His first experience with nudism after his time spent as a Boy Scout was in 1968, when he and his wife at that time discovered Truro Beach on Cape Cod. “To our surprise,” Baxandall says, “we discovered people doing what I had done at scout camp. We found that they were the nicest folks we had met on the Cape. We brought our kid along, and other people brought their kids. It was a family thing. It was no obsessive thing–it was just the enjoyable manner of being on the seashore.” Although Baxandall lived in New York, he generally spent one week a month traveling back to his hometown of Oshkosh, to help run his deceased father’s company, the Baxandall Company. This business produced flyers, pamphlets, videos, and other informative materials to trade schools and companies. It was in part a publishing firm. Baxandall made his living, then, running his daddy’s business and, to a lesser degree, from his writing in New York. He has supported himself ever since through this non-naturist company. His future work in nudism was chiefly a labor of love. One of his Wisconsin-based jobs was publishing and editing the Green Mountain Quarterly . It is goal, as its masthead declared, was “to present excellent evaluations on problems of societal urgency.” Topics addressed pertained to the environment, social justice, and politics. The fourth edition–the famed “Skinny Dipper Issue,” August 1976–gave free shore recommend a clear, professional-sounding voice in articulating the problems with which Baxandall would be embroiled the rest of his life.

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The “Free the Free Plage” Committee is Formed in 1975

In the summer of 1974, Lawrence Hadley, superintendent of the Cape Cod National Seashore, had proposed a ban on nudity to include the traditionally clothing-optional Truro beaches on the Atlantic side of Cape Cod. Hadley asserted the nude use was pulling too large a bunch for the site. Baxandall and some other free beach enthusiasts developed a support group–the Free the Free Beach Committee–to protest the prohibition. Since he was the only member of the group who was self-employed, and hence had job security, the task fell to him to be the public spokesperson for the group. With his ties in publishing in Oshkosh, he was also the clear choice to direct any activist writing jobs that came up. On August 23, 1975 the Free the Free Beach Committee organized a nude beach “celebration” (the National Park Service would not…

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