Swimming Naked - Memoir by John Ferneau-Leinen


“Swimming Naked” is cast in a time when it was fun to be a kid. A time when the two main rules were: Do your chores, and get your fanny home when the street lights come on.

A mile and a half and we reached the cow pasture, and our swimming hole.  Scrabbling through the barbwire fence, Cousin Paul ripping his pants, we took off toward the creek.  Whooping and hollering, racing toward the cooling waters peeling off what few clothes we wore.

Reaching the high bank wearing only our birthday suits we jumped as one landing, much to our surprise, among a herd of about eight cows occupying our space.  That set off a stampede in all directions, and soon we had the swimming hole to ourselves.  We lulled away the rest of the morning, and by afternoon the stirred up mud bottom had turned our spa into what looked like a mud hole, which didn’t dampen our fun one bit.

It must have been about mid afternoon when we heard voices and laughter, girl’s voices and girl’s laughter.  Scrambling up the east bank, we peered over the edge.  There, coming from the east across the pasture toward our swimming hole, was a group of girls wearing uniforms that looked like Girl Scouts, or Campfire Girls.  I didn’t know which, and really didn’t care.  What were we going to do, just sit there in the water until they passed?  Good thing we had muddied the water, at least it would hide most of our naked anatomy.  But I didn’t have to worry.  Paul Lemon sent the girls running and screaming back to where they had come from.  It had been so quick, I really didn’t know what had happened until it was over with.