PLSouthside Scroll

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PLSouthside Scroll

PLSouthside Scroll

No bull, that’s my grandpa

Rural Nebraska man pulled over with a Watusi bull in his car? It’s an all-too-familiar tale.

Watusi: What does the word Watusi mean to you? For me it reminds me of my Grandpa, Lee Meyer, who got pulled over with his giant Watusi bull named Howdy Duty in Norfolk, Nebraska.

Most kids my age wonder what it’s like to go viral, and I can tell you what it’s like. Picture journalists calling you nonstop and your friends making jokes about it or asking you nonstop about going viral.

It’s a running joke on that side of my family that Lee is a movie star, and I personally think  it’s funny — but his kids, not so much. My stepmom and her siblings try not to say what he wants to hear.

Good things have come out of this though. We started to make merch for it, and all of the proceeds go to the 4-H program in Neligh. They have been donating money to get better stuff for the animals and shows. 

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The 4-H program is a huge part of his and his wife Rhonda’s life. Most of their grandkids have participated in this program. The family has raised a little over $7,000 from “Howdy Doody” merchandise for the new building on the 4-H fairgrounds in Neligh that is being used to show poultry. 

While Howdy has always been the elephant in the room for me and my family, there are a million unanswered questions for the average spectator. First, where did he get that car?

His car for Howdy Duty (commonly misreported as “Howdy Doody”) was bought off the internet, and Lee made all of the modifications. He told me, “I bought the car … from the town of Arnold, Nebraska. I took out all the seats except the driver’s seat. Removed the windshield. The car had a strong frame under it, but I also welded 3 inch channel iron to the frame to make it stronger. I added air bags to all four corners of the car to make the suspension stronger. Then I cut off one half of the roof.  I got a cattle gate and made hinges and latches to secure the gate. Then added some heavy flat iron to the floor so Howdy wouldn’t fall through – and added a rubber mat for him to stand on. Last I removed the ‘P’ [and] ‘O’  from the police sign on the car, as it is against the law to pretend I am law enforcement. The rest was just cosmetic.”

It’s a wonder how he gets the bull into the car, as no one will admit to seeing it, and he’s not talking. “I kinda keep … how I load him… a secret,” Lee said. “I don’t want everybody copying me. I will say he is NOT drugged or hit or abused in any way. It takes 5 to 10 minutes to get him in the car. He gets in the car easier than he gets into the trailer.”

Now most people know how the police reacted because they’ve seen recent news broadcasts, but if you haven’t, here’s a link.

“Most people are very surprised and amazed,” Lee said. “Some people are very close and still think it is fake. He is the best entry in every parade. All the people and newspapers can’t get enough.”

And finally, about that name. No matter what the news or the merch says, Lee has his own take on it: “Here is a fact that everyone ignores … his real name is Howdy Duty, not Howdy Doody, but nobody listens to me. No big deal.” 

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  • L

    Lee MeyerNov 14, 2023 at 7:20 pm PLSouthside Scroll Pick

    Good job Hannah. I’m proud of you. Lee

    • H

      Hannah KastrupNov 15, 2023 at 9:11 am

      Thank you!!