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Nude swimming back in the day at school



As a product of the Oklahoma City Public Schools, specifically Gatewood Elementary and Classen Junior/Senior High, I participated in regular gym classes and was an athlete, playing basketball and tennis in my sophomore through senior years.  The old school building of Classen was built in the early 1920’s, and has a rich and deep history.  The famous Mr. Clarence Iba, know to the world as Mr. Iba, the foremost college and Olympic coach of his time, led my school to the National High School championship tournaments in the late 1920’s.  Other notable people, such as actors, politicians, and military leaders attended the school at various times.

One item of interest that I have thought about over the years was the large swimming pool that was in the inner confines of the building.  A pool that saw various great athletes take their swimming skills to greater heights than just state swimming championships.  With that pool, the general student at Classen was given the opportunity to learn to swim in the  course of their daily physical education program. As I was already a swimmer in 1965, my first year at Classen as a seventh grade student, I still participated in the weekly swim classes that both the boys and girls were required to take.  The classes were segregated according to gender, so the boys would swim without the girls and vice versa.  As the custom of the day, and I am sure back to the days of Mr. Iba at my school, we had the option to swim in the nude or wear a swim suit.  That option was given to both the boys and girls, and no pressure was ever put on anyone for wearing or not wearing a suit.

Classen PE teacher and head boys basketball coach Harvey Tedford was our teacher and the girls had a female PE teacher that supervised the pool activities for the females.  I have had discussions on this subject with other friends that do not believe me.  But it did happen that way.  Nudity was the norm.

Today, I don’t think this could happen as we have not progressed as a society with our morals in many respects.  Our screwed up beliefs and attitudes today toward nudity has taken us to a place of making many of us feel negativity toward our bodies and nudity.  One example where we have not improved our society in America from the past.




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About Fred Pahlke

Fred Pahlke, an Oklahoma native has viewed over 10,000 sporting events in his 64 years. A season ticket holder of the Oklahoma City Thunder, former season tickect holder for the Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma City University Chiefs/Stars, he is an expert in both professional and college basketball and football. A high school athlete at Classen High School in basketball and tennis, he played amateur tennis after high school in the Missouri Valley Tennis Association. A graduate of Oklahoma City University, he taught in the public schools for 6 years before becoming a building administrator in the Oklahoma City Public Schools for 31 years, 28 as the Principal of various schools in the district. Fredsportsextra has recorded 101, 410 article views in its first ten months, from August 2015 through May 2016.

6 Responses to “Nude swimming back in the day at school”

  1. February 17, 2017 at 12:35 am

    I can remember a similar rule at YMCA pool downtown OKC. Back in the 60’s. It was a uncomfortable situation but widely practiced

  2. February 17, 2017 at 11:44 am

    I swam there too. Nude. I remember the locker room more….as a small kid and all those grown men without clothes…..you felt like a little man among the trees.

  3. Linda
    January 18, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    I guess my question is Why?

    • January 18, 2018 at 2:30 pm

      why not would be a quick answer to a simple question. I would have to know the background of a question. Are you in favor of nude same sex swimming? Is there a moral issue with it? The last time I researched the issue, same sex swimming has been no issue for thousands of years.

  4. Richard Samara
    January 18, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    Fred, I must be a year older than you. I started 7th grade in 1964 at Classen and, yes, several guys participated in the swimming activities in the nude. One classmate was pretty much a (insert dork, nerd, or your favorite term here) but was very well “endowed”. As you are aware, the girls had the advantage of being able to stand on benches, lockers, etc. and see into the pool while we were in there. Every time he went off the diving board that screen would explode in shrieks and gasps. He would get some dropped jaw looks when we were dismissed and made it out to the hall.

    • January 18, 2018 at 10:04 pm

      nice recollection….My first year at Classen was 65-66. I finished all 6 years there….I had a great junior/senior high time as a Comet….

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