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Come around again at Super Bowl time and we'll help you on that one, too.
OH, SAY CAN YOU SEE?
One of the more stirring 20th century battles for freedom reached a climax last Saturday on Cape Cod when defenders of the sacred right to run around on a beach with your pants off struck poses and voiced slogans reminiscent of the Minute Men rallying round at Lexington and Concord. These valiant supporters of the Constitution were outraged because a ban had been imposed on nude bathing at the Cape Cod National Seashore (SI, May 12 and Aug. 4). They made speeches, distributed fliers and, all in all, sounded as though they were defending the Republic, motherhood and apple pie. And because nudes make news, they got plenty of publicity.
Which is what caused the trouble in the first place. Nudity had been accepted on the more secluded beaches of the Cape, particularly in the town of Truro, for years. It was only when the inevitable publicity about it attracted more and more people that local antagonism arose. The narrow roads and sparse parking areas of this least-populated area of the Cape, the one that best retains the simple beauty of the past, were jammed. Delicate sand dunes were overrun, pristine beaches littered with filth.
So the ban was imposed, ostensibly against nude bathing but actually against an unmanageable influx of people. And it worked for a while, too. Because the publicity now said "No nudity," the mobs stayed away. Nude bathing went on, as always, but quietly, as it used to.
Until the Sons of Liberty got into the act with their cries of "Free the free beach!" and their call to assemble on the sand. A Truro man watched sadly last Saturday as a torrent of cars from Boston and other parts of the Northeast flooded into town. "This is a terrible thing," he said. "We're seeing a village trampled to death." A woman, more caustic, said, "We have no civil rights at all. All the rights seem to belong to the naked children of Worcester."
CHEWING OUT WRIGLEY
A letter from a Chicago Cub fan in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED last week praised "beautiful Wrigley Field." Now from St. Louis comes an opposite opinion. Reggie Smith of the Cardinals says, " Wrigley Field is a disgrace to baseball. It's degrading to play there. I mean the clubhouse, the bathroom, the area under the stands. There's a rancid smell down there. I don't see how the Cubs stand it." Smith mentions mildewed carpeting and exposed water pipes in the clubhouse, grime on the ceiling and damp earth alongside the cracked cement walk leading under the stands to the dugout.
"If we athletes were in some other kind of entertainment field, say like music," Smith says, "we could count on coming into much better quarters. We're performers, too. We shouldn't be subject to these conditions."