- UPDATED (8:40 a.m. Wednesday, May 2): Thanks to an e-mail from a reader, we've included a YouTube video of a 2004 FCTV interview with William McEnery about the cow.
When it came to the company's signature fiberglass cow that had sat in front of the Gas City headquarters since 1976, I wrote:
I hope we discover that a certain prodigious cow still has a home on South LaGrange Road.
As of Monday, that cow, Elsie, is no longer a Frankfort resident.
"She" moved—actually, was moved—to McEnery's home in Homer Glen, according to Sun-Times Media. The cow was considered personal property in the Gas City bankruptcy case, which ended Monday, but could end up in front of a Creamery ice cream shop location at a future date, the report stated. The Creamery chain, which was once a fiefdom of McEnery's Gas City kingdom, is now owned by McEnery's son, William "Billy" McEnery, and McEnery Enterprises, the Gas City company's successor. Of course, the Creamery has a location in Frankfort, within milk-spitting distance of the cow's old home.
Although the company had talked to Frankfort officials about Elsie's possible relocation to somewhere else in the village or elsewhere, village officials weren't told about Monday's move, said Village Administrator Jerry Ducay, who found out about it when he drove by the Gas City building as they were preparing the flatbed for the cow.
"I thought it was a moo-ving experience," Ducay said of witnessing Elsie's departure. (And yes, I told him I was obligated to quote him after that.)
Mayor Jim Holland said the cow has earned the local status of being "a little bit of an icon," and it has some meaning to residents.
"As for the cow, I can’t speak for my fellow officers, but since I grew up in Frankfort I remember it from my days in high school (late 80s)" Frankfort Police Cmdr. Kevin Keegan said. "For me, it will be strange not seeing it anymore, but as with anything else, change happens."
That change isn't simply the relocation of a corporate mascot. It's the relocation of a whole corporation. Gas City—or McEnery Enterprises, if you prefer—no longer resides in Frankfort; its new offices are in Tinley Park. (Incidentally, calls to McEnery Enterprises went unanswered Tuesday.) Elsie's move is the symbolic setting sun of Gas City's dynasty in the village, the end of a 45-year reign.
"It was kind of bittersweet," Ducay said of the move. "It did represent the end of an era for us. They were great corporate citizens."
"We will miss them," Holland added.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Does Elsie's departure bring a tear to your eye? Or are you happy to see the cow wind up in someone else's backyard? Vote in our poll and share your thoughts in the comments section.