My dad tells me the story of when he, eighteen years old, back in 1951, goes to the Lido on Lake Zürich – where he’s grown up and where he has turned himself into a Swiss Youth Champion Swimmer – to try out nude bathing.
Being Switzerland and Continental Europe, Zürich has no problem with nude bathing in 1951, and so there is a designated nudist section of the Lido where swimming naked in the Lake may be relished at nature-embracing liberty by anyone so inclined, even then.
“I walked out of the changing rooms, a little shy and uncertain, holding my towel in front of me,” I’ve seen pictures of my dad at that age – not, I hasten to add, in the nude, but wearing his swimming trunks and in one of them, I believe, his chest adorned with a medal, or so I seem to remember – and my dad as an eighteen year old is exceptionally handsome, he’s a youth champion swimmer, after all, “and there were all these saggy old men, with drooping bits everywhere.”
I laugh my head off at the thought of my adonis dad walking out into a world of saggy old men and drooping bits everywhere. They put him right off, so he turned around and never went back, unsurprisingly.
The image, though, lingers…