Tuesday, June 5, 2012

06/03/12 Week's Walter Award Goes to...

BEFORE ANNOUNCING this week's Walter Award we should note that one of the roles we see for the Bare Platypus is preserving an element of nudist history.  The movement for black equality remembers Rosa Parks and Thurgood Marshall.  The womens' movement remembers Susan B. Anthony.  We think nudists should do the same.

In that spirit, our Walter of the week goes to Robert Page---not for anything especially noteworthy occuring over the past seven days so much as a lifetime of service.

Bob was already an up-and-coming lawyer when Saul Stern, one of the first attorneys to represent organized nudism in North America, recruited him to be Stern's successor.  For many, many years thereafter, Page represented the American Sunbathing Association and its related organizations. 

While there, Page authored two amicus curaie (Friend of the Court) briefs submitted to the United States Supreme Court.  None other than Justice William Brennan quoted from the brief in Massachusetts v. Oakes.  (The other brief was part of City of Erie v. Pap's A.M., which considered the constitutionality of bans on nude dancing.)

As such, Robert Page distinguished himself among First Amendment advocates and scholars... and his work didn't stop there.  Page also petitioned the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit to strike down an Iowa state law prohibiting nudity wherever a sales tax was collected.  While unsuccessful, the case (US v. Farkas) may nevertheless have helped provide a "thumb in the dike" to stem an ever-growing onslaught of anti-nudity legislation by giving folks reason to pause about the implications of such laws.

Bob's spouse of many years was a distinguished figure in the legal community and leant her talents to the nudist cause as well.  Though the couple later divorced, they remained friends.

About ten years ago Robert Page passed away.  But he left a legacy of championing nudist rights that has inpired others to follow.  For this we are most privileged to submit his name to you, our readers, as this week's WALTER recipient.

The Walter is named in honor of Dr. Walter Bishop from the hit TV series, Fringe. Dr. Bishop has a matter-of-fact attitude towards nudity. In his name the Bare Platypus presents a "Walter" award each week to the person, group, or event that best depicts nudity naturally.
Read more at www.bareplatypus.blogspot.com