Chris Beutler November 2019

Sometimes the greatest thing about a cell phone camera is its ability to instantly snap a picture of something passing by. Such is the case of this giant cow that was being hauled down the highway near me recently.

As I looked both ways to cross the highway near my house, I had to look twice. In the distance I saw what appeared to be something black and white and really large in the back of a trailer. As it got closer, I soon recognized it was a large statue of a Holstein.

I didn’t have much time to get stopped and get my camera open. I snapped just one picture, and with a little cropping and editing, I had a viable pic for my latest On the Go story. This got me curious about various statues that are somewhat famous to the region and to the world.

Most will recognize the “Wall Street Charging Bull.” It is a massive bronze weighing in at just over 7,000 pounds and more than 16 feet long and 11 feet tall. Sicilian artist Arturo Di Modica created it and then dropped it outside the New York Stock Exchange building in 1989 unknowingly to anyone as his gift to America, having arrived as an immigrant in 1970.

Two years ago in October I was up close to the famous bull and witnessed its popularity as a “must stop” tourist attraction and photo op in New York City. Waiting politely as people from all over the world got their chance at touching the statue and taking a cameo.

Wayne Porter, a metal sculptor from Montrose, South Dakota, just west of Sioux Falls, has his own sculpture park where you can find a 60-foot horned bull head and most recently a 40-foot horse statue which was featured in a July edition of the Tri State Neighbor.

Porter, a cowboy and a blacksmith himself, creates these mega sized animals and silhouettes where they can be viewed from Interstate 90.

But rivaling this large mobile cow would have to be “Salem Sue,” considered to be the largest Holstein cow in the world at 38 feet tall and 50 feet long, weighing an immense 6 tons! Just off Interstate 94 in New Salem, North Dakota, this statue represents the area’s large dairy industry.

Costing $40,000 in 1974 under the direction of artist Dave Oswald, “Sue” resides on a hill where she can be seen for miles.

As a kid I can remember stopping at Happy Chef restaurants from Onawa to Minnesota on treks with family. In front of the restaurants were large, fiberglass statues often with a talk button that would say something. As to the menu or location, guess it’s been too long for me to recall that!

On one such trip that landed me in Bemidji, Minnesota, I can still remember peering straight up at the statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. And in1988 they were placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

But a simple picture like this randomly taken shot of cow statue in transit can jog a person’s memory and take them down a road that maybe they haven’t been on in a while. For me, it stopped the boredom of harvest and gave a few laughs when showing it around and saying, “Did you see that big cow?!”

Chris Beutler is a ringman for cattle production sales and a Midwest Messenger sales executive. He can be reached at cabonthego@yahoo.com, 402-380-8244.

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