A couple of months earlier, one of my editors had called with an assignment. He told me about a wildly competitive volleyball tournament held each September not too far from Pittsburgh at a resort called the White Thorn Lodge. The event has been luring quality athletes from all over the country for 39 years: D1 players, national team members. The comp is of such a high caliber, they call it the Super Bowl of Volleyball. “Anyway,” he said, “we want you and Struby to round up a team and write about playing in the thing.” (Struby is fellow Mag writer Tim Struby, whom I’d met a few times but knew nothing about other than that he’s more than a half-foot shorter than me, used to model and didn’t seem the volleyball type.)
“Sweet,” I replied. “Sign me up.”
“One more thing,” the editor said. “White Thorn is a nudist lodge.”
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