Category Archives: airships

85 Year Anniversary: Nellie’s Got Milk!


On February 18, 2015 you may say, “When cows fly. . .” instead of

the usual expression which includes another livestock animal- pigs.

Why?  Because Elm Farm Ollie,  a Guernsey  cow engaged  in  an

experiment in seeing how a cow would do up in an airplane while

she was being milked.


Nellie Jay was her farm name and she became famous and known as,

“Elm Farm Ollie” while she traveled on a trip of 72 miles on the



It left Bismarck, Missouri to arrive at St. Louis, Missouri.

Later, her special (show) nickname became, “Sky Queen.”

(Not to be mixed up with the “Dancing Queen.”)


On February 18 of 1930,  scientists and a publicity stunt combined

in efforts to discover if placing a cow up on an airplane and milking

her would change her ability to produce milk.  Nellie was already

celebrated among neighboring farms in Bismarck, Missouri. She

was known to produce enough milk to be milked three times daily.


Nellie Jay’s productivity added up to 24 quarts a day!


On Nellie Jay’s adventure of her lifetime, not only did she have to

endure flying, but a stranger named Elsworth W. Bunce was her

‘guest milker.’


Elsworth was to become renowned as the,

“First man who ever milked a cow mid-flight.”


Another incredulous detail of this flying cow story were the results.

She was able to be milked efficiently, the milk was sealed in paper

cartons, parachuted down to earth and she had a famous person

drink her milk:  Charles Lindbergh.


Rumor has it that Lindbergh reportedly received and drank a glass

of Elm Farm Ollie’s air-dropped milk.


There are some really quaint and precious photographs of this

patient, easygoing cow. She is giving rides to little children wearing

bonnets while riding on her back.There may even be a cowboy hat

on one of the children.


Also, there is a sweet painting of Nellie Jay, as her Elm Farm owners

affectionately called her. The painting is labeled as, “Elm Farm Ollie,”

which was painted by E. D. Thalinger. (No, that is NOT  J.D. Salinger,

the author pronounced by someone with a lisp!)


“Time Magazine” wrote two articles about air shows late that

winter of 1930. But there is no mention any cows taking airplane



The dates were coincidentally close to the time of the ‘trail blazing

event:’  February 24, 1930 and March 3, 1930.


What could have possibly been more exciting or entertaining for

“Time Magazine” to write about, if not the amazing Nellie Jay,

otherwise known as Elm Farm Ollie or Sky Queen?


Do you think they should use this somehow in the “Got Milk”


Had you ever heard of this hilarious scientific dairy story?



Although the facts were collected from articles in Wikipedia

and online, this is an original essay by reocochran (2/16/15).




Random Findings and Thoughts


My grandchildren are convinced that the people who live on the top (3rd) floor

of my apartment build are “aliens!” One of the oldest said, “We never see them

and then, if we do, they aren’t friendly.” Another one exclaimed, “They are ‘pod’

people!'” Part of this misconception evolved from their first trip, a few years

back, up the four flights of stairs to see the top floor.

The top floor, of this brick, sturdy building that has colonial columns in the

front and an attractive appearance, has the strangest ‘solar?’ or ‘ecologically-

friendly?’ tiles. The ceiling that runs down this hallway ‘peaks’ or appears like

a triangular shape. They have declared this a “rocket floor.” Anyway, they have

gotten to the point they want to run down this hallway, and yes, out of courtesy

to the unseen tenants, we only do this at around noon, hopefully, on weekends

when the people who may work have been allowed a certain amount of sleep. And,

no “whooping it up,” I demand.

Someone on the radio on one of my recent ‘road trips’ was giving a few examples,

some not too strange, but a couple that were quite ‘odd.’ These were famous

people’s names that are being given to animate and inanimate things. This makes

me wonder about those scientists, sometimes! In Liverpool, one of the less crazy

examples given was that they have named their airport after John Lennon. All

right! That is great! (I happen to have been listening on this car ride to both

“Imagine” and “This Christmas,” by said songwriter and member of the Beatles.

A most extraordinary use of a famous person’s name, a Diva with sometimes golden

hair was given to a fly! This was in Australia, a beautiful fly with a fuzzy,

golden-yellow underbelly was named the “Beyoncé” fly by scientists there. Wow!

The radio disc jockey was playfully teasing, wondering aloud to his listening

audience, “Did they get permission from the Diva herself?” and “Did they ask

Jay Z if this was okay with him?”

In exotic Borneo, a special hotel is named, “Villa Angelina” due to its

beautiful location and thinking of the gorgeous Angelina Jolie. Again, the

radio guy, not announced and my streaming Sirius did not give his name, so

unable to give him “credit where credit is due.” I did try to memorize these

weird examples and he did not credit where he located them, either. Anyway,

he was joking around with wondering if the big, adopted family had traveled

there, and then, on a more serious note, said that the family’s parents are

very world conscious and maybe they had visited and this had boosted the

Villa’s economy, through their popularity.

A more negative use of someone famous’ name is being given to a law recently

made. It is due to someone who purchased medical equipment, while his wife,

Katie Holmes, was pregnant with Suri. He had purchased a sonogram machine

so that he could ‘monitor’ the baby/fetus. Due to this erroneous, plus

dangerous act, there is now a law called the “Tom Cruise law.” This prohibits

any non-professional or non-licensed sonogram techs from owning and possibly

over-using or misusing medical equipment of any kind.

Another scientific wonder, a fern that has a very complicated genus name, and

no, I did not have a tape recorder on me, so alas, I cannot rattle it off! But

this fern starts with a few repetitive, ‘Gaga….” in the front, so you can

already guess, this lucky fern is now being given the ‘common name’ for it,

“Lady Gaga.”

On the subject of Lady Gaga, there was a Christmas special this 2013, entitled,

“Lady Gaga and the Muppets Holiday Spectacular.” I enjoyed this, would recommend

seeing it and think she has an interesting look but children are fascinated by

her. She has a natural ability to sing and a quiet nature, shy almost, in her

television appearances. The December AARP Magazine was listing contrasts between

today and fifty years ago. They did not give out opinions just implied that in

1963, we watched The Judy Garland Christmas Show and today, we would watch this

example given above. Not sure if that was meant to flattering, no comments given

for choosing this particular duo. (Both were shy women and outstanding singers.)

There were other examples given of a “look what 50 years have done to prices and

changes in taste…”

I am a big fact finder, so hope this interests you, even if you are not a “Baby


The most popular toy in 1963 sold for a hefty (surprisingly) price of $15.95 for

an Easy Bake Oven. Today, 2013, the most popular toy ‘flying off the shelves’ is

the Big Hugs Elmo for a whopper price of $59.95! In 1963, a Christmas tree sold

for $2.50 and today, the same size (not given) would be $45. Our stamps, recently

I mentioned those first Christmas cards cost only one penny to mail, the cards

going out in 1963, amazingly enough are attributed to only a four cents increase

from the 1800’s. Now, of course, in 2013, one stamp of a Poinsettia, Mother and

Child, or other holiday stamp would cost 46 cents.

Those dreaded fruitcakes that many make fun of, used to cost for “mail order”

service in 1963, $4.25 and now, you may spend $27.95. I happen to like those

yellow fruitcakes that have mainly butter in their cake but don’t mind the

darker, richer brandy flavored fruitcakes, too. I prefer it warmed up in the

microwave with a dollop of vanilla or eggnog ice cream on it.

Last mention of the way times have changed since fifty years ago, is being

called by journalists and merchandisers, “The Christmas Creep.” This is

recognizing that Christmas advertising and merchandise is now being taken

out as soon as Halloween articles are being put into the clearance department!

I hope this wide variety of information will have a small impact on your

day today. I hope that it will give you something to tell another person,

like those famous peoples’ names being attached to odd things. Or maybe, just

the silly story about my grandchildren, with their lively and wild imagination

getting me to study those third floor people more closely, when I rarely run

into one or two of them.

Who knows? Maybe they are like those characters in the current television show,

“The Neighbors.” In private, they like using their bathroom to grow plants and

turn into green blobs while in their “real” alien forms. This is one of the

most underrated comedies with some fine acting from the four main leading actors.

You will only recognize the name of one of them, Jami Gertz, from a different

comedy show. Suburbia is wittingly made fun of and yet, embraced at the same time!

Or maybe those people upstairs really exist in the human bodies, like in the show,

where John Lithgow and Jane Curtin made my three children and I crack up so much:

“Third Rock from the Sun.”(1996 – 2001)

Or maybe they are like that old time favorite of my Dad’s and my brothers and I,

while young, “My Favorite Martian.” This aired from 1963 until 1966, with Bill

Bixby and Ray Walston. This may replay on Nick at Night or TV Land.

Anyway, have you any weird facts or neighbors to “report?!”

Post #300! Mom’s Subjects of Interest


It is never boring talking to my Mom! Over the course of this weekend,

we have talked about a multitude of diverse subjects and some flitting

memories included. I am always very tender while visiting my mother’s

senior living apartment, in my approach to her, most of all, but the

others who live there, too.

I heard right away at Friday’s dinner hour, two of her favorite people

who sat at the “regular” dining had been moved due to physical and

mental setbacks to the assisted living part of the building. She had

been given 3 new tablemates, a couple who were named Marie and

Lou, ages 97 and 92. Of course, I was happy to hear they had been

married 70 years!! I was not asking any personal questions, a little

“jet lagged” from the rush hour traffic on I-71 north from Delaware

up to Cleveland.

The other woman, Peggy, was so lively, also in her 90’s. I feel a little

bad for my Mom, though, since she will be “only” 84 and wish she

sat with “younger” people, so less chance of future grieving due to

loss of her new friends.

Here is a random list of our subjects covered on our walks with the

dog and meeting people in the hallways and dining room:

1.  World’s Fair in New York, 1939. (Now, if this is not the correct date, I

will tell you that I don’t go around trying to “verify” my Mom’s memories!)

I remembered the one in the sixties that we had gone to and reminded

her that I still have a precious necklace with the wing of an iridescent

blue and black butterfly’s wing encased in a clear plastic globe that has

the date of the World’s Fair on the other side. (Was it ’63 or ’64?hmm…

wish my memory was able to instantly recall dates!)

2.  Opera. Mom loves operas and can tell you the famous opera singers’

names and the different titles of the operas that she either listened to

on the stereo or radio. She also attended a few, different places all around

the world. Her after college(post graduate) European trip included

dancing in a cabaret with black men and seeing operas. She is happy

to tell more details upon asked!

3.  Gigolos. There are many in the world, Mom says, who know how to

say the right things to seduce women. Lots more on this subject was

covered until she got bored with the topic!

4.  Plane or Air travel.  She had written down the date. 1897. She said,

“It took eight years after an alien airship landed on the desert, exploded

and burned to a crisp, in Aurora, Texas for us to have any airplanes up

off the ground.” Again, I don’t use fact checks on the pearls that just roll

off my Mom’s tongue!

5.  From there, “The Jetsons” had so many more inventions than we have

even now! You, kids, were so entranced with the possibility of getting in

a little airship and going to play at your neighbor’s house. Your Dad was

so interested in how we would have our own, too.”

My Mom’s memories and thoughts rumble around, percolate and

she admits are not all so easily expressed. She told me that she carries

on conversations with her little dog, Nicki and my deceased Dad. But

those flitting memories and ways her mind wanders are fascinating,

at least to me!

Here are some of the “pearls” or “golden nuggets” from the other

“travelers” in her senior living apartment building “world.”

1.  “The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree,” as I am being introduced.

2.  “What?! Are you in kindergarten?” When a good looking 70 + year old

man met me. When I responded back, “Why, I have three children and six

grandkids!” He playfully shot back, “Well, shame on you marrying a man

with all those kids! Were you in high school?”

3.  “You can see where she came from,” as a woman meets me side by side

with my mother, walking down the hallway.

4.  “You look exactly like your mother and have her sweet disposition,


We both looked at each other, stifled a smirk, because we know we are

too spunky and a little bit wild to be considered “sweet!”

The most covered and discussed subject is food and the dining room


The residents, upon meeting each other, whether hours before dinner,

while entering or exiting the dining room, all ask what they may be

ordering, what the three entrees of the day are and if, one may be more

edible or more special than the others.

My Mom imparts a few of these culinary thoughts to you and me:

“Don’t worry about eating vegetables, that elderly couple (in their 90’s)

tell me they stopped eating them at age fifty and look how long they

have lived since then!”

“You can order three desserts, two to eat right now, and one to eat

while watching television! If it is pie, they wrap it up on a plate with

Saran Wrap, if it is ice cream they put it in a Styrofoam cup with a

lid, and if it is cake they put two paper plates cupped over it so the

frosting doesn’t get all stuck, like it would if they used plastic wrap!”

My Mom told me this morning, as I left to stop in the Pub, write this post, and

then afterwards, I will proceed to pick up a tray and fill it with all sorts of

breakfast “goodies,”

“I would wear pajamas all day long, if I could get away with it!”

On that subject of “dress code,” not sure if I told you in the early summer,

there is a large sign by the entrance, simply two words:

“No shorts!”

When I asked the dining room director, Christina, she chuckled and told me

that, “A number of men wore their boxer shorts to breakfast upon arriving

here, not realizing it was totally inappropriate! I would just turn them away

with my finger pointing at their lower extremities, shaking my head. The

women were ‘scandalized!'”