'Bare Nekkid Mainers' enjoy bowling in the rawMaine nudists have had a devil of the time when they butt up against the general populace, particularly in Maine's larger towns.
January 30, 2007
Bangor Daily News, http://www.bangornews.com
OLD TOWN, Maine --When members of the Bare Nekkid Mainers rent the Old Town Bowling Center, all they really need are the shoes.
"Hey, you can't go skinny-dipping at this time of year," Hessa, who organizes the gatherings and wanted to be identified only by her first name, told the Bangor Daily News.
Self-described naturist nudists, the Bare Nekkid Mainers belong to an international organization and participate in nudist events throughout the year.
The group used to bowl in Albion, but their venue there closed.
During the three events held at the Old Town center since September, the one-story building was closed with its windows and doors covered. Signs announced that a private party was in progress.
"I have absolutely no problem with it, and I hope nobody else does," Charles "Chip" Carson, the center's owner, said Monday. "They just happen to like having a good time without their clothes on."
Still, on one occasion earlier this month, a man apparently ignored the signs and entered the center with his 8-year-old son.
"I tried to stop him," Hessa said Monday. "He walked through two doors that were covered in paper and had signs."
He apparently saw a nude male playing pool and went to police.
"One of our officers went over there to check," Old Town police Capt. Kyle Smart said Monday.
Police found no violations, and after checking with the city attorney and municipal officials, concluded there has been no wrongdoing.
"We're not doing anything sexually explicit, and we're not out there doing it on Main Street," Hessa said.
About 60 households belong to Bare Nekkid Mainers, and several dozen people have participated in each bowling event in Old Town, the newspaper said.
Carson turns the thermostat up to make his patrons more comfortable and says the events are handled like any private
"Everybody's laughed at it, to be honest with you," he said.
BodyFreedom.org [WARNING: Do not click on link if you are offended by images of the nude human body] reports on a 2001 incident in which two Maine women were arrested and then acquitted:
Kathryn Mann and Debra Ballou were arrested in Orono, Maine on November 2, 2001 for merely going jogging. They were arrested and they went to the police station for the usual humiliating routine. They were acquitted in court on January 30, 2002. [source: Paul Rapoport]Photo: Mike Ritcheson, a truck driver from Southern Maine, bowls at a Bare Nekkid Mainers event at the Old Town Bowling Center in September. (Photo courtesy of Bare Nekkid Mainers and Bangor Daily News)
"I think everyone should be able to run around naked. I don't think I did anything wrong". (quote from Deb Ballou appeared in Going Natural, Volume 17, Number 1)