This cow, made of welded bits of sheet metal, apparently with a nod to Deborah Butterfield, was a sheer delight and surprise. We saw it on the northbound side of I-5 on the way up to Oregon from California, just past Grenada. At first it caught my eye because it looked like a cow, but it wasn't moving. Not only was its body still, but its tail wasn't swishing, either. I watched it and watched it as it got closer, waiting for that swish. As we approached, I realized that it wasn't going to, because it was made of metal. By this time we had passed it, so we turned around at the next exit so we could take photos. After all, you have to get the kitsch while you can, and there's not much between Mt. Shasta, California, and Gold Hill, Oregon-- a little past Medford-- site of the House of Mystery.
We have no idea who built the rusty cow, but that's part of the fun. There was no ticket booth, no tacky billboard, no parking lot, no hotdog stand. It was just someone's gift to the passing motorist. It was everything a roadside treasure should be.
Site visited August, 1998. No fee. If you have any info on this cow, let me know.
More recent cow pictures, Nov. 1999. Glad they took that support stick from the cow's side.
I first saw the cow in Aug. 1998, and then again in Nov. 1999, but it wasn't until today, April 27, 2001, that I finally found out what it was all about. Marc and Patty Michiels sent me an email about a website http://www.siskiyous.edu/class/geog1b/spring1998/grenada/, which tells me that the cow is named "Madonna." The site explains: "She gets her name because of her teats, they remind the truck drivers, who gave her the name, of the singer Madonna. The story behind the cow is that she is bawling for her long lost calf which is in Montague. The statue of the man on a horse in Montague is said to be bringing her calf back." And there you have it, the "Madonna of the Moos."
From Tom Herzog 8/8/01:
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