I was alone today (June 21st), so I filled the backpack and took the motorcycle to Mazo. On the way, I stopped at the gas station and grabbed some food for the beach.
No bug spray was needed -- the mozzies were surprisingly sparse. The water level was just fine, slightly high but there was plenty of beach available. Almanac said the water was 77 degrees, and that the water may still be a little polluted from the flooding. The beach seemed calm for a Saturday, and consisted of the Elders and random people scatted around the rest of the beach.
I asked about the garlic mustard issues from last time. It wasn't a prank. Captain Planet and Gaia (who were there today too) put it there themselves, and the caller thought that someone else did it. Another blog has posted a picture of this event. (Hmmm.... were they the ones that called Smokey?)
I took a walk around the beach. It's funny that the Elders were chatting away, and most everyone else was dead silent. There were no other chatty groups on the beach. The demographics were surprising today -- there were attractive couples there my age, maybe even a bit younger. There was even a group of just females, my age, which is a very rare sight for any US nudist venue.
Kingpin detected a newbie couple towards the back of the beach. I knew that he would want to talk to them, since he likes to meet everyone on the beach. Ok, maybe just every newbie group that contains one of more females. This is for good reason though: More females that are encouraged to be at the beach means it's more comfortable for other females and brings the gender balance closer to even. Men don't really need the encouragement.
I was curious as to how a professional such as himself would approach them, so I waited. This is really a bigger issue than it seems! A single man walking up to a couple to chat could certainly make the female uncomfortable, meaning they won't come back. The answer: Kingpin waited until she was in the water alone (and after they had been there a while), then walked over to the guy and started with a joke about his very white butt. As they were chatting, and in good terms, she came back to join in the conversation. If the woman didn't like it, she would've stayed in the water. There's a very good chance I'll be using the technique too, assuming my girl isn't along. (A couple approaching another couple seems OK, as long as it's not right away... People need time to adjust.)
Kingpin is actually great at making newbies feel welcome. I've put myself to be a "Kingpin in training", because I'm really good at watching over the events and status of the beach....when I'm there. I'd love to welcome and encourage more people of my generation, because some of us may become the new Elders someday. Also, I'm very much an "information booth". I can almost always answer any question thrown at me accurately, and know more about the news issues that people bring up than they do.
There was another couple around that were my age, but I didn't get a chance to talk to them. Also, I wanted to talk to the group of younger ladies just to figure out their story of how they made it to the beach with no men, but didn't.
While chatting with Kingpin and the newbie couple, Kingpin brought out some photo books. One was his collection from when the religious zealots were blocking the trail to the beach. The other was of him and friends, and a giant "Team Mazo" written with nude bodies on the beach, and taken from the guy that occasionally flies a helicopter to the beach. I hadn't seen these pictures, and was unaware of that event. It was probably before my time... Either way, his "brag book" impressed the newbies.
There were two groups of non-nudists in the area. One was a larger group of canoers that stopped on the unreachable island, many were younger and most were loud as they played around. Another group of 3 guys 2 girls, who walked all the way to the beach, only stripped down to bathing suits on the edge of the beach. They waded out to the reachable island for a while. It's only a guess, but I think they went to the beach to drink, and they were probably underage.
One of the guys I talked to told me a little more about the beach history. He was wondering is they were going to have the Nude Olympics on the 4th, like they have in the past. I haven't heard anything about it if they are, but I assume people will bring games and stuff on the 4th anyway. He said that attendance is way down compared to the past.
From my point of view, the beach is getting more disconnected. This disconnect makes the beach less strong, and makes it hard to plan events and have a sense of community. The web presence of the beach is primarily a group of completely out-of-date sites, a Friends of Mazo Beach yahoo group, and bloggers (All Nudist and me, are there more?). Blogs and forums are limited tools, and are all competing with each-other. I believe that the answer is in a central, community-driven site that provides a variety of tools for collaboration. If I could get the WWNCW to catch on, all sorts of wonderful things would happen.
Lastly, I asked Kingpin if he knew a "Steve & Angie". He didn't recall right away, until I mentioned Skippy. Of course he knew them! However, he didn't know anything more. Sorry guys, I can't send cookies (per your earlier comment) unless I have a last name, address, or another year. Being newlyweds, you're not listed as "Steve & Angie" (or any similar names) in the phonebook just yet. Of the 4 Steve&Angie's I found in the Madison area, none match your house. (I used Microsoft's 'Birds Eye' view, and one of the houses was for sale recently so I could see the inside of the house.) Besides, if I got cookies in the mail from someone I never met -- I probably wouldn't eat them!
All-in-all, I had a great time, but I think I overdid it. My skin has three shades of red: Light red means that it'll fade away and be just as white as before. Medium red turns into a nice tan. Dark red means it's burnt. At the beach, it appeared to be the perfect medium red.... It looked a lot darker when I got home. Oops! Promise me that you won't laugh at my peeling skin on the 4th, ok?