Articles

You get what you look for: The Fremont Solstice Parade

In Uncategorized on March 5, 2016 by mstevensrev

Warning: this blog post will have discussions of nudity and the word penis in it, if either of these offend you it would be best for you not to read, for the rest of you who are more intriguedFremont_Solstice_Parade_2008_-_samba_dancers_02 enjoy:)

This past week I have been more aware that in Seattle we are entering spring. The flowers are blooming the storms are blowing in with spring time winds, and my mind is turning toward some of the most fun events of the coming season. One that always stands out for me is the Fremont Solstice Parade, it is a celebration of the solstice that includes locally made floats, bands, and is highlighted with hundreds of naked bicyclists roaming freely throughout the parade route on the streets of the neighborhood of Fremont in Seattle.

I don’t remember the conversation but Karin, my wife tells me that when we were first married while I enjoyed the parade I said that once we had kids I would never take them to the parade because of the nudity. She just dismissed this as my conservative East Coast roots, which never deterred her as she even was a part of a dance group that performed in the parade. Her story still cracks me up, she says she remembers doing a roll on the ground and as she turns to come back up to her feel raising her head she said, “Well there is a PENIS.” as one of the naked bicyclist glided past her in route down the parade.

Perhaps the story that most changed my position on taking children to the parade has to do with a friend who took her daughter who was around 10 years old to the parade. She did not prepare her in any way for what she was about to see and was using it as a situation for discussion if anything were to come up (no pun intended). So they went to the entire parade and had a great time, ended up grabbing some lunch where I should mentioned many nudist gather in the neighborhood during the parade for them it is a unifying yearly event for them, and finally were making their way back to the car and the daughter had not said a word. Finally the mother broke down and asked if she had noticed anything unusual at the parade. The daughter responded no and the mother pressed. “You mean you did not notice all the naked people?” and the daughters response was classic, “No mom, I don’t have a dirty mind like you so I don’t see those things.”

Remember we get what we look for, are you looking for the positive or negative around you, I leave it to you to judge what category the naked folks fall into.

Addition: Seth Godin in his elegance describes something similar to this story, here.

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