Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Girl and Her Cow, 1965

I've had a life long interest in children and how they interact with their environment - especially in a historical context.  From time to time I'll post an especially poignant picture I've come across.

I found this special piIcture a few years ago. It was taken by Dennis Stock (the man who made James Dean live forever) at the 1965 Iowa State Fair.  For me it brought back all the sights, sounds, smells, and sweat of the county fair livestock barns. To be honest  I didn't show any cows myself but I had enough friends and family who did to know it just wasn't the thing for me.  They would sleep in the barns with their animals and primp and fuss over their animals exactly like the girl in this picture which Stock titled "Beauty contest for cattle at the Iowa State Fair, 1965".

I imagine that somewhere at this very moment a cow is haltered and tied in a dark (hopefully cool) stall inside a creaky old barn on a quiet farm in rural America. A teenager toting a bucket of all the best beauty supplies is trying out all the tips and tricks she's learned about making her cud chewing cow ("Trixie"?) look good.  By fair time in August they'll have a well practiced routine for morphing Trixie into a moo-ing dreamboat cloud of hairspray with a bright white tail and shiny hooves.  

A girl and her cow, 1965
(PS I wonder what the cows are saying to each other...)

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