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Mary0826

Date Posted:06/28/2017 06:42:33

I recently was in Yellow Springs, Ohio for a meeting.  Yellow Springs is probably one of the most liberal towns in Ohio, if not the country.  I had some time to kill before the meeting, and got directions to the town's swimming pool.  The people I ask gave various street routes, but the easiest thing is just look for the twin water towers and that is where the pool is at.  I was a little shocked to see at the municipal pool two college aged men in thong swimwear.  There also were some women with cheeky swimsuits that I would call thongs.  The "official" rules have a provision for no vulgar language or violence, and state that the management may refuse admission to people who engage in either.  No mention of swimwear is made anyplace in the rules.  The only mention of the right to throw people out is about vulgar language or violence.  I don't know if the guys in thongs were just being permitted to do so since it was a slow day, or if normally thongs are permitted.  Village residents can purchase various passes for use of the pool, but visitors can also buy these at about 50% more than the village residents.  I am going to e-mail the village park people to see if they have any clothing or swimwear rules.  Yellow Springs residents seem to be very concerned with gender equality including gay and lesbian, transgender, cross dressing and other things, and if anyplace would permit a man to wear a thong because they let women wear them, this would be the place.  I also suspect that women can go topfree at the pool since men can do this.  Again, I will try to get an answer from the village officials.  Antioch College is in town, and from what I heard, they used to have weekly nude swimming on weekends at the college's indoor sports center pool.  This was before the school was reorganized, and I don't know if this still occurs.  This event was strictly limited to students, faculty, and town residents who could prove they lived in town.  In reality, everyone seemed to know everyone else since the town is small with a population of about 3500 people, most of whom walk around town, since no place is more than a half mile from the business district.  There is an old log cabin tavern that opened in 1827 and is still in business.  The food is not great, but the atmosphere is interesting, and drinks are strong.  It is hard to walk more than a block without smelling the odor of pot being smoked.

Adjacent to the Antioch College campus, is a nature preserve and public park called Glen Helen.  I had about four hours to kill between the meetings and dinner, and took a long hike through this area.  Not too many people were out on the trials of this 1000+ acre park, but at one point, two girls and a guy in the 17-20 year old range were under a waterfall, cooling off in their birthday suits!  This must have been a spur of the moment thing since their cloths were piled up nearby, but there were no towels with them.  I was told that the Glen Helen nature preserve is one of three public parks keyed together like a jigsaw puzzle.  The others are John Bryant state park, and Clifton Gorge park and nature preserve.  The trails and rivers in these parks crisscross the various parks, with seldom marked borders.  Law enforcement is dependent to some extent on which park you are in, with five different enforcement and ranger services.  I didn't have time to take in all 50 miles of trails, but I did get to another Glen Helen area known as the Pine Forest.  As the name implies, this is a large area in which pine trees grow.  The sun barely makes it through the thick forest canopy, and the air seems to be 20 degrees cooler and smells wonderfully clean like pine.  Here I stumbled across an older couple who were laying on the thick pine needle ground cover on a blanket with another on top.  I think I interrupted them as they were making love.  I doubt if rules "permit" nudity and sex in the Glen Helen park, but I am under the impression that what little law enforcement might be present, simply looks the other way. 

Even without this "wild life" the parks have some pretty amazing scenery for the middle of Ohio.  There is a cannon from 60 to 150 feet deep and only 8 feet wide at points.  There are caves, huge boulders the size of houses, rivers and water falls, part of the original Pittsburg to Cincinnati road (build in about 1810) various bridges and places where you can cross the river on rocks (and probably fall in and get wet), swimming holes (guys here were wearing shorts), the Yellow Springs itself (a place where water spills out from cracks in rocks and one place you can drink the water from a small drinking fountain like spring).  The spring waters were thought to have medicinal properties, and people fill bottles and drink it as the Native Americans did for centuries.  The water tastes really strong and mineral filled, but , actually is sort of a neat flavor once you get used to it.

I will update this with more information on the village swimming pool when I get it.

Mary
Martylouie #1

Re:Yellow Springs, Ohio

Date Posted:06/28/2017 02:07:06

Mary,I think in the case of the pool it might be in everyone's interest not to inquire in writing and leaving a paper (how quaint) trail.   Best to leave "don't ask, Don't tell"
Maxtlatl #2

Re:Yellow Springs, Ohio

Date Posted:06/28/2017 03:58:03

Glen Helen is a privately owned preserve. Originally it was owned by Antioch College, but now I seem to recall that it is its owned by its own foundation. Hence, I doubt it is patrolled the way a state preserve might be, unless there are complaints.
Mary0826 #3

Re:Yellow Springs, Ohio

Date Posted:06/29/2017 09:23:51

 MAXTLATL -- I think you are right about Glen Helen.  From what I heard, the Antioch College split up in the early 2000's and the "branch" campuses in California and other places created a new school called Antioch University.  They even built an Antioch University campus on the other side of Yellow Springs.  (This property is being sold, and Antioch University will be moving from Yellow Springs to the Centerville area south of Dayton, Ohio.)  Old-timers who had attended the original Antioch College didn't want to see the place torn down for shopping malls and/or housing, so they proceeded to get private funds locally (including many millions of dollars from the Kettering Foundation) to purchase the buildings, etc. from Antioch University.  They then started their own college, using the old name and general philosophies used at the original school.  Unlike Trump University, the school is legally a College but will not be fully accredited for several years.  Currently all students have full scholarships, but may get diplomas that are almost worthless.

Antioch University was unwilling to give the Glen Helen property to the new college because they might "go under" and/or they could later sell the property to the state of Ohio as an extension of John Bryan state park.  The state of Ohio was interested in this property, and would have purchased it in exchange of a state guaranteed endowment of millions of dollars a year -- something either the old or new schools could use.  (The deed that originally transferred the property to Antioch College in the late 1800's said the property had to be opened to the public as a park/natural area, so it can not be used for housing or bulldozed over for farm land.)  This is how the not-for-profit group which now owns and runs Glen Helen was created -- as a way to keep the property independent.  I am not sure exactly how this group is funded but I think it relies on a grant or something from Antioch University and other donations. 

Another odd regulation prevents all religious ceremonies, even weddings, on the original John Bryan Park lands given to the state.  Other properties, including those later purchased by or given to the park can be used for religious purposes.  Use of the original property for any sanctioned religious ceremony could result in a violation of the terms of the gift, and the Park would then be given back to the heirs of the man who gave the property to the state in the first place.
ohiothonger #4

Re:Yellow Springs, Ohio

Date Posted:06/30/2017 01:32:36

 I know an older lady who lived her whole life in Yellow Springs.  She says that the she can only remember one time when the Village Counseladdressed swimwear at the public swimming pool.  She said this made news at the time in the local papers.  There may have been other meetings where swimwear was discussed, but the local paper would probably have listed any new rules so village residents would know about them.  The one discussion affected her brother, and was permitting men and boys to wear cut-off jeans at the pool -- a popular swimming garment in the 1960's.  Girls often wore them as cover ups or like the guys as a primary lower body part of their swimsuit.

She said she too has seen young people wearing thong swimwear at the pool, and as far as she knows it is okay, but also says the village has in the past suspended out-of-town pool use when out-of-towners started brown-bagging beer at the pool.  She says she thinks the rights of visitors is something that can be changed almost instantly by the pool manager since it is considered a courtesy to the region and does not directly affect village residents.  So if out-of-town thongers become an issue, for whatever reason, the pool manager can shut down access to people who do not live in the village without warning.  Keep this in mind if you decide to push the limits.  She suggests asking first and not having too many people there at the same time in thongs. 

With regards to topfreedom, the prevalent philosophy in town is what the men can do, the women can too.  A couple of small village stores and places that sold stuff like pizzas and ice cream used to let men go in shirtless, but they have done the right thing and put us signs preventing all people from going in without shirts.  She says a woman can probably walk down the street shirtless, and she has seen this a few times each year in the suburbs part of town, but never in the main business area.

Nudity and sex at Glen Helen and the other parks is technically illegal, but unless someone complains or a person is stumbled across by a law enforcement person, they probably can get away with these activities.  I have seen and lot of skinny dipping in Glen Helen, and have joined in a few times when there was a large crowd, but have left small groups to themselves, giving them privacy.  I have also seen naked hiking occasionally in the "Glen".  There is a trail in John Bryan that is about 1.5 to 2 miles long (not sure of the exact distance) and is accessible only by bridges over the river.  There used to be a big rock-bridge about a city block length from one of these bridges that was somehow moved over a small creek or stream, about a foot wide.  This rock used to be the place where nude hikers (and some people who would swing out into the river on a rope and fall in) would place their cloths while they were nude.  It amazed me that people would leave their wallets and car keys right on top of their cloths on this rock, and nobody ever messed with them or stole anything.  The nude hikers would go from one bridge to the other and back.  This was technically illegal, but again as long as nobody complained (and the hike was a bit more rugged and appealed to young people more than families or  older people) they got away with their activities.  I recently was there and there were no cloths on the rock and no nude hikers.  I was on another trail and for a minute to take a shoe off that had a rock in it, and a ranger came along and told me there was no swimming in the river;  He thought I was taking my cloths off to go swimming I guess.  As recently as a year ago, I saw and participated in a skinny dipping  group in the Glen, but John Bryan seams to be tightening their enforcement of the rules.
The Swan #5

Re:Yellow Springs, Ohio

Date Posted:07/01/2017 04:14:58

When we go to Yellow Springs we refer to it as going to the "human zoo". It's always fun and always interesting especially the fashions.
When visiting I always start humming along to Simon and Garfunkel's "At The Zoo"; "I do believe it, I do believe it's true..."

So many memories...
HaHa Pizza had the best pizza in the world for awhile.
Yep, Yellow Springs was fun in the 70's. That pine forest is national treasure in my mind.
Mary0826 #6

Re:Yellow Springs, Ohio

Date Posted:07/07/2018 04:01:05

I was back in Yellow Springs a week or so ago.  Brad, Scott, and I went to the pool and paid our "outside the village" entrance fee.  We ask about thongs and she said they were always acceptable on men and women.   Nobody cared what type swimsuit we wore.  One young lady wore what I think was the smallest G-string I have ever seen.  Her boyfriend wore cutoffs.  These were cut short the 1960's way -- almost no inseam, pockets dangling out, side seams split open (one to the waist, the other to the top of the front pocket), etc.  They were very cute and he was fit enough to make them look good. Another young lady wore a very high waisted thong swimsuit.  This suit made her legs look like they would never stop. 

Over at the Glen, three women were taking pictures of a nude guy who was splashing around in the water.  When ask if nudity like this was okay, one of them said it was since they were working on an art project and were shooting nudes outside for an art class.  The guy was very attractive and we sat and watched the photo shoot for a while, along with some other people  Others, mostly young people or old hippie types, wandered by, not even giving the performance a second look..  

With regards to Ha Ha Pizza, it was started by a couple of East Coast Hippies (both men) who were going to California and ran out of gas money in Yellow Springs.  They opened the shop to make money to complete their trip, but never left "the Springs", even years later.  They did know their pizza, but also supposedly used marijuana as a secret ingredient in the topping.  They called it something like Ceylon Oregano or something (which there is no such thing.)  This ingredient was not listed anywhere, but people who ordered their pizza with "extra Oregano" got a little high from the pizza and most didn't know why.
The Swan #7

Re:Yellow Springs, Ohio

Date Posted:07/19/2018 01:28:37

So many bluegrass musicians and fans lived in around Yellow Springs in the late 1970's and early 1980's. They really helped keep the music alive locally for awhile. And Young's Dairy, man when they actually made the ice cream from the milk they produced there, oh what treat. I know, Swan, this has nothing to do with thongs. Point taken.
Martylouie #8

Re:Yellow Springs, Ohio

Date Posted:07/20/2018 12:50:59

I disagree, Stuff like that helps to describe the vibe of a place. 
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