Comic Cowboys Trivia
• In 1968, the Cowboys parade was led by a special guest – Irene Ryan, who played Granny on “The Beverly Hillbillies.” She was “seated comfortably in a rocking chair and displaying a pretty good throwing arm to the crowd,” according to the newspaper.
• In front of the Cowboys float barn sits a large replica of the Middle Bay Light, which used be in front of the Lighthouse Supper Club on U.S. 90.
• The cowboy mannequin in the driver’s seat of the Cowboys’ emblem wagon has the initials R.L. painted on his chest. That’s in tribute to the senior member of the organization who supplies the two Belgian horses that pull the wagon.
• The Cowboy of the Year wagon was bequeathed to the organization by Sam Eichold. He reportedly used it to take hay to his cows, and the wheels are reputed to be original Order of Myths wagon wheels. There’s a tiny plaque on one side of the wagon that says, “Sam’s Sleigh, X-mas ’94.”
Is that a real 1824 Cowbellion rake head attached to the front of the
Cowboy of the Year wagon? Despite what the sign says, no, it’s not.
• The sign wagons were acquired in the 1940s and 1950s and were made by the Love Wagon Company of Durant, Mississippi.
• The signs themselves used to be painted on plywood. Now they’re painted on sheets of corrugated plastic and tacked up in place. When they’re removed, you can see the signs from 1998, the last year that plywood was used.
• The Maids of Mirth is a sister organization to the Cowboys. You can usually see a small sign from the MOMs in the Cowboys parade, usually on the front of Queen Little Eva’s float.
• Much of the early history of the Cowboys and founder Dave Levi is known because Dave kept a huge scrapbook, which is currently on loan to the History Museum of Mobile.