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Many men over 50 testify that they swam naked in high school and college. But it was the practice and there are some pictures to prove it.This photo of a swimming class at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois appeared in photo archive website.
People who didn’t experience this find it hard to believe.
But it reminds me of what I experienced at Bennett High School in Buffalo during my freshman year (1957-58).
Among other changes, our tour guide at Bennett pointed out that the diving boards had been removed from the pool because of a fatal diving accident.
But perhaps some of our current attitudes and views need to be challenged, including our attitudes toward and views about nudity today which are almost exclusively associated with sexuality. Chapter 3 in my book is entitled, “Naked Bodies, Clothed Bodies.” Nakedness is a powerful religious and spiritual symbol.
(I actually first broached this topic of swimming naked at the YMCA in my “Frank Answer About Being Naked Before God”—written before I went to my class reunion.) Philosophically, I don’t think that the body is just something that we have, as if the real me is something other than the body (like the mind or the soul).
Even when I was a youth there were muscle magazines encouraging boys to bulk up so they wouldn’t be the skinny kid having sand kicked in his face on the beach—in front of his girl friend, who then walks off with the muscle guy!