HIGHLAND, N.Y., Aug. 17, 1933 (UP) All arguments to the contrary, it is very embarrassing to have a young woman walk up to you stark naked and tell you that nudism is going to sweep the nation.
The shed-your-pants apostles at this particular nudist camp are serious about it. They appear to feel nudism will do wonders for this world.
This is your correspondent's first visit to a nudist camp, and this one, operated by Miss Jane Gay, who apparently cuts her own hair, is a little dandy.
There is a man here known only as Button-Button - a short German fellow who gives the impression of a bushel basket full of hickory nuts when viewed from the side. He is bald, and on top of his head is a wen, about the size of a ping-pong ball and a half. Because of this wen, the nudists call him Button-Button. And whenever he approaches in complete undress, they all begin singing: "When the Moon Comes over the Mountain."
Button-Button, however, is a serious sort of fellow. He doesn't resent the gibes.
"I figure," he told the United Press, "that if they have fun making the joke with me it is their own business, and I am not one to interfere with other people's business."
The camp is far off any traveled highway and overlooks a splendid lake. There were about twenty-five nudists present today, but the average on week ends is eighty. The nudists do not court publicity. But once a newspaperman gets in and convinces them that he is on a liver-and-carrots diet, they can be congenial. In fact, they can pester you to death.
Firmly intending to spend two days in their midst, this correspondent was not in the camp 10 minutes before he had stripped. It all seemed perfectly natural - walking back and forth in front of the dining hall without so much as a pair of shorts on.
Then came Miss Gronlin. She came around the corner, very blonde and very handsome. And she didn't even have shoes on. Your correspondent, a bird lover, became intensely interested in a thrush which was going into a power dive over Bear Mountain.
She didn't go on about her business, this Miss Gronlin. She came right up and said, "Are you Mr. Smith?"
Your correspondent never tells a lie.
"I am Miss Gronlin," she said, and she laid a hand on my arm. "Please come and go swimming. The lake is wonderful."
"Miss Gronlin," your correspondent told her firmly. "I am not used to this business."
"Oh, that's all right," she burst forth, "the water isn't so deep in places."
Well, the swim was great fun, and we rowed a boat, and asked after the fish in the lake, and found out that nudism is going to sweep the country, and that vegetables are very good for one, and that really there ain't no reason why people should object to nudism. What with Germany and all, and that the sloping, grassy hill over there to the west is a swell place to take off your clothes and gallop like a horse, and that sometimes some nutty people stray into this camp.
There were perhaps ten other men and women engaged in aquatic sports sans-culottes.
A Miss Emery, who has charge of the dining room, came down to the pier and ripped off what little clothing she wore. She stretched her arms, yawned, and started off on a classical dance - one of those here-we-go-gathering-nuts-in-May dances.
After completing it, Miss Emery did a sort of Immelmann roll into the water, and your correspondent, fearing for her life, swam rapidly toward her. She seemed, however, perfectly capable of swimming in deep water, and was exceptionally good at floating on her back.
Standing on the dock, Miss Emery, still as naked as the day she was born (as was your correspondent), explained that the idea of this nudist camp is health.
The sun, she said, is good for one.