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Offline Danee

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Mrs. Darold Stine Jr. of Lake Township admires a 1974 streaker uniform display in the front window at Harle Uniform & Sportswear at 280 E. Exchange St. in Akron. The uniform consisted of running shoes and caps.

There are 8 million stories in the naked city.
This is one of them.
Forty years ago, Ohio residents put on running shoes, threw caution to the wind and raced merrily through the streets. The shoes must have been a fashion statement because that’s just about all that these runners wore.

Would someone care to explain 1974? As the psychedelic 1960s gave way to the funkadelic 1970s, the nation got caught with its pants down.
Whoa, yes, they called it the streak, one of the strangest fads to sweep the nation. People wriggled out of clothes and raced through public places, drawing shocked expressions and occasional applause from onlookers.

The craze really took off at college campuses in Northeast Ohio. Young people dared each other to streak. After a few rounds of libations, the crazy idea almost sounded reasonable.

Rumors spread at the University of Akron and Kent State University that mass “streak-ins” would be held at night. Curious crowds gathered to see who was brave enough to grin and bare it.

Cries of jubilation arose when dormitory doors opened. Dozens of nude men — most often it was men — sprinted into the cold night. Besides tennis shoes, they often wore memorable headgear: Viking horns, military helmets, Sherlock Holmes caps, hard hats, bandanas. They scrambled over hill and dale, detoured through women’s dormitories, veered into packed nightclubs, organized bizarre cheerleading pyramids and returned out of breath to residence halls.

“It’s sort of like mountain climbing,” one Kent State streaker told the Beacon Journal. “Why do it? Why not do it. You’re just trying to get to the other side. Besides, I had nothing better to do tonight.”

Another streaker discussed his tried-and-true technique: “You just run kind of bowlegged with a little bit of strut in your step.”
In the early days of the fad, police maintained a hands-off approach regarding arrests.

“We won’t stop them as long as they’re moving,” one Kent State patrolman said. “When they stop running, they’re no longer streaking.”
Another officer wasn’t even sure how to make an arrest.

“I’d grab him — very carefully,” he mused.

As incidents multiplied, though, police cracked down.
Ray Stevens’ novelty song The Streak, released in March 1974, went to No. 1 on the Billboard charts and became a pop-culture sensation. “Whoa, yes, they call him ‘The Streak,’ ” Stevens sang. “Fastest thing on two feet. He’s just as proud as he can be of his anatomy. He’s gonna give us a peek.”

In Cleveland, WJW-TV’s The Hoolihan and Big Chuck Show added to the craze by producing a video parody of The Streak with shirtless Art Lafredo romping around in flesh-tone shorts.

Almost daily, odd incidents were reported in local news.
“Superstreak!” screamed a naked man in a Zorro mask as he dashed through the Akron Police Department. The 18-year-old entered the building fully dressed, disrobed in a restroom and ran to the fifth floor yelling “Superstreak!”
He made the mistake of pausing to put on underwear. Officers caught him as he tried to escape through a revolving door. Zorro was charged with disorderly conduct.

In Fairlawn, a woman telephoned police before locking herself in her bathroom.
“There are six nude men standing in my yard,” she said. “Call a car quickly.”
By the time officers arrived, the perpetrators had already turned the other cheek.

A 60-year-old woman who saw UA streakers wasn’t impressed.
“It didn’t turn me on,” she told a reporter. “You could just see the form of a body. It leaves me with a ‘yuck’ feeling. Of course, my husband says I am Victorian.”

At WCUE radio in Cuyahoga Falls, a streaker ran into a front office, grabbed a stack of records off a desk and jumped into a waiting car.
“All he had on was a cowboy hat,” one employee said.

A car flipped over on Newton Street. As neighbors gathered to help, the driver crawled naked out a window and scampered to a waiting van, which streaked away.

Two Akron buddies were drinking beers when one bet the other $5 that he wouldn’t streak on Main Street. The pal needed cash, so he high-tailed it outside in yellow socks.
He ran into two police officers outside the door. “I never saw cops come out of nowhere so fast in my life,” the streaker lamented from the Akron City Workhouse.

Another nude dude gave diners an eyeful over waffles at 2:30 a.m. at Perkins on State Road in Cuyahoga Falls. Judge William Pike ordered the 22-year-old to donate $50 worth of clothing to a charity … or pay $100 and go to jail.
“I told him if he wants to show off he’d better start charging admission because it will cost him $100 every time in my court,” Pike said.

In Lima, a 67-year-old man was cited for strolling naked in a public park. He told officers he was too old and slow to try streaking, so he decided to go “snailing” instead.

At the other end of the spectrum, four Stow junior high students were arrested on Route 59 while hitchhiking in the nude. They had tired of streaking and decided to hitch a ride. No one stopped except for a police cruiser.

“It’s strange how drivers will slow their cars to stare at us but won’t offer a ride,” one teen fumed.

Every so often, women bridged the gender gap. The Beacon Journal reported that “three curvaceous young tenders,” one draped in an Israeli flag and the other two holding sheets, ran naked into Akron Fire Station No. 9 on Dodge Avenue.
“They circled the truck and exited as the smoke eaters stayed riveted in their boots, jaws a-slack,” a reporter noted. “The highlight of the streak came when the gal in the flag snagged it on a hose nozzle and had to retrace her steps to retrieve it.”

Ohio businesses got in on the act, too. Drive-in restaurants advertised streaker specials and motels put up signs marking streaker entrances. Harle Uniform & Sportswear on East Exchange Street created a window display offering “streaker uniforms” — tennis shoes and caps.
You can tell a fad has just about run its course when people stop noticing.

UA students were taking an exam on “Western Cultural Tradition” in Knight Auditorium when a proudly naked man strutted into the hall. Expecting gasps and shrieks, he was met with silence. Most students didn’t notice him because they were concentrating on the test.

“That’s what was so funny,” a student said. “No one was paying any attention. So then he started jumping up and down and making strange noises. Then everybody laughed. So he left.”

Streaking tapered off as 1974 drew to a close, allowing society to embrace the limitless potential of polyester.
Less prevalent today, streaking continues in one shape or another. As long as alcohol is consumed at sports events, there will always be one naked nimrod who thinks he can make it across the field.

Top-free Equality. Its a right, not a privilege!

Offline ToneBender

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Re: Local history: Streaking craze of 1974 revealed naked ambition-Ohio, USA
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2014, 04:52:08 am »
1974 eh? Too bad I missed it!


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Re: Local history: Streaking craze of 1974 revealed naked ambition-Ohio, USA
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2014, 05:29:45 am »
This is cool! As nakedness is somewhat tolerated.. 1970s.. I wasn't even born yet.. Mom was about 4 that time..

Offline nudetrail

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Re: Local history: Streaking craze of 1974 revealed naked ambition-Ohio, USA
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2014, 07:36:58 am »
 :e4444 another great post Danee. :e4444 :e4444 :e4444 always interesting keep it up in 14
nude is natural