Buffy grazes at the fair

Onlookers and Ankeny family relatives look on as workers get Buffy ready to be installed Monday afternoon. — Trey Mewes/trey.mewes@austindailyherald.com

Buffy’s become a landmark. Again.

Though the 20-foot tall bovine won’t be gazing (or grazing) over the skies of southeast Austin any more, Buffy is sure to become a new institution for the Mower County Fairground.

“It’s history,” said Mike Ankeny, owner of Ankeny’s gas stations in town. Ankeny and his relatives were present when Buffy was officially mounted to her new display near the Fairgrounds overlooking 12th Street SW Monday. The installation went off without a hitch and no cow tipping was involved.

Mike’s father Stanley was the first to put Buffy up on the family business’s office building, although no one can quite remember when. Buffy’s been up there for more than 45 years, however, as Diane Low can attest to. Low was at Buffy’s installation with a photo from 1966, which shows her son, several boys and a 3-year-old Ankeny playing under Buffy.

“I think it’s just great,” said Low.

Ankeny’s relatives hope a new generation of people will enjoy Buffy. Cody Klein took photographs of his 2-year-old son Jonah sitting under Buffy before she was installed.

“It’s a part of my history,” Klein said. “We had Mike playing under Buffy when they … put her up on the Ankeny building and now we have pictures of (Jonah) under it when she was installed.”

Buffy will serve as a lasting memorial to Stanley Ankeny, Mike’s father, who first put Buffy on the roof and used her for advertising.

“He started the business,” Mike said. “He bought the cow.”

Local residents are already growing accustomed to Buffy’s new location. Brad Wiechmann and his two-year-old daughter Lauren Bowe watched as Buffy moved to her new pedestal Monday, glad they could watch her go up. They walked by Buffy many times before she was taken down on June 29.

“We used to go by (Buffy) all the time and one day (Buffy) was gone,” Wiechmann said.

That’s why they made it a point to watch for Buffy when she came to the fairgrounds. They even noticed her new look.

“Buffy got painted,” Bowe said excitedly.

Though there’s no mistaking the fairgrounds now that a giant cow is standing on the lawn, Buffy’s well-being is secured for the next 50 years, at least.

“She’s found a good home,” Mike said.

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