One is led to wonder why a sign that reads “NUDE BEACH” is sitting on a junk pile in the Park District maintenance yard at Battle Point Park. One wonders, for that matter, why a “NUDE BEACH” sign would turn up anywhere on Bainbridge Island. This is not the south of France. Puget Sound is just about always cold, the beaches here are mostly mudflats, and the air temperature normally does not entice one to disrobe and frolic in the buff, at least not this Islander.
So, why the sign? No, there has never been an official nude beach here. When I inquired about the sign lying in the maintenance yard, Park Services Superintendent Dan Hamlin told me someone defaced a park district sign, repainting it such that it read “NUDE BEACH.” The sign was somewhere on the Close property over near Gazzam Lake. A park worker took it down from Gazzam, and it ended up in a Park District office bathroom as a joke. Hamlin said the bathroom sign predates his seven-year tenure with the District, and he doesn’t know how far back it goes. And, unfortunately for inquiring minds, he also does not know what the sign originally said (“TO BEACH”?).
So why is it now lying in the rain in a heap? The story continues. The bathroom with the sign in it was renovated last year, the sign was moved during the renovation, and it ended up left to uncertain fate.
I hope the sign will be returned to its bathroom. If the sign has lost favor with the Park District, perhaps they will give me the sign to put in my bathroom, where a nude beach on Bainbridge Island will live on as a sweet balmy breeze in at least one family’s imagination.
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Photo by Sarah Lane and Julie Hall.