Howdy from your new AANR (I must remind myself not to put Southwest anymore) President! I thought I would take a moment to tell you a little about myself so that if we meet, perhaps we won’t be strangers.
I grew up in Austin, Texas, in the 1970s when gas was cheap, bell bottoms were all the rage, and computers cost tens of thousands of dollars! My parents worked in the fabric business that my grandfather started, which meant my mom knew her way around a sewing machine! Little me, of course, wanted nothing to do with clothes and I am told that I was a regular streaker around the house. Mom always made many of the clothes for the whole family; you should see our family album! When 1980 rolled around and I was off to camp where boys learned how to be boys. Nature studies, riflery, swimming, and of course skinny-dipping! The camp was a monthlong summer excursion in the hill country and each cabin took turns hitting the swimming hole with its rope swing. The joy of getting a chance to shed my clothes and swim as nature intended is a memory I hold dear.
Throughout high school, I lost some of that joy as I gained a good amount of weight and felt shame for being so large. I wouldn’t work out much during Physical Education class so I could avoid having to shower with the others. In college, however, I started taking baby steps toward body acceptance when I would allow myself to lie nude in bed in a beam of sun coming through the window. Interestingly, my college theater department had a hand in helping me as well. I was in a play where I had to make a quick costume change and there was no time for shyness as everyone was in and out of their clothes without batting an eye to get to the next scene. That was when I first realized that some people didn’t care if I was fat or skinny, tall or short. They only care about who I was and not what I looked like.
The year 2010 showed up on my doorstep, much sooner than seemed possible, and the word “nudist” came up in a most unusual way. I was going through the Chili Appreciation Society International’s list of upcoming cook-offs in my area. I found one being held at a nudist resort nearby (Star Ranch, in McDade, Texas) and for whatever reason, that idea intrigued me. There were several weeks until the cook-off and it gave me time to research nudism, Star Ranch, and of course the perfect chili recipe. I also found a local club in Austin called Hill Country Nudists (HCN), and I did some looking into them. Where was all this interest in nudism coming from? None of my family were nudists, nor were they prudish, but I still could not explain my curiosity.
I did the cook-off, had a great time and I met some folks from Hill Country Nudists who encouraged me to join their club. I joined both HCN and AANR in August 2010 and have been a member of both ever since. It didn’t take me long at all to realize, I was born to be nude! I have been on the board of HCN for many years serving in different capacities, mostly in the activities coordinator position. I also joined the AANR-Southwest board and have enjoyed it very much. Serving on the board, whether locally, regionally, or nationally, is a great way to know more about our organization. I hope I make a beneficial contribution to AANR and nudism and I encourage you to do the same in whatever way you can. I hope to see you around the pool some time.