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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Steer in Passenger Seat Will get Driver Pulled Over in Nebraska


Let this be a warning to these of you who lengthy to hit the open highway with a 2,200-pound steer driving shotgun: Observe all visitors legal guidelines, particularly when passing by means of Norfolk, Neb.

Lee Meyer, 63, a retired machinist, realized that lesson on Wednesday.

For seven years, Mr. Meyer has been chauffeuring his 2,200-pound Watusi-longhorn combine named Howdy Doody with its horns and head uncovered to the open air in a personalized Ford Crown Victoria with the license plate “Boy Canine.”

However he had by no means been stopped by the police, he stated, till Wednesday morning as he drove Howdy Doody into Norfolk from his 15-acre ranch south of Neligh, about 35 miles away.

Mr. Meyer had simply turned off the freeway on what was alleged to be a take a look at run in preparation for Howdy Doody’s look at Norfolk’s Oktoberfest when he observed a police automotive behind him had turned on its flashing lights.

Somebody had reported “a car driving down the highway with a cow in it,” Capt. Chad Reiman, of the Norfolk Police Division, stated.

“The belief was it was a calf — one thing smaller that would slot in a car,” Captain Reiman stated.

However the officer discovered Mr. Meyer and his giant steer in a automotive that had its roof, door, again seat and windshield partly eliminated and its shock absorbers and body bolstered to accommodate the beast’s large girth and weight.

“I’ve been doing this a very long time,” Captain Reiman stated, “and I’ve by no means seen something prefer it on the highway earlier than.”

The officer gave Mr. Meyer warnings that his car had an obstructed view and an unsecured load however didn’t cite him for any visitors violations, Captain Reiman stated.

“He was merely requested to take the animal dwelling and take it out of town,” Captain Reiman stated.

Mr. Meyer, who lives in a metropolis of about 1,500, stated he was not stunned that he had run into some issues in Norfolk, a metropolis of about 26,000 residents, roughly 115 miles northwest of Omaha.

“It’s so stunning to folks, I assume, typically that they don’t know what to do,” he stated. “And the larger the city you go to, the extra stiff-necked they’re, for lack of a greater phrase. I’ve been to loads of cities which might be lots smaller and no one has had any issues with it.”

Mr. Meyer purchased Howdy Doody from a breeder in Ohio about eight years in the past. He additionally has a longhorn named Maybelle and 6 bison.

“It’s only a interest,” he stated. “Youngsters grew up, needed to do one thing. Grandkids stated it was a nasty concept. I stated grandpa’s going to do it anyway.”

Mr. Meyer stated that Howdy Doody enjoys being pushed to parades.

Mr. Meyer makes use of the Crown Victoria for nearer locations and a trailer for locations greater than 40 miles away. He stated he drives about 35 miles per hour on the freeway and that Howdy Doody, who wears a halter within the automotive, doesn’t startle on the highway.

“Not one time has he in seven years made an try to leap out or kick or wrestle in any manner,” Mr. Meyer stated.

Rhonda Meyer, Mr. Meyer’s spouse, stated her husband would typically cease at a fuel station and purchase Howdy Doody an ice cream.

“He’s probably the most spoiled steer in northeast Nebraska,” she stated.

David Gutshall, an insurance coverage agent in Norfolk, stated he was driving on the freeway on Wednesday after taking footage of a home when he got here up behind Mr. Meyer’s automotive with Howdy Doody’s head and horns poking out.

“I believed that may’t be an actual bull,” he stated. “It will possibly’t be actual.”

However as he handed Mr. Meyer’s automotive, the steer turned its head and gazed impassively at Mr. Gutshall, he stated.

“It was like ‘Have a look at me, man,’” he stated. “He’s simply completely calm, cool and simply being a rock star, and like he is aware of it.”

Mr. Meyer stated his transient brush with the legislation gained’t cease him from driving Howdy Doody once more, though he now plans to skip Oktoberfest in Norfolk.

“I gained’t go to Norfolk,” he stated. “However I’ll go to those different little cities round. They’re going to should do much more to cease me.”


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