Monday, August 23, 2004

Hey Cow!

Mir posted this weekend about her experience with NY cows. Growing up in Wisconsin, I had plenty of exposure to and experience with cows. Shoot, my babysitter and next-door-neighbor lived on a cow farm so I had the joy of milking them!

My favorite cow story is from after we moved to the city (La Crosse, that is):

My senior year of high school, I qualified to sing competitively with my vocal instructor, Mr. Mike Esser...who was also our choir director. It was quite the honor. He took select students to competitions hosted by universities in the midwest to give us an opportunity to win scholarships at said universities (smart man, he was). This particular weekend, I was selected, along with 3 other seniors, to pile up into his old green boat, The Emerald City (aptly named), and drive off through the farmland of Wisconsin and Iowa to compete at his alma mater: the University of Northern Iowa.

To say I was nervous would be an understatement. I was big into theater in high school, but always thought my singing abilities were inferior when compared with my gifted peers. It didn't help that I didn't make our select Robed Choir until my Junior year. I had no idea why he had chosen me. He was pretty intimidating. Not mean, but direct. He knew what he wanted from his students: exceptional performances. And he knew how to teach and coach them along to get them. But he was never a very 'buddy-buddy' type of guy. I valued Mr. Esser's opinion a lot and didn't want to let him down, especially at his alma mater. Oh, jeepers, I was scared!

So, we're crusing down the highway. Esser at the wheel and four hushed students. About one hour and umpteen cornfields into our fieldtrip, he asks: "Have you ever played Hey Cow?"

Confused, I look around to the others and confirm that none of us have ever heard of such a game.

Before we could even ask, his head was out the window (hands still on the wheel) and screaming "HEEEEEEEEY COOOOWWWW!"

We all lost it into fits of laughter. Our poised and reserved teacher just became a madman in front of our eyes. He went on to explain that you get points for the cows that respond to your call: One point for a look, Two points if they look up from food, Three points if they stand up, and Four points if they MOO back at you.

The rest of our trip through midwestern farmland consisted of taking turns playing this game and chalking up points. The rest of the trip went by in a flash.

I've ressurrected this game on other road trips (summertime works best) and it's always a hoot.

Oh, and I didn't win the competition, but I didn't suck it up either. We had FUN...which was really the point all along.


Blogger myllissa said...

You make me home sick sometimes. Cows, choir, and an amazing choir teacher to boot. Thanks for the trip down memory lane my fellow Wisconsinite!

8/25/2004 6:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...what I would do to watch Mr. Esser play "Hey, Cow!" lol, I've heard similar stories, too... Twice, I broke down into tears in front of him (yeah.. I know...) and he actually gave me hug.. BOTH TIMES!!! I was totally displaced the first time. But, yeah, I always enjoyed being in choir with him... plus.. he had some pretty groovy ties....

10/04/2005 3:43 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home