As happens every year when the weather warms up, police this week began receiving complaints from summer visitors renting houses near the property of 92-year-old Bridgehampton potato farmer Klaus Keinekleider.
Known as “Old Farmer Nakey” to locals, Keinekleider is locally famous for his practice of farming in the nude. In fact, Keinekleider’s yearly “summer unveiling,” when he makes his first-of-the-season nude run down Ocean Road on his rusty old tractor, is a cherished local tradition. But those not familiar with Keinekleider often demand that something be done.
“Every year we get a flurry of calls from city people,” Hamptons police spokesman Larry Hirsch says. “What they don’t realize is that nude farming wasn’t specifically prohibited in Bridgehampton until 1961. Even then, legislators exempted from the law any farmer who was then engaged in nude farming. Keinekleider is grandfathered in.”
Hirsch advises those who object to chill out. “These people are just worried that their highfalutin’ city friends will be repulsed by the naked farmer,” he points out. “They should relax and try to see it as a little bit of local history.”