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Yesterday in La Crosse

Cover up, girls! Don’t you know it’s 1980, yesterday in La Crosse?

Brad Williams



In 1980, the city of La Crosse was cracking down on nude dancing at nightclubs. Two years earlier, city voters has passed an anti-pornography ordinance. City council members wanted to require female dancers and women working in other jobs at bars to cover certain parts of their bodies above and below the waist. That measure was rejected.

A 22-year-old dancer named Evelyn was interviewed by the Tribune, who claimed she earned $100,000 a year from exotic dancing. Her stripping act at Viner’s Pub included routines and costumes based on Marilyn Monroe, “Star Trek,” and “The Wizard of Oz.” (Toto, too?)

On TV, Michael Learned had left “The Waltons.” She got her own series called “Nurse,” based on a popular novel and a made-for-TV movie. The movie was written by Sue Grafton, who later became famous for writing a series of alphabet mystery books beginning with “A is for Alibi.” Grafton later vowed that she would never allow her own books to be turned into movies, but she was writing for the small screen in 1980, yesterday in La Crosse.

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