
For the fourth year in a row, Myron Jones (g)hosted our Halloween Party. Creative Eduners went overboard with their costumes. The Jolly Green Giant, a belly dancer, a pair of Hershey Bars, leather, and other fantastic apparitions made their appearance.
Excellent food was plentiful. Myron provided much and other Eduners provided more! No shortage in the munchie department. Everyone enjoyed music and socializing into the night. Thank you Myron for being a great (g)host!
Nov 4; Sat; 7-9; Sauna
Nov 5; Sun; HN Bowling in Independence
Nov 17; Fri; 8-10; HN Swim in KC
Nov 18; Sat; 10-12; Board of Directors Meeting
Nov 18; Sat; 7-9; Sauna - Bring a friend.
Dec 1; Fri; 7-9; Sauna
Dec 9; Sat; 7-12 pm; Christmas Party
Dec 15; Fri; 8-10; HN Swim in KC
Dec 30; Sat; 8-10; Sauna
Last month we had a bit of a computer problem. I wish I could say it was caused by a virus or an equipment mal-function. However, it appears it was operator error. Bummer! In any event, we lost information that had been entered since early September including information on friends who visited or requested information but we had not heard from in several months.
Here is what you must do. Check that the information on your mailing label is correct. If we sent you notification last month that we would only mail to you occasionally, you will receive another such notice this month. If you feel sorry for our incompetence, send money.
Should We Keep In Touch?
Many Eduners and visitors to Foundation activities come from a great distance and may be interested in knowing of others in their area who share their love of Naturism. As a matter of policy, the Foundation does not give out information on visitors to others. However, if you are interested in knowing of others in your area who have expressed an interest in Naturism and are willing for us to send your name and address to them, we can do this for our friends. This might allow you to share rides or meet locally.
If you want us to give your name, address, email address or other information to others in your area, please let us know. If there is sufficient interest, we will make a directory of Friends of Lake Edun.
Random Thoughts & Reflections
October seemed even more beautiful this year than usual. Days were sunny and bright, nights were crisp and cool. Something about Fall makes me long for a good camping spot and a warm fire at night. As the leaves turn, our special place acquires a different beauty; its quieter and more peaceful; the trails seem more remote. Strolling the paths in the afternoon sun brings peace to the soul.
Winter Workers Needed
Although Winter is almost upon us, we know Spring and another great season are just around the corner. A number of projects are more easily completed in winter such as cutting Cedar trees, clearing the dam, improving screening, etc. We will work on these projects whenever weather allows. Typically we have a good time while we work and make a noticeable difference to our special place. If you have the time and interest in assisting, please let us know.
Cool Weather Is Sauna Weather
Cool Kansas weather almost begs us to take a sauna. And this call is not lost on Eduners. Check out our schedule and plan to join us for a sauna soon.
Note the sauna scheduled for Saturday, November 18 is designated "Bring a friend." Use this as an opportunity to introduce a friend or co-worker to our sauna and to Naturism. We expect everyone to invite someone who has never experienced the joys we take for granted. So, spread the word and Bring a friend to the sauna on November 18.
About 250 years ago, Rousseau wrote, "Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains." Later, Hagle and others realized if an individual never tests their freedom, they believe they are still free, regardless of their living conditions. In other words, if you don't try the door, you don't know its locked. In even the most repressive society, if someone does not attempt or desire to express freedom, they may not claim they do not possess it.
What is Freedom? The dictionary defines it as being free.Free is defined as "not under the control or power of another; having liberty." But, how do we know we are free?
In the United States, it is almost an knee-jerk response to presume we enjoy Freedom almost as a part of our birth right. Of course we are free! But are we? How would we know? What would be different if we were not free?
These are weighty questions. Poising them is almost un-American since it goes against everything we believe about ourselves as a people. If we are not free, we would not be able to gather in peaceable assemblies to criticize our government; we would not be able to pursue unpopular religious beliefs. However, if one is unsure about this societal assumption, the only way to determine if we are truly free is to test it.
Some would argue the Branch Dividians did this in Waco .. and lost. Or Randy Weaver did this in Idaho ... and lost. Or Fred does it in Topeka and has paid a high price. Freedom does not mean we agree with their message - it means they have a right to their opinion, as strange or unpleasant as we may believe that message is. We have a right to disagree with or not listen to the message.
Many would like to restrict our freedom as Naturists; they would like to prevent us from peaceably assembling for the purpose of enjoying the values we hold so dearly; they would like to keep us from raising our children in the healthy, life-affirming lifestyle we have come to know and appreciate. If we do not stand up for our freedom, we can expect these others to become a majority who will eagerly take these freedoms away.
If you believe in the wholesomeness of Naturism, it is important that you speak up for our values. Tell your friends and co-workers about the freedom you have discovered and enjoy. Let the world know how important this freedom is to both you and to our community. Don't allow others to control our lives!
The Boat-ist a fable by Peter Guither
Some years ago, my favorite nude beach was going through some difficulties. This beach, which is a four-hour drive away for me, is the one place many people in this part of the country can go to be a nudist or naturist. There was a government official who liked to come by and harass the naturists on the beach. He did everything he could to show his displeasure of us and to discourage us.
This man would always ride up on his boat. You could tell by the way he stood in his boat and looked at his boat, that he loved his
boat. It made me wonder what would happen if someone tried to prevent him from using his boat in that river. So I wrote this fable,
a fable by Peter Guither
Once upon a time there was a boat-ist. He had inherited his boat from his parents and loved the feeling of freedom as he rode his boat on lakes, rivers and oceans - the sun shining on him and the spray hitting his face. It was a feeling he could hardly describe.
Then a group of "right-thinking" people decided that boats were, by their nature, inherently bad. The boat-ist was told that he could no longer use his boat on any public waterway.
When he complained, he got a response which the "right-thinking" people felt was compassionate, open-minded and reasonable:
"We do not intend to prevent you from using your boat. You simply must not use it in public areas. You are welcome to keep your boat in your garage and sit in it there. You can turn the wheel and even run the motor. Isn't that all there is to boating anyway? If you want, although we find this a bit perverted, you can even invite friends over to sit in the boat with you. This is a free country. If you have a swimming pool, you can even build a big fence around it and put your boat in the pool if you want."
The boat-ist talked to the people in charge of waterways and said since there were thousands of waterways, why couldn't some of them be allowed for boats? They responded that people who don't like boats might happen upon that waterway and be upset, and the waterway people are supposed to serve the people and not get them upset.
By this time, a small number of people had started a movement called boat-enthusi-ism. They were hampered by the fact that most people were afraid to admit they had a boat, or liked boating. But they won a victory and got the waterway people to set aside an area that nobody went to, to be used for boating.
This boating-allowed area was clear across the state from the boat-ist and it was an area just large enough to drive around in tight circles and it was filled with dangerous submerged rocks. The boat-ist had to make sure no one could see his boat until he actually got it into the allowed area, or there would be a big fine to pay.
The "right-thinking" people still complained about the boating even though they never went to that area, and the boat-ists had to work very hard to keep that rocky area of boat-allowed water.
The boat-ist was still not satisfied, so he went to the high-and-mighty court that has big, important judges. They said talk was free, but boating isn't talk, so he was out of luck.
He asked them about the Document of Important Freedoms and the ninth article which talked about freedoms reserved by the people. The big, important judges laughed and laughed and said, "No one pays attention to that one. If they did, how could the law makers make all of those laws that they're paid to make?"
The boat-ist went home, and sat in his boat, in his garage.
- The End -
By Biology Bill
Weather is something that we regularly talk about. Imagine what small talk would be like without the weather to comment blandly on? A favorite pastime for us is to watch Joe Blow the weather guy on TV and then make fun of him later when something doesn't turn out the way he predicted. I also have heard a number of people say something like "Well, that's the way it is with Kansas weather - if you don't like it, wait ten minutes and it will change." Now, it must be said that people have said that everywhere that I've lived, but there are some real reasons why it seems to be true here in Kansas.
Before I get too far, this is an opportune time to remind you about the difference between weather and climate. These are two words that a lot of people use interchangeably, but in fact they have distinctly different definitions. Weather refers to daily variation in local atmospheric conditions. In other words, when you are talking about weather you are comparing local conditions from hour to hour or from day to day, and you really only make explicit comparisons with other days at the same time of year in the same place. Climate, on the other hand, refers to the long-term average weather conditions over a significant period of time. Because of the way averages work, while weather can be highly variable the climate of an area tends to be mostly the same from year to year, or only change slightly. So, we talk about what the weather in Topeka was like last Thursday, but we use the word 'climate' to refer to the usual conditions in the Midwest over the last few thousand years.
Anyways, we shouldn't be too hard on the local weather guys - Kansas is a relatively tricky place to predict the weather. There are a couple of main reasons for this, and most of them have to do with the placement of Kansas relative to oceans. Oceans tend to moderate climates a lot - that is one big reason so many people want to go live in California. Water changes temperature much more slowly than air, to if you are next to a big body of water the air temps are strongly moderated by the water temps. If it's winter, the water tends to warm you up, and the ocean cools you off in the summer. Additionally, areas right near the ocean tend to have significant amounts of rain because of moist air coming off the water, and are not likely to be deserts or have extreme droughts. As you have probably noticed, Kansas is nowhere near the ocean, and places in the center of continents tend to vary a lot in temperature as there is no moderating ocean nearby. This means the weather is going to be much more dependent on which direction the wind is blowing that day, and not effected by predictable ocean effects.
Secondly, our precipitation is also strongly affected by our position in the middle of the continent. As air travels over land, it gradually rains its water out, and the center of land masses tend to be drier than the coasts. Secondly, there is a big mountain range between us and the upwind source of moisture (the Rockies). Air moving high over mountains is very likely to rain its moisture out. By the time the air gets to the other side, it is dry, and places like the eastern slopes of the Rockies and western Kansas end up dry (except for groundwater, which is another issue).
So why do Topeka, Lawrence and Kansas City get essentially twice the rainfall as someplace as close as Salina? It's because we are just barely far enough east such that winds blowing from the southwest in summer can funnel wet air up from the Gulf of Mexico. The next time you see a map of the US, notice that central Kansas is just about directly north of the western edge of the Gulf. This can explain why we have very humid air in the summer, while Dodge City is very dry and even hotter.
So, here in eastern Kansas the weather is a continuous battle between winds bringing cool, dry air from the northwest and wet, warm air from the southwest. This is why we have such great thunderstorms in the seasons where the two forces mostly balance - spring and fall. In the summer, the Gulf air mostly wins out and in the winter the air from the north mostly prevails. But, the last statement was about climate, not weather: it can be hot, then cold, then hot again, depending on which air mass is stronger on a particular day. So, as you watch Joe the weather guy the next time, pay attention to big fronts that loop through the middle of the country, and remember that a lot of his job here in eastern Kansas is to referee between the two powerful wind and weather forces. I'll have more to say about our climate and weather here next month.
We still need a good quality (but inexpensive) large garden tractor or small tractor with attachments.
Gas-powered hedge shears.
Canoe paddles for our flotilla of boats.
Small galvanized buckets (like those citronella candles come in) (or other suitable, rust-resistant container) to use as cigarette butt cans.
Our chain saw has worn out. If you have a chain saw you no longer use, we can certainly make good use of it
Every once in a while, sod is taken up and not replaced. Perhaps the grass appeared to die or plans changed. If any Eduners come upon a quantity of sod, we have several places it can be put to good use. Even if it appears dead, its roots will serve to hold soil and retard erosion.
Around my house clothing is optional, and shoes in particular, seem to have a hard time staying on my children. As I sit here in this swanky hotel room in a Bob Marley T-Shirt and a pair of jeans with my bare feet dangling over an antique desk putting off the time until I have to get up & get dressed to go to dinner, I wonder where my children get this aversion to clothing & footwear?
- Jimmy Buffett, Barometer Soup Insert
by Dave Bitters
Why The Nudity Taboo?
When I was in the 4th or 5th grade I wondered why animals (particularly domestic pets) don't wear clothes.
It was only many years later that I realized I had asked the wrong question. The more interesting question is, why does our dominant culture mandate that we MUST wear clothes? More specifically, why does it demand that in public places all persons must keep certain portions of their midsection covered and women, additionally, must keep certain portions of their upper torsos covered? Why do we care?
The preceding paragraph is vaguely worded - and deliberately so. Different micro-cultures in America set different standards for the extent of coverage of these regions. In the early 1990s St. John's County in Florida passed an ordinance that defined with geometric precision the portions of the buttocks, genital region and female breasts that must be covered in public places, to comply with their standards. In the years that followed this has caused problems, particularly with foreign tourists, that are at once hilarious and pathetic.
In August the commissioners of Leavenworth County passed an anti-nudity ordinance that made it illegal to appear nude in public places. Of course they first paid suitable homage to respecting people's rights: "The Board is fully aware of and fully respects the fundamental constitutional guarantees of free speech and free expression and realizes that restrictions of such freedoms must be carefully drafted and enforced so that speech and expression are not curtailed beyond the point at which it is essential to further the County's interest in public health, safety and welfare."
Then they got down to brass tacks. They defined nudity to mean "the showing of the human male or female genital, pubic area or buttocks with less than a fully opaque covering; the showing of the female breast below the top of the areola with less than a fully opaque covering; the exposure of any device, costume or covering which gives the appearance of or simulates the genitals, pubic hair, natal cleft, perineum anal region or pubic hair region; or the exposure of any device worn as a cover over the nipples and/or areola of the female breast, which device simulates and gives the realistic appearance of nipples and/or areola." Nor did they spare the prose in specifying where this prohibition applies: "'Public Place' includes all outdoor places owned by or open to the public, and all buildings and enclosed places owned by or open to the general public, including such places of entertainment, taverns, restaurants, clubs, theaters, dance halls, banquet halls, party rooms or halls limited to specific members, restricted to adults or to patrons invited to attend, whether or not an admission charge is levied."
Missouri's indecent exposure statute (RSMO 566.130) is a bit more restrictive in terms of the forbidden zones: "A person commits the crime of indecent exposure if he knowingly exposes his genitals under circumstances in which he knows that his conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm." This wording gives judges plenty of latitude to convict naturists, however innocent their conduct and however far from civilization they might be, if they are unfortunate enough to encounter an "offended" sheriff's deputy or park ranger. (It's happened.) On the other hand, RSMO 566.130 says nothing about breasts or buttocks.
The Kansas criminal statute on "lewd and lascivious behavior" (KSA 21-3508) ostensibly focuses more narrowly on sexual misconduct: "the exposure of a sex organ in a public place, or in the presence of a person who is not the spouse of the offender and who has not consented thereto, with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desires of the offender or another." But at least in Johnson County the subordinate clause dealing with intent isn't worth the paper it's printed on. Last year an individual was cited for jogging naked in a remote portion of a Johnson County park. Recently several of us testified on his behalf to establish that he had no lewd intent. (I stated for the record that I'd jogged naked in downtown San Francisco during Bay to Breakers - in front of 200,000 spectators and other participants.) The prosecution failed to produce any evidence of lewd intent but this didn't matter. The judge found him guilty anyway. So as of this writing, nude is lewd in Johnson County. Notice, though, that KSA 21-3508 doesn't apply to breasts or buttocks. Had the fellow worn a loincloth the prosecution couldn't have even proved exposure.
The prosecutor's line of questions to me was interesting. He kept hammering away on, "Why don't you go naked downtown? Why don't you go naked in Mission Hills? Why aren't you naked now?" Thus, the trial wasn't about sexual misconduct (ostensibly the intent of KSA 21-3508) but was about public nudity.
I had encountered a similar line of questioning in the hearing before the legislature in February.
The short answer to the prosecutor, of course, is that I don't want to be hassled by people like him. But buried beneath his in-your-face questions is a deeper and much more interesting one. Really, it cuts to the heart of our nation's ambivalent attitudes toward sexual behavior. We see this ambivalence on many fronts: the rancor over gay rights and the outrage over the senseless murder of a young gay in Wyoming; the war on pornography during the Reagan and Bush administrations that largely drove adult videos underground and concurrently made them the mainstay of a multi-billion dollar industry; the wailing over Joycelyn Elders's views on sex education and the recently-released poll results suggesting that 90% of parents want more sex education to be taught in schools; the stalling tactics cultural conservatives used for over a decade to block approval of RU486 and the enthusiastic market acceptance of Viagra; the battles naturists have waged for a decade against anti-nudity legislation and the dramatic success of nude beaches in places where government has cooperated with beach users.
It would be easy to say that America's anti-sexual bias traces to our religious heritage. Undoubtedly that's part of the story. Likewise it would be easy to argue that it's a throwback to the Victorian era and the influence of vice cop Anthony Comstock. Undoubtedly that's part of the story too. It would be easy to say that the push toward re-criminalizing sexual conduct that began in the 1980s was a reaction to the excesses of the 1970s and the emergence of the AIDS virus. Undoubtedly that's part of the story as well. But the whole definitely is greater than the sum of these few parts. The more I probe for clues as to why our culture continues to lurch between prurience and Puritanism the more complicated the quest becomes.
We in the naturist community might like to scream from the rooftops, Hey, we're not about sexual misconduct or harassment. We stand for something very positive - for feeling good about ourselves regardless of our shape, size, age, gender or sexual orientation - and we want to spread the joy. But many of us are afraid to do so, for a variety of reasons. We fear reprisals from our bosses. We fear that we'll be branded as kooks (at best) or perverts. We fear getting arrested and unfairly branded as sex criminals. We fear that our friends and family will reject us. The individual for whom I testified in court ultimately declined to appeal his case in deference to the wishes of his wife, who feared that his name would wind up in the papers.
Fear. It's a powerful cultural motivator. It's what prevents progress toward what I like to call the clothing-optional society.
I really don't think a clothing-optional culture would look much different than our present one. We'd still wear clothes to work and in most public places. Most people would find nakedness in inappropriate settings as unacceptable as they do now. There would be no more incentive to appear naked in the workplace, for instance, than there now is to appear without a shirt (or in pajamas). Cultures are funny. The rules of proper behavior (or "etiquette") are largely unwritten and quite fluid. What's "in" or "inappropriate" today may be quite acceptable in similar contexts tomorrow.
But in the clothing-optional society, if one were to break the cultural rules by walking down Main Street naked on a hot day (or by mowing one's lawn nude) nobody would see the need to call the police. At worst they'd just turn away.
The Supreme Court has declared public nudity to be conduct. For what it's worth, I have a hard time seeing it this way. Rather, I see it as an issue of personal privacy or personal choice. The courts will protect me if I wear a shirt with an outrageous slogan; that's called expressing my views. Probably they will protect me even if I wear no shirt; that's called personal choice. They'll affirm my right to appear in public in cutoff shorts, no matter how ragged. So it's puzzling why, were I to appear without shorts, they would suddenly consider this "conduct."
There is, of course, a distinction between simple nudity and aggressive sexual conduct. Courts have made a similar distinction between people who beg for money on the street and those who become aggressive I doing so. This distinction has to do with the interaction between individuals. If I'm simply asking for money (or naked) that's one thing. If I become demanding (or sexually aggressive) that's quite another.
Recently I had a conversation with former Naturist Action Committee chair Shirley Mason. She has been one of the main reasons for the success of Miami's clothing-optional Haulover Beach. She's a very intelligent and perceptive woman. She's also black, so she understands well the problems of minorities. She said that ultimately it's impossible for minorities to achieve their rights unless the majority agrees.
This observation is particularly important for the continued survival of the naturist idea in particular and, over the longer horizon, for the movement of our culture toward legally-recognized clothing-optionality. At the moment the naturist world-view has yet to be accepted by the general public to such an extent that the majority views it as a right. It's still an idea on trial. But with the success of places like Haulover Beach it becomes more difficult for opponents of this idea to drag out the tired old shibboleths about "harmful secondary effects," "inappropriate for children," etc.
In short, the survival and extension of the naturist idea depends on winning the public relations battle. This means we have to make an extra effort to be ambassadors for the benefits of naturism - to overcome our fear of speaking up, to take advantage of every available opportunity to write positive letters to the editors of newspapers, to persuade our friends to come along with us and enjoy an afternoon of fun in the sun, casting off their fears in the process. The South Florida Free Beaches is about to launch a tabloid newspaper aimed at bringing non-naturists into the ranks of body acceptance. They plan to have an on-line version which, of course, will be available nationally. There are other naturist voices, like the Naturist Society, the Naturist Action Committee and Bern Loibl's magazine Naturallythat are beginning to speak forcefully to the general public about the joys of naturism and the possibility of realizing the clothing-optional society.
It'll take time and the help of all of us to bring this about. But you know what? The more of us who speak out, the easier it'll become for those who follow to do likewise.
Let's see if we can't change the culture.
To keep our sign safe from vandals, the Board of Directors decided to take it down for the winter and store it in the barn. This does not mean we are not open or you should not visit. It is just a precaution to keep an over-zealous hunter from blowing a hole in it or to prevent an ambitious student from taking it to his room. Look for it again next spring.
Beware of the nude man who offers you the shirt off his back!