The Origin of ROADCOW

So why is it painted like a cow?

Ya, that's my cow. Maybe you've seen it here and there around the Mendocino Coast. Sort of looks like a VW bus. Most people seem to like it. The most often asked question; "What made you want to paint it to look like a cow?"

Well, I'm over 50 years old now and I had to do something!

A few years ago my lady friend Lolli and I were on our annual Spring Break trip. During that trip Lolli and I drove up the Kern River Canyon, out of Bakersfield to Lake Isabella, and stopped in the little town of Kernville. We happened upon a small shop that carried only Holstein stuff; you know, Holstein cards, shirts, hats, whirligigs, coffee cups and so on. Later, walking back to the bus parked down the street, I realized it was already rather cow-like; its shape, its rather slow manner when going up hills, its gentle nature, and its constant need of attention. A coat of black and white paint would confirm the obvious.

For the next couple of months I kept an eye out for cows, especially the black and white variety. I soon discovered those critters come in all kinds of design schemes. Black on white. White on black. Spots, jig-saw puzzle patterns and combinations of each. I finally caught up with my artist friend, Eduardo Smissen, and explained my cow problem. We sat down on his back porch with a newsprint pad, a couple of black felt markers and started sketching out the possibilities. Soon we had the basic idea of VW cowness.

A week later, after fixing the rust and dents, there I was, gun in hand, ready to shoot. First the overall whiteness. Then, after a day of masking out the pattern, I sprayed on the black. During the process, in a high of paint fumes, the idea of a pink udder emerged; the shape around the rear license plate already defined it (those German engineers think of everything!). A couple of horns off of a 1948 Plymouth, mounted in the appropriate location and Voile! Road Cow is born!

License plates. It needs a license plate "title".

Suggestions started coming in. Lolli liked MOOVAN. A friend? suggested COWPIE. I liked MOO2U2. UDDERLY became a favorite. MOOVIT? MOOVER? and so on. Soon we had over a dozen possibilities. At the DMV I discovered the two names Lolli and I had finally settled upon, MOOVAN or UDDERLY were already taken. Drat. Well, how 'bout ROADCOW? Nobody had taken that,

so, ROADCOW it is.

Like I said, most folks seem to get a kick out of it. One woman tourist from Wisconsin really went nuts over it. Some folks on a tandem bicycle made a big U-turn and whipped out their video camera to capture it for the folks back home. Two young women in a lime green Porsche convertible waved to me like life-long friends as they drove past; "Honest, Lolli! I don't know them!"

ROADCOW seems to cause surfers to drool. It's fun to drive down the road and see folks break out in a big smile. The best part is that we can now camp in my usual choice of camping spots, you know, off amongst the weeds on the other side of the fence.

ROADCOW looks like it belongs there, just quietly grazing away. Well, almost!

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