Press-Republican

Columns

September 5, 2012

One search leads to another

Did you ever go looking for one thing and end up finding something else entirely? That’s what happened to me recently when I was researching old newspapers. I turned up a couple of “gems” of information that I just need to share.

While looking through a large storage tote of newspaper clippings donated to the Westville History Center, I came across a couple of undated, yellowing clippings that caught my eye.

The first clipping headline read: “Tuper’s Calf Unconventional, An Oddity in Bovine Circles.” The story goes on to explain that a 6-month-old calf on the Eugene Tuper farm in South Bombay resembled a miniature buffalo.

Named “Unconventional,” she was born of Jersey stock, was 3 feet long and 2 feet high, had shaggy black hair, was double jointed at the ankles and had a pug face. She easily became a pet to Mrs. Tuper.

The Tupers built a small pen for her in a garage. Mr. Tuper picked her up daily and carried her around, placing her in the sun when he thought she needed some recreation.

Unconventional drank 4 quarts of milk a day and became a little butterball. She weighed about 70 pounds and was very friendly.

Mr. Tuper said, “Most calves are standoffish when strangers approach them but not Unconventional … She enjoys being petted and babied.”

The article also said the odd-looking bovine didn’t moo, but just made a coughing sound instead. By all reports, the calf was in good health. The clipping includes a photo that I will scan and put on my Facebook page. Take a look. You will be amazed.

The clipping doesn’t include a date or the name of the newspaper. It does mention the Post Standard that was located in Watertown on the back side. A search of the Northern New York Historical Newspaper website didn’t turn up any information on what happened to Unconventional. If anyone knows, I’d be pleased to hear from them.

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