I even declared the blog to be dead at one point, only to be resurrected based upon the wave of support I received from readers.
Certainly there have been highs and lows.
Debbie Jungwirth, The Naturist Society's Network Coordinator, once remarked about me, "I find the lack of naturist credentials and/or background information about the administrator of this blog a little disturbing."
Credentials? Disturbing? Really?
Ms. Jungwirth later backed off that comment a bit, but it was a Facebook discussion and much of it has been deleted over time.
I have also been attacked over the photos by a very small minority who feel the images are not representative of "true naturism". I've even had people do head counts from the photos to prove that there is an imbalance of women over men, as if some crime was being committed.
Thankfully, most of my readers possess the intelligence to understand that most of the photos reproduced on this blog are vintage, from a time where the nude female form was far more popular than the male. The same people who want to sanitize nudism's past are also the ones who support editing Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Finn" so it's more politically correct in today's society.
What it all boils down to is that the one common denominator about everything I have written or posted here is a hunger for the truth. Every word of every post is still up and running, I've never retracted or deleted any of my writings (except for an occasional update or spelling/grammatical correction). My philosophy has always been to write only what I would be willing to say to someone face-to-face, and to never lie.
It's been my experience that many in the organized nudism community don't want to deal with the hard realities of the challenges facing nudism today. Recently ClothesFree.com locked two forum threads dealing with the Lupin Lodge situation, yet a subject like "Nudist Celebrities" started in 2006 is still going strong, and "Sleeping Nude and Uncovered" has been open since 2003. Do the administrators at ClothesFree.com have an agenda? All I know is that there are very, very few locked forum threads on their site.
It can be discouraging at times.
But once in a while good things happen, too.
Recently Tom Mulhall of the Terra Cotta Inn, who is also a board member of AANR-West, made the following comment on his blog: "I have always said that nudiarist http://nudiarist.blogspot.com is the best nudist and naturist blogger around. I always enjoy his posts. He is very sincere in his beliefs. I greatly respect him."
And out of the blue, H&E Naturist in the UK featured this blog in their current issue.
One of the most popular naturist bloggers is Nudiarist...The blogger is based in the USA, so he therefore naturally comments on issues relating to AANR - and he doesn't pull any punches. His observations are astute, and go to the very heart of the workings of the organization. For instance, one of his blogs is headed "The crisis in nudism and naturism, and what YOU can do." It refers to seedy allegations surrounding Lupin Lodge, "a cornerstone of the nudist and naturist movement since 1936," which somewhat fly in the face of the family friendly image the AANR is trying to promote.
Nudiarist is pretty on the ball - when Skinbook closed down some months ago, he was among the first to comment. There are regular news updates and comments, all of which go some way to making the point that the internet and the wider world at large is hysterically worried about images of naked people...
There is much to read on this blog, but not all of it is very heartwarming. The writer is promoting and defending naturism - and he has garnered a wide audience, too... It's well worth a read, and is a very good example of how intelligent comment can be a force for good, and possibly a force for change. Naturist campaigners in this country might take a leaf or two out of his book.But the one comment which gave me the most encouragement came from John Andersen who is on the board of AANR-East.
I'll say that I for one appreciate the strongly independent voice of Nudiarist because it forces me to do my job better and dig for some answers when I don't have them or keep dinging away if I'm not satisfied with what I hear the first time.Ultimately I appreciate all comments, whether positive or critical. Without the truth, without a sincere effort to face up to the challenges facing nudism and naturism, there will be no progress.
Oh, and about "rebooting", which is the subject of this post.
Like John Andersen, I want to do my job better. I like being an independent voice and will continue to be one. When the national organizations do something positive, I will praise them. When they screw up, I will be critical.
I promise to write more frequently. So many nudist and naturist bloggers have fallen by the wayside in the past few years that it's alarming. It's not easy sticking to this blogging thing - it takes time, effort and enthusiasm. and finding a combination of all three can be a daunting task.
So thanks to all who have made the past five years a wonderful roller-coaster ride on the world of nude recreation. Here's to at least five more.