The Big Streak of 1974

In the spring of 1974, while attending Frankfurt American High School, in Frankfurt, Germany, many students were introduced—or exposed—to a new cultural phenomenon called “streaking”. I’m not sure if it was a protest against conformity, the Viet Nam war, or a combination of hormones, impending graduation stress and simply a temporary lapse of judgment teenagers are prone to—or all of the above.

The first sighting was a lone streaker wearing a black ski mask and tennis shoes who was spotted on campus. In minutes, word of his deed was all over the school, and most students thought it was prank.

From a trickle to a stream
Over the next few days, small groups of streakers appeared and students in the lower classrooms would often hear what sounded like thunder as dozens of students on the second floor ran towards windows en mass to catch a glimpse of a streaker running by. Sometimes it was a real streaker going by, and sometimes it was simply a jogger.

The streaking mania seemed to build day by day, with students having difficulty concentrating on class lectures as they were like tightly coiled springs, ready to leap from their desks and head to the windows in a millisecond. Then there were sightings of streakers at events.

Mr. Paul Platis, who taught art at FAHS, created the F.A.S.T. t-shirt design, which would be screen printed onto a shirt, jacket or other flat surface for a small donation (for purchasing badly needed art equipment). F.A.S.T. stood for “Frankfurt American Streaking Team” and whether you streaked or not, you could get a T-shirt or an Army field jacket printed with the FAST logo.

The mass streak
Word had spread one day about an impending “group streak” that was being planned. Since we had only seen or heard of lone streakers and occasionally two or three together, it was hard to imagine a group of streakers.

Rumors of an impending streak turned to stark reality as several dozen students and at least one faculty member, disrupted classes with a group streak across campus.

It was hard to say how many people was in the group—it may have been sixty or a hundred people or more. We watched in awe as they went by and we saw one girl stumble and fall, then get up and rejoin the group.

The big streak was short lived as the group trotted past the spectators and out of sight across the school campus. Teachers struggled to get everyone in class resettled into their seats and focused on the classwork at hand, with mixed results.

Aftermath

There was some speculation as to what the assistant principal would have done had he actually caught any streakers “in the act”. He didn’t have any handcuffs and to touch a naked student, even to detain them would have been more than awkward, to say the least.

Thank goodness no one was caught that I am aware of.

Somehow the school principal found out about the F.A.S.T. t-shirts that were being printed and money being collected, and t-shirt printing was curtailed, but a soon thereafter, there was new clay extruder in the art department, and no one was fired.

I’m surprised that no one streaked during our Frankfurt High School, class of 1974 graduation ceremony, but with so many parents attending, I guess it would not have been the same as it was with the streaking during the normal class day.

Did you enjoy this article?
Signup today and receive free updates straight in your inbox. We will never share or sell your email address.
1+

Users who have LIKED this post:

  • avatar
5 Comments
  1. I was at NHS in74 and got in on the streaking faze,We had a blast! largest group we had at one time was 6,We got caught one time by the MP’s at the dorm at school trying to sneak back in.They raped us in army blankets and called our Dads!!! Thanks for the reminder,it brought back some fond memories of Nurenburg.

    0
  2. I lived in quarters on the grounds of Nurnberg American Army Hospital 73-76. During that time, we kids spent countless nights at the movie theater, spending a huge $.25 to get in and $.10 for popcorn! I’m sure you remember that prior to the start of every film, the National Anthem played and all spectators were expected to stand as images of our troops and our country flashed across the screen. Just prior to the end of the National Anthem, the United States Flag flew across that screen and remained flozen there until the National Anthem finished. The night that American Graffiti was shown, two guys, wearing only gas masks, streaked across the stage, pausing for a second, giving a little shake and shimmy, and then were gone! MP’s gave chase, but never found the guilty parties. Being a young teen, I was floored when I saw what I saw…and you know kids…always sitting in the first two rows! Yes, that was up-close and personal!

    0
  3. I went to JFK in Berlin back in the early 70’s, this article brings back so many memories, lol…Best years of my life!

    0
  4. We were stationed at Minot AFB from 74-77.  The base had elementery schools and Jr. High school on base, 9th through 12th grade students were bused off base into the town of Minot.  There were several buses to transport the students from the base to town. 

    0
  5. I was there, and while not part of the mass streak, I struck. On a green peugot 10 speed with an orange Backpack!

    That first guy was Philip Dezarn, a junior at the time. He was caught (I think he was the only one caught), but as the dress code at the time was “You must have shoes on”, I do not think he suffered any repercussions. I saw the trio that did it over by the Annex, 2 guys and a girl. And then there was the mass streak. And I saw the poor girl fall as well. I do not remember who she was, but do remember she had big boobs.

    I graduated in 74, so have lost touch with almost everyone from HS. Except my first girl friend (who rotated back to the states before the start of my senior year). She was the one who found this site. I appreciate that our year was not forgotten! So thank you for putting this up. At our age, every trip down memory lane is a golden one!

    0
Leave a Reply