Category Archives: nudes

The Bare Necessity

I intend to to spend a lot of time in this essay talking about Twitter nudists, but that is not what this essay is about. A rather large amount of the meaning behind all of this has more to do with setting priorities, what things to pursue, and what things to abandon.

A lot of my time on Twitter is filled with tweets by nudists, authors who write about nudists, Russian video artists, and Tom Hiddleston fans. I do not fully understand the connections between those things.

If I manage to stay alive long enough to see the next Avengers movie, and hopefully even beyond that, then I am going to have to budget my time and moderate my efforts towards certain endeavors. Does that mean I intend to give up all association with nudists? Or possibly twitter?

Of course not. I am simply not that smart. To give up on Twitter, I mean. It is an ungodly waste of time. It is a media of questionable value to me because I have achieved no measurable marketing value as a writer from it. I have learned a lot about actual nudists and naturists from it. I have made connections with naturist authors and thinkers and other websites through Twitter. I have even learned how valuable some young women and men find pictures and .gifs of Tom Hiddleston with his shirt off and smiling. I am not sure I understand it. But I have learned the obsession is very real.

This is an example of a nudist Tweet from Twitter that I get daily in my feed.

And I have come to accept, to a large degree, that nudism is a good thing. It is a way of life that has good effects on the people who participate in it. They have more confidence in themselves. They are definitely firm in their beliefs about most things. They are positive. And they get enough vitamin D from sunshine to be happy most of the time, and are rarely depressed. I wish I had embraced nudism when I had the chance back in the 1980’s. I might have been happier and healthier than I am now. And even now they are a very accepting group of people, willing to welcome me when I am old and weathered and covered in psoriasis plaques and sores. They are almost as inclusive as Tom Hiddleston fans. But I don’t actually know why his fans want to fill my Twitter feed every day with Loki’s face.

But I said this essay was really about setting priorities. And, like the video suggests, I have to be willing to let go of things. I have to adapt to circumstances and stop doing things that don’t really help me. I have to finish more of my long list of projects. I have to focus. ed

Drawing nudes that are not sexual or erotic in nature has long been an obsession with me. Anatomy drawing is essential to learning to draw believable figures… even cartoon figures.

Uber driving was on my list of things to evaluate and I have already discarded it. It does not pay well. The accident I had in August of 2018 was a difficult financial blow as well as an effective confidence-shaker. The penalties for Uber driving become apparent at tax time because they don’t take care of withholding like other employers are required to. So there is extra money to pay at tax time. I had to continue Uber driving for a while simply because I had another large tax bill to pay on top of the expenses that go along with the sin of being in poor health.

I also have to finish things I have started.

Look for the BARE NECESSITIES, the simple bare necessities… forget about your worries and your strife…ed

I have finished paying taxes for 2023. I have finished rebuilding the retaining wall in the yard. I have finished driving for Uber to make money. I have absolutely no problem finishing writing projects, considering all the novels I have published in the last three years. And I definitely need to finish this essay.

So, what have I decided to give up? Twitter? Twitter nudists? No. I might give up following rabid Tom Hiddleston fans, though.

Leave a comment

Filed under goofy thoughts, humor, insight, nudes, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life

The Mirror in the Clown’s Hand

Self-reflection is the bane of stupid people. Essentially, they don’t want to risk encountering evidence that they actually are stupid. It would shatter their world to learn that they are idiots and most of what they believe is true is actually wrong. This fact goes a long way towards explaining why the Republican Party in its current form even exists, let alone the actions of the current mutant Cheetos monster that pilots their agenda and hates healthcare, the Special Olympics, and Puerto Rico.

So, if I am doing a self–reflection piece today, then that proves I am not a stupid person, right? What do you mean you agree with that? Yes, I can actually hear you mentally answering my questions as you read this. And if you believe that, then you have proven that even relatively smart people like you and I are capable of stupid thinking.

I believe in some stupid things, even though I think I am not stupid.

An example of this stupidity factor is my lingering belief that I am a nudist. I mean, I am rarely ever nude any more. I keep most of me covered up constantly because when my psoriasis plaques dry out they tend to flake and itch and force me to scratch to the point of infected bloody sores.

Obviously this is not totally a photograph from the 60’s. That does not make it a total lie either, though.

I have been pretty much accepted as a member of the nudist community on Twitter. I enjoy the artful pictures of nude people they share with me. And since I did a couple of blog posts for nudist websites, there are actually completely nude pictures of me available on the internet. I can be found on for one, if your eyes can stand the horror. But I have only been to a nudist park, the Bluebonnet Nudist Park in Alvord, Texas. twice as an actual nudist. I can tell you, they were very hot days even though I was not wearing clothes. I am comfortable with nudity. I am comfortable around nude people. I fully accept it all as a non-sexual thing. But am I really a nudist? Or am I only playing at it? If you follow me on Twitter, then you know I don’t retweet pictures of naked people. I engage a lot with other writers there, and most of them are not also nudists, or even open-minded about naturism. I write about nudists in some of my books, but they are not about nudism, and most of them don’t even mention it. So, what good does it do me to think I am a nudist? Well, the very idea of it does a heckuva good job of embarrassing my wife and daughter. So, I do get some crazy-old-coot satisfaction out of it. Otherwise it simply proves that rational and otherwise intelligent people can be committed to irrational ideas.

I am also of the often mocked and ridiculed opinion that not only are alien beings from other worlds real, they are capable of space travel and have been visiting us for as long as there has been an us. I did not always believe this, however. Before I wrote my novel Catch a Falling Star I believed as Carl Sagan said on the original Cosmos that it is wrong to accept things without proof, and true results are testable. My novel was about aliens who watched a lot of Earther TV and learned to speak English from watching I Love Lucy reruns, I wanted to make the aliens different from humans, but at the same time, alike with humans in the most fundamental ways that translate easily into humor and relatability. Not all of my hero-characters were Earth humans.

Brekka the Telleron tadpole (also a nudist) with her friend Lester the man-eating plant (who only ate her once)

As I did research on the internet (a tool I didn’t have when I originally created the story in the 1970s), I found a ton of researchers and writers and con men and MUFON and the Disclosure Project and nuclear physicists and astronauts Gordon Cooper and Edgar Mitchell who were all believers and mostly not stupid. Wow! What a huge and complicated hoax! Why would anybody believe , based on so little tangible evidence, and so much contradictory evidence, that the government’s position could possibly be right? I learned that I now believed, until significant further proof comes along, that I believe stupidly in alien visitors.

Today’s self-reflection post has now proven that I am a stupid old coot who thinks he is a nudist and an insightful conspiracy theorist. But the results of my look into the mirror have not made me upset about my stupidity. Maybe I am simply satisfied nudism is healthy and the universe is more complex than I am capable of understanding. Whatever the case, that’s enough with the mirror for today. You have to keep such dangerous weapons out of the hands of clowns.

Leave a comment

Filed under aliens, artwork, conspiracy theory, goofy thoughts, humor, nudes, Paffooney

Illustrating in Novel Ways

I have just finished a novel project that I worked on for a year, from Spring of 2016 to Spring of 2017.  And part of my personal project procedure involves using drawings to help me visualize the characters in the story and begin to view them as real people, even when they most certainly aren’t real.  I even have this derfy Mickian idea that Paffoonies (those picture ideas that are inseparably fused to words) are essential to Mickian fiction.  (Mickian fiction= another frighteningly goofy idea that needs to go unexplained.)

Gingerbread Children

The book, Recipes for Gingerbread Children is about an old woman, a German immigrant and Holocaust survivor, who comes to a small Iowa town with a gift for story-telling and a gift for baking things, especially gingerbread cookies.


Grandma Gretel Stein, seen in the Paffooney on the left, is the main character of the story.  She tells stories, mostly fairy tales, that have lessons about being true and faithful even in the face of great evil.  The fairy in her hand is General Tuffaney Swift, an immortal Storybook fairy who leads the army of the local fairy kingdom called Tellosia.    Gretel believes he is real  Honestly, she gets so into story-telling that her fairy friends seem absolutely real to her.  And who is to say that there aren’t little magical people living in a hidden kingdom among the cornfields in Iowa?  Gretel convinced me that they were real.  She even has a hand in making new fairies by the baking of gingerbread.  She gets a magical recipe from the fairy Erlking, a wise and magical being, and uses it to create living gingerbread boys and gingerbread girls.


The gingerbread girl on the right is Anneliese, named after Gretel’s own daughter and decorated with frosting, food coloring, and gumdrops by the favorite story listener who constantly listens to Gretel’s stories and helps bake Gretel’s gingerbread, Sherry Cobble.

Sherry is a beautiful young eighth grade girl who reminds Gretel of her long-lost daughter.  Sherry has a twin sister named Shelly and they are identical twins, but Sherry not only looks like Anneliese once did, she acts like her with the same confidence and enthusiasm for life that Anneliese once had before the war.

Sherry and Shelly are both part of the Cobble family, who have a reputation locally as wacky-pants loonies because they believe firmly in being nudists and engaging in nature completely naked while not actually wearing any wacky pants.  I haven’t done any actual pictures of Sherry  in the nude, but if you look carefully at the first picture of her above and see clothing, then you are seeing things that are not there.  Yep, the girl bakes and decorates gingerbread men in the buff, wearing her pale pink birthday suit, even when the weather outside in Iowa makes that nonsensical.


So by now you can probably draw several conclusions about me as both a novelist and an illustrator.  #1, There is definitely something a little bit off about me.  #2, I haven’t said anything yet about this book having dead Nazis and a werewolf in it, even though I rarely talk about this book without throwing those things in somewhere.  #3, Number 2 is actually taken care of in a backhanded way if you are reading this whole list carefully.  #4,  This story is probably about things that really aren’t just gingerbread recipes.  #5, You should congratulate yourself if you read this far in this post.  You have unusual amounts of patience and curiosity, and an extremely high tolerance for levels of goofy that put actual Goofy to shame.

Leave a comment

Filed under goofy thoughts, humor, novel, NOVEL WRITING, nudes, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life, writing, writing humor

A Bit of Naked Truth

As a nudist… well, I am not a very good spokesman for nudism, because I rarely get to be nude… and never really socially. I have seen a lot of nude people in my life. My own children, my nieces and nephews… I have at various times seen all but one of them naked. I have actually changed a lot of diapers, though that has been pretty much a long time ago. I have been around naked nudists a number of times. And I even spent an afternoon at a nudist camp one time. But this isn’t about being a nudist… even a never-nude nudist. It is about the morality of drawing nude people.

A new nude not posted before.

I enjoy drawing the nude human form. Man, woman, or child… nudes are beautiful to contemplate. But in our generally sexually repressive society, child nudes are a touchy subject. A lot of people who want to tell you what is wrong with your life and what to correct about yourself believe nudity is always about sexuality. And here’s a bit of naked truth about nudity… I am a victim of a sexual assault when I was a mere boy. Not an assault that provided any sexual gratification to me. I was sexually tortured and caused pain, both physically, and long-lastingly psychologically. It interferes with the entirety of my psycho-sexual development. I have never touched a niece or a nephew when they were naked, except when changing them as babies. I have trouble touching my own children, nude or not, as a result of what my attacker did to me. I have missed out on a humongous number of hugs and caresses, and maybe even kisses. My love life has always been a challenge, and it makes me approach child-nudity with great caution and trepidation.

another never-before-posted nude

The thing I have learned about the nudes I draw and paint, especially the child nudes, is that the pictures, no matter how innocent in concept, have a dark edge. They are not evidence of any sexual misconduct on my part. Considering the facts of my own life, I am determined to never be any kind of threat to any child. In fact, they are safer with me than with most other people. I know what can actually happen if you do not guard against it.

That is not the way some people will see them, though. I have been accused of being too fond of young boys before. But no kid who ever spent time with me as a mentor, dungeon master, or friend would fail to contradict that. Several did contradict that. I am provably not a homosexual, let alone a child predator threatening to boys. But this picture of Fernando Faun is not evidence of anything anyway. The actual model wore swim trunks in the photo I made it from. Only the face is Fernando’s, and I definitely changed his race and skin-color. And if anything at all can be learned about this picture, it is that, in truth, it is more a picture of me than it was of Fernando. It is about enjoyment of the naked part of being a boy, a zest for life and sensuality, that I painted because the fact of it was denied to me. I never got the chance to be like that anywhere but in my imaginary world where this painting is actually set.

I really can’t claim, though, that young girls would be as safe around me as boys are. I would never actually touch one, or even intentionally make her feel uncomfortable if I could help it. I could not promise, though, that my old brain would be completely free of all lustful thoughts.

But the whole point I am trying to make is that we are naked in more ways than just the physical. There is a need to be naked more. And by that I mean, we need to shine lights on our inner selves, to show the world who we truly are. I should not hide myself or my work from the sight of others. Letting you see these naked pictures, and at the same time, talking about my naked fears, is a kind of naked honesty that helps me to talk about what happened to me once upon a time. And it helps me heal. Repressing such things does harm to the soul.

1 Comment

Filed under healing, health, humor, nudes, old art, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Why Does Mickey Want to be a Nudist? Part 3

My real encounters with nudists didn’t wait until I was a teacher to occur. I went to the University of Iowa for a Master’s Degree in order to satisfy all the requirements for a teaching certificate.

While there, it was not only at the hippie-dippie daycare center where I changed diapers, and the very liberal parents were happy about their children’s backyard skinny-dipping in the blow-up pool while being chased around naked by adults with a hose to spray them with, but also in the efficiency apartment where I shared a kitchen and bathroom with an honest-to-god nudist.

Ned never explained to me about being a nudist, but whenever he watched my television in my half of the efficiency apartment, he came right on in without a stitch of clothing on. I was a little shocked. But I got used to the fact that any time he was in the apartment, he was naked. He explained to me about spending the summers at a nudist resort in Mexico with his family. He lived naked every single moment that he didn’t spend in public where nakedness was illegal.

He was the one who explained to me how the polite thing for a nudist to do was to carry around a towel to sit on when he visited my bedroom and used my chair to watch TV while I sat on the bed. He didn’t do much of that because he wasn’t wild about wasting time watching TV. But when we played chess, or just talked about life, the universe, and everything, he was always in his birthday suit.

I got used to the idea that there were actually people who were mentally healthy and otherwise normal who also inhabited our world feeling that I was the abnormal one being averse to being naked in the company of others.

Ned’s girlfriend, when she came over, was never naked. She did tell me she thought he was a little nutty on the subject of naturism, but she also mentioned that he was really good-looking that way because he lifted weights and had body-builder muscles. And she agreed to pose naked for me at his insistence because I had told him about having an anatomy drawing class at Iowa State. She didn’t seem to be shy about nakedness either, although that is based on only the one incident. She seemed much more at peace with Ned’s naked habits than I was. And I got the distinct impression that she loved him enough to convert to his way of life when they got married.

This is my pen-and-ink copy. She has the original in pencil. I also have a pencil copy.

So, I did learn a lot about nudism, naturism, and nudists by living with one for two semesters of grad school. Now, I know I promised to tell the very embarrassing story of the clothing-optional apartment complex in Austin that I mentioned in Part Two. But I will get to that. Maybe in the Part-4 post if I don’t let my mind wander again like I did in this post.

Leave a comment

Filed under humor, nudes, Paffooney

Why Does Mickey Want to be a Nudist? Part 2

Although I was fond of being naked outdoors before that came to an end with the assault I endured at age ten, in my youth I had my doubts about nudists. It was not a thing that happened anywhere I was aware of in Iowa. All I knew about it was the jokes they made about it in TV comedies like the sole nudist park episode of the Brian Kieth Show. And my psyche and personal body image were extremely fragile due to the trauma. I was in no way willing to risk the kind of exposure to ridicule that association with nudism would have for me.

When the twins who claimed to be nudists teased me in my classroom with details about it, I was keenly aware that there were bright red lines involved in that issue that cannot be crossed. Especially since I was a school teacher in charge of vulnerable pubescent boys and girls who obviously had their own issues in terms of nudity, sexuality, and personal body image. There was danger involved in being connected to ideas like nudism right along with communism, liberalism, and any suggestion that a teacher might be behaving toward students in an inappropriate way. I was fully aware that merely being accused of something could destroy my career, whether there was any relationship to the truth behind the accusation or not.

Drawings like this one existed in my portfolio at home while I was teaching, but only my girlfriends, my parents, and my sisters knew they existed.

My career as a school teacher was a sacred trust as far as I was concerned. My first teaching job was in a poor, rural school district in deep South Texas. I vowed that not only would I never be a threat to molest or assault a child or a teenager, but I would also actively try to prevent every child entrusted to me from being victimized in that way. It was crucial to my own belief in myself as well as my belief in the goodness of mankind that my plan would work out for the best.

There were a number of young boys, fatherless, raised by grandparents or aunts, and exposed to abusive adults, that needed a male mentor enough to show up at my door. I never let them in without the windows open and a clear view for every passerby that nothing wrong or inappropriate was going on. They came to talk, to get help with homework, to play role-playing games, or sometimes to just hang out. The County Sheriff, the Baptist Preacher, and the head of the high school Science department were all aware of what I was doing because their sons all came to participate in role-playing games, computer games, and discussions. I underwent training to become qualified as a foster parent for anyone who needed that (though it was specified by me that I couldn’t be a foster parent for girls while still being single for obvious reasons. And the city had no social workers at all in residence, so I was never called upon for actual parenting experience.) I was supported in that effort by my principal during the third year I was teaching. He saw how effective I was teaching problem-child boys. He sent a couple of troubled kids my way for mentoring.

My girlfriend in the early 80s was a teacher’s aide who worked both in my classroom and in the classrooms of the two other English teachers on campus. Ysandra was a divorcee and a much more world-wise person than I was. She had been through some trauma too. In fact, she was the first person I was able to tell about the sexual assault I had endured because she had been abused too and also endured the kind of moment where the traumatic event comes back to haunt you, complete in every horrible detail. And she and I planned dates together in the Austin area because my parents were living in Taylor, Texas, an Austin suburb, and her sister lived with a husband and child in an apartment complex in downtown Austin. That apartment complex, however, was a clothing-optional apartment complex that was destined to push nudism right up in my face once again.

That, of course, will be the completely embarrassing topic of the third part of this essay.

Leave a comment

Filed under artwork, education, humor, nudes, Paffooney

Why Does Mickey Want to be a Nudist?

I told you about being the kind of child that liked to run around naked in places where nobody else would see. And I only got caught a couple of times.

And I also told you about how I was cured of that behavior by being sexually assaulted by a cruel sadist. If you weren’t listening in your head when you read that part, then don’t worry about backing up. You don’t have to revisit that terrible thing to appreciate how this story goes.

But just because I had been traumatized and scarred by life, it didn’t mean God would let me simply hide from the problem. I was born to be a nudist, and God’s special sense of humor laden with karma and irony wasn’t about to let me hide from that.

The first thing I had to deal with as a young man hiding from nakedness and nudity was having a job at a daycare center for children of students and staff at the University of Iowa as a work-study job while I was working on my Master’s degree. It was a janatorial job, but it also involved childcare of kids who were all no older than four, and most of them still in pampers and pull-ups. And the female work-study employee was slightly squeamish about changing diapers. So, even though I was entirely reluctant to touch the kids for phobic reasons, I learned to effectively change diapers and messed training pants. I discovered that way that two of girls, Dylan and Sierra, were actually long-haired boys. And I also learned that when we broke out the swimming pool for summer afternoons, the hippy-dippy parents prefered skinny-dipping to having to bring and keep up with swimsuits. So, I found myself supervising half a dozen to eight little nudists in the back yard of the daycare house. I learned to my great relief that I didn’t have any sort of sexual attraction at all for naked kids. It was something I had worried about because of my studies about how victims of molestation often became molesters. And naked kids you have clean even if they do poop in the potty are entirely too icky to even get a flash of that kind of evil notion. I was terrified of naked people, even myself, but I became comfortable around naked little monkeyshines. Male or female, no difference.

………………………Once I became a teacher, especially an inexperienced gringo teacher in a school of mostly Spanish-speaking middle school students, I had to learn to deal with young ladies who have an aggressive, hormone-fueled sense of humor. Especially a pair of twin girls, cheerleader types, who discovered the one topic that made me blush and double-clutch while talking.

They routinely told me stories about them going to the nude beach on South Padre Island over on the coast of Texas. They made their group of girlfriends laugh hilariously. So, suspecting they were lying just to embarrass me, I asked for more details and kept them talking, hoping to catch them in a lie. They told me about going to the beach and getting naked, using a towel to sit naked on the sand, and loving to feel the water on their naked skin. One of them, when I thought I had caught them in a lie, offered to get naked in the classroom to prove they liked being nudists. That had to be a hard no! And they started telling me about the nudist park near San Antonio, a place called Riverside in the 1980s, the time when they were actually in my English class. I later looked that place up in an SA phone book, and discovered it was real.

At one point during their Eighth-Grade year, they even invited me to go with their family to the nudist park for the weekend. I immediately turned them down. They made fun of me for being afraid of nudists, which, ironically, I was. And to this day, I don’t know for sure whether they were real nudists or just having fun at my expense with an elaborate lie. I never dared to ask their parents about it, though that would’ve been karma for them no matter what the truth was.

Now, so far in this post, I have only told you the early part of how I learned about nudism, and there is obviously more to go. So, there will be a part two, at least here in the blog if not in the book.

Leave a comment

Filed under feeling sorry for myself, humor, kids, nudes

The Childhood Brain Thinking Naked

Children, especially young children, are natural nudists. So it seems to me, who was once a child and remembers being one, once dealt with sisters and cousins, once worked at a daycare center with children below the age of five, spent 24 years teaching middle school students, mostly 7th graders, raised two boys and one girl of my own, and for a few years had a backyard pool fenced in for skinny-dipping. Every child I ever knew went through a period of liking to go naked. (Though I have to admit that I never saw a middle-school student naked, nor would I ever want to, but only know about their nudist ways from talking to them and reading their journals where they often talked about things so personal it shocked me a bit and made me wish to un-know it.)

During my own preschool days, I loved taking a bath, especially with Mr. Bubble or other bubble-bath soap in the tub with me. I liked the feel of it all over my naked self. It was a sensual experience that I reveled in. But one time at Grandma Beyer’s house my nudist’s enthusiasm got curbed after bath time was over. I went out into the living room naked without my pajamas. My Grandma Beyer knew how to say, “No,” to children. But she had never threatened corporal punishment until that time.

“Put your clothes on, or Grandma will spank you,” she said. And that is all she said. She used that old farm-wife voice that promised painful hyde removal if I offered any defiance. She had never threatened me with discipline before, that I could remember, And she never did again that I know of. Nor did she have to. The message was conveyed. And from that moment on, I was led to understand that enjoying a state of personal nakedness was only the most private of things. If that had not happened when it did, then I think I would have been a lot less shy about nakedness as I grew.

And then there was the time when I was routinely being babysat after school at my Uncle Larry’s farm along with my two sisters and my baby brother while Mom worked as a nurse on the 3 to 11 shift. Dad didn’t get home until 6. I was probably 8.

Uncle Larry had a barn. And I was allowed to play alone in there as long as I stayed away from the hogs who could be dangerous and didn’t get cow poop on myself. The hay loft was a wonderful place to get naked and play around, jumping from the top of a high stack of bales into the pile of scattered hay below. The straw was always rather scratchy and unpleasant if you plunged into it butt first, but the thrill of flying and spinning through the air naked was glorious.

But, the clan on my mother’s side of the family was made up of mostly girl cousins, there being seven of them between me, the eldest cousin, and the other two boys, one of whom was my baby brother. And girls, especially evil cousin-type girls, glory in embarrassing boy cousins. My sister and the oldest of Uncle Larry’s girls caught me with no clothes on in the hay loft one day. I scrambled and dressed myself faster than I ever had dressed myself before. My face changed colors in ways I had never done before either. And both of the girls tried to further embarrass me by pulling down pants and underpants to show off their girl parts. I hid my face and pretended not to look. But I also learned that I liked naked girls that day. I did sneak a few peeks. It was, of course, a couple of years before my friend Wilford told me the facts of life (though that probably didn’t matter since most of what Wilford revealed to me was totally false information.)

It occurs to me now, 58 years later, that it probably would’ve been better to get the real facts from my Mom, the registered nurse, or from my Dad before this all happened. We could’ve maybe innocently played naked in the hay together knowing full well what not to do and what was really bad in that situation. But as an innocent child, curious but clueless, all I could do was fumble about and worry that I would burn in Hell for doing what I was told was wrong, but I really enjoyed doing. (My Mom could’ve told me the facts of life, but she assumed it was my father’s place to do that. And Dad thought Mom would take care of it since she had the medical training. That’s my excuse for being ignorant, and I’m sticking to it.)

Looking back on it now, with the full knowledge of a well-read adult, I think it is a fact that children have a natural affinity for nudism. And like the many other things like creativity and wonder that we train out of them before they reach puberty, maybe we should be encouraging it instead.

Now that I have offended you and made you swear off my blog forever, let me remind you. This is a humor blog. But that doesn’t mean I don’t really believe some pretty crazy stuff.

Leave a comment

Filed under humor, Liberal ideas, nudes, Paffooney

Thinking About Nakedness

One might wonder why I am thinking about nudity so much. And I suppose if I am going to devote a book of essays to the obsession, then I should probably explain why I am so obsessed and why I am trying to actually be a nudist. Of course, you will probably laugh about it when I get to the real reason. At least I hope it’s a matter of laughter and not pitchforks and torches.

You can probably trace the nudist thing in this blog to the publishing of my YA novel, Recipes for Gingerbread Children. In that book, there is a pair of twin sisters, Sherry and Shelly Cobble, who are nudists, come from a family that practices nudism at home, and are beloved child friends to the main character, Gretel Stein, the old woman who survived the Holocaust and had once been a nudist herself, before Auschwitz.

This was not the first book I published, nor, in my opinion, the best book I had written and published to that point. But it was the first book to become popular among a special classification of book lovers. I mean nudist and naturist writers of fiction. One of them read and loved the book, becoming an advocate for it, and inviting me to become a part of their writer’s group. That advocate has many wonderful nudist-centered stories available on Amazon under his pen name, Ted Bun. I recommend that you check out his work if you have the least bit of interest in living life without clothes on all the time.

Bobby and me ready for skinnydipping.

The obsession does go all the way back to childhood, however. I was a child innocently fascinated by nature and what it felt like to be immersed in it with little or no clothing on. I lived at a time when bathing suits only covered the part of me below the belly button down to barely below the crotch. And I was fascinated on Friday nights by the nearly naked body of Tarzan Ron Ely and his boy sidekick Jai as they swung on vines through the African jungle. And I will have skinny-dipping stories to share later in the book as well. I liked to go to the Bingham Park Woods south of town and ride my bicycle naked up and down the park pathways. I loved the feeling of being naked outdoors.

That innocent love was tragically suspended by a traumatic thing that happened to me at the age of ten that I will have to talk about in this book. And it will not be any easier to read than it will be for me to write about it. But nudism and naturism have a strong enough attraction for me that it eventually helped me overcome the trauma. Nudity has been a good thing for me throughout my life, even during that period that I felt it was bad for me. And I will have to do a lot of explaining about that.

And so, in this introductory excuse-making and rationalizing essay, I finally come to the real reason I need to write this book. I decided that, when I retired from teaching, I would choose to do at least one thing that truly terrified me, but would help make my life complete. Skydiving, flying an airplane, and bungee jumping was all beyond what I had the power and monetary resources to do. So, in 2017, I agreed to write an article for the True Nudists website about trying nudism for the first time. I then arranged to make a first-time visit to Bluebonnet Nudist Park in Alvord, Texas. And I will be writing about how I carried out that evil plan in this book as well.

1 Comment

Filed under humor, nudes, Paffooney

Thinking Naked

I intend to write a book of essays about naturism and nudism, my attempts as a teacher to avoid becoming a practitioner while still teaching, and my eventual yielding to the urge to become what I avoided becoming for too long.

Now I know from my own family and my various communities over the years that nudists and naturists are generally considered to be a category of crazy people. That was especially a pointed observation in Iowa during the winter time when I was a boy in the 60s.

Of course, it was the 60s. And even though the hippies and other allegedly naked crazy people lived in far-away California and far-away New York, and closer, but still far-away Chicago, there were people we all gossiped about that would gad about their house in the all-together. Apparently, we knew because somebody, probably an old-lady gossip gatherer, had been looking through somebody else’s back windows. And some of those local crazy people turned out to be ordinary farmers, bankers, and even members of the Belle City town council. Really, the councilman and his wife are the reason I am calling the town by the fictionalized version of its name. Not because I am trying to protect the people’s identities, which you can figure out with very limited research, but because the old-lady gossip gatherer may have fictionalized what she allegedly saw through their back window and talked about at morning coffee in the Uptown Cafe.

But you see me here in a drawing of myself as a nude boy because from very early on in life, I felt the urge to give myself the freedom of costume… or lack thereof… as the councilman and his wife obviously gave to themselves in the privacy of their own home.

I was a big fan of skinny-dipping, and spending alone time nude in the woods south of town and the tree-lined pastures down by the creek to the west of town. I enjoyed being naked, although I dreaded the Devil finding out what I had already told Jesus in private, and then being condemned to Hell to burn for eternity… although, according to the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch in the Encyclopedia Britannica at school, I would still get to be naked.

This, then, will be a book both humorous and potentially sad about naked people and why naked can be good. I will include in this book works of art that I have made portraying people who are intentionally naked and happy about it. So, if your eyeballs will catch on fire for seeing naked people in artwork, your eyeballs should already be producing prodigious amounts of smoke, if not open flames. You better stop looking before you are blind. Some people’s Old Testament God is obviously much crankier than the God Jesus told me about when I talked to him in private.

I do intend to make fun of people who like to be nude in this book. But I will also make fun of myself for being one of those people. And I don’t intend to spare people who wear clothes all the time from a little bit of satire either. (Really, Mrs. Simms? You made Richard wear a swimsuit in the bathtub until he was twenty?)


Filed under artwork, autobiography, humor, nudes, Paffooney