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The Wednesday Slice

Naked girls being the whole point of college, streaking seemed a laudable social trend back in 1973-74.

You would hear a whoop go up in the dining hall and crank your head to see which of your fellow scholars were sprinting through the building sans garments. Or you might be ambling through a grove toward the library and spy a freshman child of nature bounding across campus in the born-free fashion of the time. 

It caught your attention.

Silly? Sure. But the military draft was over and the apres '60s had sort of lost their way.

I got to thinking about this after posting something about “The Streak” being a No. 1 song in May of 1974.

What kind of idiot, you might ask, would disrobe and boldly saunter out into the public square?

Well, the kind of idiot writing this, for one. (Or at least the 18-year-old version of same.)

I don't remember all of the details. There is a chance consumption of fermented grain beverages might have been involved. Perhaps something as spirit-enobling as a dare also played a role.

But one night four or five of my dormmates and I elected to grace our little New England college with the gift of nudity.

So after dropping trou and shedding shirts, down the stairs and out the door we went. We really had no destination in mind. We were just, as Kramer of “Seinfeld” once said, out there and loving it.

Until, of course, we weren't. At some point, we were struck with a dark moment of awareness: We are outside with no clothes on. How does this end well?

Galloping back toward Adams Hall, our exhilaration transitioned neatly into full-blown panic. And as we approached the front door, some of the big-hearted students inside had a brainstorm.

Hey, they thought, let's close the door and lock it. Wouldn't that be fun?

I played sports as a kid. I was on a couple of state championship hockey teams in high school. I have seen a few big plays.

But no last-second goal or crucial save will ever compare in my memory to what fellow streaker Gary Blodgett did. Just as the jokesters inside the dorm had the front door almost closed, Gary grabbed the handle and yanked it back open.

Yes. Yes. Yes. Thank God, yes.

In we went, to don pants and convene a post-streak analysis and verbally replay our brief adventure in the great outdoors.

Here again, fermented grain beverages might have been involved.

Everyone is young once. But you have to make an effort to truly be young and stupid.


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Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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