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August 25, 2019

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Remember Bessie Bingo?

The first one was at the 1988 F&M Picnic

By Lee Crouse

Here’s a story about the 1988 Farmers and Merchant’s Picnic:

August 1988 a new event was added to the Farmers and Merchants picnic and a large, impatient crowd initially waited on the game called Bessie Bingo. 

As the hour approached for the release of Bessie, names were drawn from a bucket and spaces were assigned. Curious onlookers gathered as anxious ticket buyers located the empty space and wished for something in it. 

Finally, the moment arrived and Bessie was ushered into the ring surrounded by a throng of people. But Bessie turned out to be a Bert and came closer to washing away the lime squares than he did to filling one. As time moved on (and the cow didn’t) the crowd straggled away until only a few spectators were left to witness the prized plop.

After 64 minutes of suspiciously eyeing the crowd and circling the en, Bessie (or Bert) let the chips fall directly on a line. Honorable judges Mike Hood, Otas Reese and Denny Simon were called in to asses the situation. Bonnie Minix, Alger, was declared the winner having the majority of the dung in her quadrangle.

You might say she got money’s worth as she piled up $560 in winnings with a single $10 investment in a little space and a slick mooovement by a cow.