Friends of the Ledges News August 22, 2001

FOTL is in Positive Mode!
Last weekend was very positive in terms of community relations, activity at the Ledges, and long term protection of our favorite place. Activities initiated in the past few weeks by Friends of the Ledges have matured to produce very visible effects and The Ledges is well on the way to permanent protection.

The Police are Our Friends.

One highlight of the weekend was the official police patrol. The police were not looking for trouble nor responding to a specific problem. Instead they were performing in the most professional and effective mode of law enforcement, which is to create a visible presence as a deterrent to crime and misbehavior. This effort is paid for by the power company and the officers involved are off duty peace officers with the full power of police. We were fortunate to have had two very fine men in our presence including Chief Robert Edwards, the Dover Chief of Police and Patrolman Ian Gallup.

Both really seemed to enjoy this duty because it involved hiking, working among a respectful and well-behaved crowd, and some creative thinking in a problem prevention mode. They seemed to be interested in working in the environment of clothing optional recreation because of the uniqueness of the situation and the accompanying opportunity to learn and understand.

It is significant to note that the police foot patrol was a first for anyone in an official capacity to visit to the Ledges on an active day to assess the real situation at the Ledges. Feedback from the officers indicated that there appeared to be no problems that minor police presence could not resolve.

The Deerfield Valley News ran a follow up article to last June's Wilmington Selectboard discussions of an anti-nudity ordinance. For the most part, comments were positive. A great deal of the story focused on Friends of the Ledges and presented Ledges users as a large group of respectable tourists rather than the one sided view in former stories that depicted us as rude and imposing people.

The sunset and starlight tour of the lake on Saturday night was a little skimpy on stars as clouds moved in just after sunset, but the event was great fun and enjoyed by all. The ship was overflowing with fun and social harmony and the laughter of many children, singles, and couples who were aboard. The potluck buffet was wonderful and as it turned out, doing this as a clothed event worked out for all. We were able to invite more timid spouses and members of the community as well. It was quite nice to have a warm Friends of the Ledges sweatshirt to break the late evening chill.

An interesting narrative tour explained the power system, windmills and history of the lake. We had been warned that the tour might be watched by the some who are trying to perpetuate trouble. One of our best friends in town who is highly respected and influential, found the threats of the anti-nudists to be absolutely hilarious, especially because we were all clothed. Some of the Ledgers who remained on shore greeted the ship from the Ledges with a small display of fireworks that added to the feeling of unity of our group.

The Evening of Music and Dancing was also successful, although it was recognized that there is a great deal of variation in musical taste. Even though some found a bit of ear pain, the spirit of the group was quite visible and FOTL the only local group who had organized to support this benefit for local charity. More important than the few hundred dollars that we contributed to Families First were the local friendships made at the event and some personal contacts were made that will most likely be utilized to help Families First in the long term.

Those attending were quite surprised and pleased to be welcomed at the front door by employees of the Indigo Lounge who were wearing FOTL shirts. Members of our fine group who wore their shirts made a great presence and were effective in showing part of the community what a Ledger looks like while clothed.

Lew and Barb Taylor, who brought 3 generations of their family to the cruise, won the 50-50 raffle, rewarding them for their great support.

Pre-sunset Social Hour ended this successful weekend. This impromptu event is commonly held at the stonework next to the sandy beach area that has been dubbed "The Temple of Friendship". It was exactly two years ago that this area was dedicated "a temple for all who wish to enjoy and protect social harmony of the Ledges, and as a fortress against those who wish to destroy this freedom." The unity created at this setting is doing exactly that.

This common gathering near the end of the day is where friends gather to share snacks and to watch the peaceful sunset over the lake. All are invited to this informal and spontaneous event. This special place is where the organization of Friends of the Ledges was inspired, and is now the official on-site headquarters for the group as well.
Friends of the Ledges Tee Shirts are Selling and creating a positive perception of us with the townspeople. One can never have too many friends and it is very important that we continue our efforts to visit Wilmington while proudly wearing our shirts. Current success tells us that making friends in town is essential

and that most of our problems are due to misperceptions caused by not recognizing us as people.
Boundary Signs are working to prevent imposition on others. We must all work to keep those signs in place and to encourage others to abide by them. Unfortunatly, these signs as well as our bulletin board have been subject to vandalism. Because these are part of our deal with the community to maintain use of the Ledges, it is essential that they be checked often and replaced as necessary.

The weekend brought no reports of any type of behavior that would be construed by the community as a reason to close the Ledges. We can all work toward maintaining a family oriented setting where behavior is nothing that the anti-nudists can ever use against us.

Enthusiasm of users toward Friends of the Ledges is at a peak and we now have the foundation of an organization that will protect clothing freedom at the Ledges to eternity.
Did you have a positive day at the Ledges?

People from the community are now aware of the Ledges Information board, which is a message board web site that tells all about the Ledges. We can change inaccurate perceptions about the Ledges by presenting the place as it really is. If you had a good day at the Ledges, let others know by writing about it at

http://pub54.ezboard.com/bvermontledgesinfoboard. If you witnessed a problem at the Ledges or have any type of input for FOTL, please do not address it on the website, but instead, write FriendsOfLedges@hotmail.com in order that we can find a way to address such issues.

Upcoming events

The Ledges annual pot luck corn roast and barbecue will be held on Sunday, September 2nd. All are invited to bring a pot luck buffet dish to this event. A coordination volunteer is needed to help out with logistics of this highly informal event.

A Fall Beach Cleanup is being organized and will require several fun-loving volunteers to work for a few hours to clean up various locations around the Lake. We seek boats to be available to haul away debris and to transport people and will have a party after at the lake. More information to follow.

Fall cruise anyone?

Because the last cruise was so successful and because so many could not attend, it has been suggested that we do a fall foliage repeat. Please let us know if you think you may be interested and share suggestions as to the best date for this activity and we will decide whether to do a repeat. We will need a volunteer to coordinate this event.


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