THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is supposedly the most free country in the world; yet, from discussions with barefooters around the world, the USA is one of the most anti-barefoot countries. Many people in the USA have seen signs like:
NO BARE FEET
by Order of the Health Department
Such signs are outright lies. To prove it, several barefooters together wrote in 1997 to 48 states: Greta Wahl (Colorado), Richard Frazine (Connecticut), Chris Fink (Florida), Paul Lucas (Illinois), Peter Rupprecht (Kansas & Minnesota), Richard Tetlak, Jr. (New Jersey), Robert Piekiel (New York), Michael Keller (Oklahoma), David Opperman (Oregon), and Bill Shakely (all the rest except for Alaska). A copy of the letter Bill sent is available.
A second round of letter-writing, undertaken in 2002, confirmed the earlier results.
Mark Korsky (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming)
Peter Rupprecht (Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin)
Chris Roat (Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont)
Dave DiFonzo (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia)
A third round of letter-writing, is being undertaken in 2009, and continues to confirm the earlier results.
The responses from the states are available below in both HTML and Adobe PDF. The HTML versions of the letters were made to approximate the appearance of the originals with the exception that state logos, emblems, and seals were not used so as not to violate either copyright or trademark law. Additionally, there may also be links from phrases or sentences to commentary. In both the HTML and PDF versions, addressee's contact information has been suppressed. Georgia (GA) and South Carolina (SC) have particularly favorable responses.
The PDF versions of the files look like a fax when printed. Only if you would like a photocopy of an original 1994-98 letter, send a request to Bill Shakely and indicate which state; all other correspondence should be sent to the webmaster.