Friday, August 17, 2012

Photo courtesy of the resourceful Nate Maas: Braxton Bragg Sawyer in 1940s and 1950s

Three or four years after the War I played piano very very fast for a preacher named Baxter Sawyer. Later, in the 1950s, Time Magazine, I think, printed a picture of him prostrate before a nudist colony. I don't find him on Google. Did I make him up? Did I make up playing the piano at all?

Later: I got the first name wrong..

16 August 1954. But I can't get the photograph.


The Rev. Braxton Bragg Sawyer stepped into an Oklahoma City bookstore one day and came out with a crusade. Inside he had found a group of teen-agers giggling over nudist magazines. Baptist Sawyer was alarmed to see Satan in this unexpected quarter. "Nudists!" he said. "I had preached for 20 years without ever using the word nudist."
Dr. Sawyer hurried home to Fort Smith, Ark. (pop. 47,942) and went to work, getting bills drawn up to outlaw this "national menace," thundering against it over his radio program. To get his point across, he played a tape-recorded "confession of a 13-year-old nudist...





another PS, out of place: Raids on nudist gatherings, both indoor and outdoor, by local authorities were somewhat common through the 1950s. One of the last notable persecutions of nudist resorts occurred in 1956 in Michigan, where radio evangelist Braxton Bragg Sawyer started a campaign to close Sunshine Gardens Nudist Resort. "It was an unusually vicious attack. One of the people molested was in delicate health and her subsequent death was attributed, in part at least, to the way she had been mistreated." The case went to the Michigan Supreme Court and resulted in a landmark decision, exonerating the nudists and upholding their right to private resort nudity. The judge declared the police conduct abominable.--Jeff Rockel The Bible, Society and Nudity /A study of social nudity from a Biblical and secular perspective.




Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,820020,00.html#ixzz23CVBeJ00

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