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They Often Call Me "Speedo" 1985 | by Vermont Ferret
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They Often Call Me "Speedo" 1985

I was the only man I knew who wore a Speedo in the 70s and 80s at Barton Springs pool in Austin. At 150 pounds and pretty fit overall (I'm 36 years old here), I could get away with it; though every woman I know who's seen this pic this year has told me I wasn't getting away with shit. I've heard more than once, "No man ever looks good in a Speedo!" I pulled out this picture as evidence to the contrary; but instead of acknowledging that I was indeed the exception, they used this pic to rest their case.


"Speedos leave nothing to the imagination!" one of my girlfriends told me. I thought that was the point, frankly. And to me the trend towards baggier swimwear for men was just part of the Reagan Administration's Master Plan to desexualize adult males. Ever the rebel, I continued to wear a Speedo throughout the 80s as an expression of anti-Reaganism.


There was a guy in his 60s that would come to Barton Springs every day and put his foot up on this rail and shade his eyes, just as I am here, except he'd be turned to the area behind me. The area where all the kids played. Standing for hours. All summer long. Everyone called him "The Captain" cuz he always looked like he was at sea and searching for dry land (or, maybe, the Island of Lost Boys). I never saw him swim.


Anyway he was that day facing the opposite direction, so my friend Phyllis quickly took this picture of me mimicking him, though I thought he was going to be in the picture too. Everyone sunbathing on the grassy knoll behind me and to my left was laughing--they knew exactly what I was up to.


(Another view of this area of Barton Springs Pool from the grassy knoll. And this one from the opposite side of the pool.)

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Taken on December 31, 2009