19 responses

  1. Mike Flood
    January 11, 2012

    Great story Steve ! Will there be a part 2 or are we left to guess if you ‘broke the rules’?


  2. Neve Holmlund
    March 24, 2012

    Great writing! really enjoyed the story it was funny and gutsy haven’t read anything like it in awhile. Hope to get the chance to read some more of your work.


  3. Mack
    August 5, 2012

    Thanks for all of us who were bullied and even those doing the bullying from lower school through college. Life is tough, but can be beautiful in just making an effort to do the right thing.


  4. shmatty
    September 30, 2012

    Kids today have no idea what we went through.


  5. Karen M
    October 2, 2012

    What a way with words you have. Really great writing, Steve!


  6. Jonnie Martin
    October 3, 2012

    I love your work Steve — another great piece. I can hardly wait to see your collection in print.


  7. Jeff
    November 2, 2012

    Great story Stephen, we often talk about how this policy was begun or how it was explained. I always wondered why there isn’t a more complete history on who suggested this policy and what crazy rationale they had for justifying it. Can someone go through the Board of Education minutes and find out a more detailed explanation that “we’ve always done it this way?”


  8. Cindy Hale Welgoss
    November 4, 2012

    Wow, Steve. Unlike a previous commenter who thought this was “funny”, I find it heartbreaking on many levels.

    You told this story so well and your memory for detail is admirable! Bullying, whether from a parent, teacher or peer, is horrific. The combination of such on one boy makes my stomach turn, and we can only hope that *somehow* Ryan was able to rise above it all as an adult.

    I think that your struggle with how to deal with the situation echos what many of us at that age would have been wrestling with mentally… wanting to do what was right for a friend, but concerned about the real ramifications to our own physical and emotional being if carried forth.

    In hindsight, this was a problem much bigger than you, or any HS student, and warranted *healthy* ( parent, teacher, professional child therapy) participation. I am so sad to hear that he didn’t have that kind of adult encouragement or support, especially with his father’s reputation for beating him well known.

    The naked swimming policy seemed to be a regionally wide one, as I know my husband ( an “81 grad from Maryvale in Depew) also had to swim naked in gym class. Although it would have meant a lot to Ryan for you (and/or others) to help him try to banish the policy by wearing swim trunks , it would have been difficult to do so, since the policy was was so widely accepted and carried out in many other local school systems in our area.

    Great article, and look forward to sharing it with my husband, who… since his 30th year HS reunion last summer (’11) for Maryvale… now owns a button stating “Member of the Maryvale Men’s Naked Swim Club.”


  9. Kerri
    November 5, 2012

    I am so glad we’re getting so many responses to this story, over time! I must point out, though, that while the story might echo the real-life experiences of many readers, it is a work of fiction. Best, Kerri Majors (Editor)


  10. Cathy Power-Moore
    December 11, 2012

    Great story, the only thing I disagree with is the heavy girls wearing the blue bathing suits. I was a couple years behind you but I do recall wearing a blue bathing suit and I was far from heavy.


  11. Jim Keller
    December 11, 2012

    Love it (the story)… and lived it, in so many ways.


    December 11, 2012

    Great story, but I don’t think it’s fiction. I went to the same school (I think KJHS) I think jankowski is Winkowski. I know Mr. Ring I got in a fight with him or should I say he grab me from behind and I punched him sqare in the face. Yea I caught 5 days for that. He also made me sit in his office for detention with the door locked, you got it out the window I went. Back to swimming nude I think that was the nastiest thing in school. I was one of the bad asses in school and still thought it sucked. If I wanted to go to a nudist camp, I would go and swim with girls not all guys. I wonder how many guys went gay from that BS. Not that their is anything wrong with being gay, just not for me. I also think that now a days there would be a ton of law suits for emotional stress. I always thought Tobar was gay.


  13. Stephen G. Eoannou
    December 12, 2012

    Thanks to everyone who took the time to read “Swimming Naked”. I just wanted to echo Kerri’s comment that this is a work of fiction. I’ve been telling how we swam naked in school for years, always playing it for laughs and with my audience convinced I was making the whole thing up; it made for a great bar story. At some point, someone suggested that I should write that “story” and that’s what I set out to do. I quickly realized that I didn’t have a “story” at all; I had memories and anecdotes from a bizarre episode of my adolescence, but I didn’t have the elements that make up a short story – a main character who wants something, conflict, tension, a character that evolves. So I created Ryan, gave him a pair of swim trunks, and put him in a world I remembered so well. I wanted to see what would happen, what chain of events would be kicked off, if someone challenged that strange policy back in 1977. The result is the short story “Swimming Naked”.

    Thanks again for taking a look.

    – Stephen G. Eoannou


  14. Kerri
    December 12, 2012

    So cool, Stephen. And THANK YOU, Readers, for making this one of YARN’s all-time most-read short stories :-).


  15. Tim
    December 13, 2012

    Hilarious! So did you do it? As a product of those 70’s years, went to Hoover and KWSH in Buffalo, NY. To this day, every time I get into a pool, I have flash-backs of those days. When I tell others about this activity, they always look at me in shock. I now have proof that I wasn’t lying! Great story! KWSH Class of ’76!


  16. Alyssa
    May 31, 2013

    Wow. Very poignant, excellently written. More please?


  17. Traci
    May 31, 2013

    Thank heavens the seimming naked policy did not extend to my little corner of the world. Great Story. Looking forward to the follow up.


  18. Amy
    August 17, 2013

    I’ll never swim naked again!!


  19. Theresa
    April 17, 2014

    Great story! People who lived outside of our area just can’t believe it’s true! I loved this story!


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