Return of the Native

At the invitation of a local newspaper editor Bill Schroer began writing a column in 2013 which addressed nudism and naturism. These columns reflect Bill’s view of naturism and it is hoped by reprinting the columns and then sharing his original blog posts, viewers will see the link between Bill’s philosophy of living as a nudist/naturist and the resulting world of Nuance Naturist B&B. In effect, Nuance Naturist B&B is an outcome of Bill’s years of thinking and dedication to the naturist ideal.

After 6 months in the Sunshine State I’ve returned to Battle Creek. Being reminded by friends of the judgement of someone who spends the summer in Florida to return in time for winter here suggests pleading for tentative credibility for observations I felt worth sharing.
The first: Weather doesn’t trump everything. Florida weather is sunny, hot and, part of the year, (winter) delightful. In the summer..beastly…as much too hot as Michigan is too cold in the winter. It was too hot and I was living on a nudist resort. Can’t imagine how those poor

people who had to wear clothes felt! Allowing for the improved climate there now, other Florida factors neutralize (for me) the advantage of living there for the weather. Florida topography is flat as a farm field and as inspiring. The closest thing to a hill is an overpass from which one sees a landscape of hotels, miniature golf outlets and malls. The appearance is that of a 3D Monopoly board…..with accompanying plastic unreality. While Florida roads offer few potholes drivers do a lot more sitting still on the roads due to traffic jams, tie-ups from accidents and construction. This is

ten pounds of cars in a five pound bag of highways…even with the addition of many tollroads (another issue). And, Floridians are obsessed with gated communities. Not just for the rich…but middle class too. I toured one “Sole Vita”. I called it Walled Off FromWorld. It had everything..perfectly maintained homes in Florida colors, manicured lawns, workout facilities, pools, not a speck of litter. It was Stepford Wives perfect and equally unhuman and creepy. No, weather doesn’t trump everything. Paved roads are nice…but so is actually driving on them. And a real community is just

The larger point is back home our community has a lot of good things too we sometimes fail to appreciate

that…real, not plastic or gated with rent-a-cop types at the entrances.
I don’t want this to be sour grapes….Florida has good weather in the winter, fun theme parks and great beaches (textile and nude). The larger point is back home our community has a lot of good things too we sometimes fail to appreciate. As I navigate the streets, work out at the Y, attend the Symphony, visit our Library, shop at Horrocks and meet friends I’m reminded of the livability here. First, the people are friendly and genuine. Not that people aren’t friendly in Florida….its just the community feeling is

welcoming here and (largely) non-judgmental. You can develop a network quickly that allows a sense you know everyone in town…even though you don’t.
The scale of everything is manageable. If your son or daughter wants to make the basketball team…they have a shot…because the school doesn’t have 5,000 students. If you are an activist trying to make change happen…or just want to help it is easy to do so. On a larger scale the Kellogg Co/WKKF initiative demonstrates an institutional capacity/willingness to improve things. I

never felt I knew anyone in a position to do anything about anything in Florida. As a bystander to a monolithic blob of relentless sprawl, mall development and road construction I wondered why no one was asking not whether what was being done could be done…but if it should be done. Which is a third element…our capacity for self-reflection, ability to challenge the status quo and innovate. Change is hard…but we have a history of innovating and trying new approaches. We don’t always give innovations enough time or resources to survive….but that’s an issue for another column.

As we conclude a holiday of being thankful…and many of us are for the blessings of family, hearth and home, I feel we also can be thankful for this community.

As we conclude a holiday of being thankful…and many of us are for the blessings of family, hearth and home, I feel we also can be thankful for this community. Despite our challenges there are many positives. From an asset perspective, the people, places and culture of Battle Creek offer much to be thankful about. We have a ways to go…but it is good to be home.
While all of Florida is not Orlando…there are a lot of people. Lots of people generate

construction, traffic and sprawl which takes time to navigate. We kid around about getting from the north side of Battle Creek to Beckley Road in about 10-15 minutes. Traversing Orlando (or any 1 million plus metro area) is 90 minutes except in rush hour…when it has never to my knowledge actually been done.