Black's Beach Reunion, May 28-29, 2000

This page last updated August 20, 2000 by Lloyd Johnson.

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The Reunion According to the Organizer, Joann Newman ...

"Reunion 2000 At Black's Beach in San Diego, Ca."

"Let's go down to the court house in downtown San Diego and drop our clothes and say, "we don't want to start another century in non-nudist ways!" This had been one of my earliest thoughts about welcoming in a our new century. We settled for a quiet, more nude welcoming in.

Of course, our old, political struggle with the city of San Diego is the thing that prompted the idea of a Reunion in the first place. It first came to me back in the early 80's. I talked about it for 2 or 3 summers and then proceeded to forget about it . Time slipped by and in 1997, the idea surfaced again. First of all, I told my old buddy Rodney, for I knew he'd know all the people I had known for the past 15 years. As a result, I knew he'd invite them for me, of those who were still around.

Next I wrote a blurb for the "N" Magazine and they put it in last summer's issue of the magazine, but I forgot to send in another blurb for this spring. In February or so, I sent out invitations to the Camping Bares of San Diego and the SLUGS of the Seattle area. I also sent out final invitations to people whom I had addresses for and accepted that whoever showed up were the people who were meant to be there.

In April, I got an email from an old friend's daughter who had grown up on the beach since the mid 70's. Her name was Helen and she told me her Mother Joyce had passed on in January, but that she would like to come see her Mom's old friends.

Dale and I arrived Saturday and Claudia, President of the SLUGS and two of her guy friends were there to greet us, as my good buddy Rodney strolled up. Introductions were made and we decided to stroll up the beach to see who else had already arrived. As we walked North we said our hellos and we continued on to where the Sandcastle building usually occurred. Their main sculptor, Kevin, was there and he introduced everyone around.

There we saw Dan, the bodypainter, my main bodypainting, photographer John and several of their gang. That day we sat close to them and enjoyed all the old friendship & comradery of the past. The day mainly ended with Kevin and Claudia having fun posing around Kevin's sandcastle.

That evening we had a quiet party in the Hilton on Mission Bay of which we rented to make sure we had enough room and we finished the evening by doing a final dip in their pool and hot tub.

That evening, Saturday, we had asked Claudia's friend Lloyd to bring his cabana for us bodypainting for the festival and when we got there the next day it was all set up.

Clara B. was there also with her grandson Barry when we arrived to greet us, along with quite a few Camping Bares from both the San Diego and Los Angeles chapters. Quickly Clara and a few of the other ladies and I began to decorate the cabana, so as people arrived they could know where the party was happening.

No sooner did we have the decorations complete then Helen arrived, the lady who'd grown up on the beach. Clara, Helen and I did a three-way hug to let her know we were still there for her. Just after this I began to paint on Helen for old-times sake. As soon as I got the necklace outlined , then my long-time lady friend Uschi arrived with a new lady friend from Germany, named Andrea.

Soon it became apparent that I needed help painting, so I talked another long time friend Teacher Ed into painting also. I had known Ed since the mid 80's and it was only last year that I had found out his real degree was in art, even though he taught advanced, high school Math. Quickly as Ed finished painting on Helen's back, I asked him to paint on Andre'a shoulder. Now there were far more people who wanted painting than I could possibly do, so I began doing "hearts" on peoples' cheeks, shoulders & hips' tops. This was my way of giving "warm fuzzies" to as many people as possible in a short amount of time left that day.

As I painted fast and furious old-timers stopped by to say "hello." Long Beach Chris came by, as well as bikini-bottomed Rob and his gang. Uschi and Merrill re-connected after 10 years and on and on they came. It got so bad I didn't even get to photo the last 5 or 6 of my models and that was sad, but by then I was only having time to do tiny cheek paintings on peoples' faces.

This eve we left the beach and closed the eve with a couple a dozen people all gathering at the closest Chinese Restaurant in Pacific Beach on Garnet & having a buffet, everyone could eat there. After the restaurant about half a dozen people helped finish off the eve at our motel and on Monday, we began it all over again.

What is so special about these people is that we never fought. In fact, we could never seem to get enough of being around each other. In the mid 70's and for 8 to 19 years after that we had one bodypainting party a weekend from the first of April to the end of Halloween. Quite frequently we'd even get together for Christmas and New Years, for many of us were single in those days.

Finally on Monday, my long-time bodypainting partner, Robert showed up with a New Englander named Robert too. Robert painted his buddy and he gave me 2 large photocopies of us together from the past. On him, was painted my favorite piece of work that I'd ever done on him and the other was of us with clothes on, of course, in Old Town San Diego in front of the "haunted" Whaley House.

This day I didn't even get any painting done, because of needing to catch up on old friends and their whereabouts. I re-ran into Riverside Roger who I'd run into at Haulover in Miami, Fl. 2 years earlier. With this I got to tell them about running into another old friend also named Roger in Key West, Fl. just a month earlier.

About this time the day was winding down and since our old beach mayor was too ill to come any more, we elected Rodney to take over as mayor and with this we took a big group picture. After this was settled, going to the same restaurant as the night before, became the easiest thing to do. And so as the sun set in the West we began our usual climb.

According to a Newcomer, Lloyd ...

May 27, 2000: Black's Beach

I parked at the glider port about 10:00. In the east the sky was mostly clear, but in the west the sky was very cloudy. I knew this would be an excellent day, so I rushed down the trail. There were a few steps added to the bottom of the trail since my last visit. I later found that the date had been carved in.

I picked a spot within sight of the trail head to the north. In a short time some expected friends showed up and we all settled down.

We all went for a swim and found the live sand dollars. The current was carrying us south and I was a little concerned that we might come out of the water on the wrong side of the nudity line. We took a few pictures of each other, but visibilty was very poor and I don't expect any of them to come out. I went for two more swims later, and I photographed a jelly fish. It looked dead, but I still kept a respectable distance. The visibility was much better by then.

There were hundreds of people there. Maybe some of it was due to the body painters reunion. Most people didn't know about the reunion. People were probably just there for the holiday weekend. We met one of the body painters, Joi, and one of us, Claudia, got a necklace painted on. I did see two other women painted.

We walked as far north at the beached bouy, took a few pictures and headed back. My friends stopped to play volleyball and I went on to pack.

While waiting, I saw a pod of dolphins playing in the surf. I took a few pictures, They may even come out.

My friends returned just a little too late to see the dolphins. We took a few sunset pictures and climbed the trail before it got dark.

May 28, 2000: Black's Beach Reunion

I picked up two friends two miles from the beach. It was a sunny day, but when we parked at the glider port, we were in fog. Convinced that it would burn off, we started down with all our gear.

Before we even got out of the parking lot, we ran into somebody, Clara Bailey and her grandson. Nearly at the bottom of the trail she ran into a few friends too.

We set up a spot just north of the trailhead and decorated it in red, white and blue. Familiar faces began arriving quickly. Hugs and even a few tears of joy were exchanged. Photo albums were shared and addresses were exchanged.

Being the new guy, I had a lot of names to learn. Fortunately I knew a few of them from Camping Bares, and I met a few people I only knew from email. Joi, Dale, Alan, Angel, Ron, Rod, Don, Debbie, Ursula, Claudia, Blair, Helen, Merril, Eddie, Barry, Steve and I'm sure a missed quite a few.

Several of us went walking to the north end. We passed Kevin building a large sandcastle. They test their luck at predicting when the tide will wipe it out. We went past the bouy and into the rocks. We found lots of small crabs hiding in the rocks. I turned back at that point, but others went further north.

I went swimming twice, each time with a buddy, Blair. We reached my sand dollar marker and swam back, catching a few waves on the way.

Back on the beach the body painting got started. I only saw a few necklace-looking paintings, lots of hearts on arms, and lots of paintings on cheeks. Beards got in the way of some of these cheek paintings, so don't assume the cheeks were below the shoulder.

There were hundreds of people on the beach today, but very few were part of this reunion. The numbers thinned when everybody lost hope of the sky clearing. In fact the sky never cleared. It was overcast all day, and warm most of the day. Eventually, many of us were putting our clothes on and wishing we had long sleeves. Concerning the waste of carrying so many umbrellas, I kept telling myself that it was better that we didn't take chances. I know my face feels warm and my shoulder are a bit tender. I got some sun.

I didn't look at a clock when we left, but it must have been after 6:00.

May 29, 2000: Black's Beach

We were expecting Memorial day to be an extension of yesterday's reunion. A lot of the same people were planning to meet in the same spot. And, in a way, it was.

I left cloudy Lemon Grove behind about 9:15 and arrived in La Jolla a few minutes later for two friends. It was cloudy there too, so we weren't in a hurry to leave. About a half hour later the sun came out, so we rushed out the door, bound for Black's. Arriving at the glider port it appeared to be a repeat of yesterday's overcast sky.

We hiked down the trail and found a comfortable temperature at the bottom, but cloudy like yesterday. We set up "camp" and waited for others to arrive. We were all in need of some UV protection, since we all burned under yesterday's overcast sky. We had a little fun with some pink zinc oxide I had.

We saw a pod of dolphins coming from the north that seemed to slow down in front of us to play. I ran out to the water in an attempt to get in the middle of it. By the time I had gotten out far enough a boat had driven them north. I swam north, trying to keep them in sight. I eventually decided that they had gone far away. I caught a good ride on a wave in. Then I turned around and I saw two dolphins more or less where I had caught the wave. I swam back out, but it was pointless. I had lost them.

I had swam a ways north, so I had to walk back. I found my two friends in the surf with boogie boards looking out at sea for me. They caught a few good waves and I took a few pictures.

By now a few more of the gang had shown up. There were two guys that weren't there yesterday, Race and Robert. And, there was a little bit of body painting going on.

To my surprise the sky cleared up about 2:00 and there were hundreds of people there to soak up the photons.

Eventually Claudia got painted and the three of us went parading the beach. We stopped in a few places for pictures. We made a point of going to the nudity line and taking pictures with the signs.

About 4:00 we packed and started hiking up, since Claudia had a flight to catch. The sky was still sunny while resting on the hike up. Claudia says this is the only photo she has of me. I hope not. I don't want to be known as the guy wearing the Red, White and Blue Beach T-shirt at Black's, a nude beach.