By KATIE WATTS / Petaluma Towns Correspondent
Everyone knows Clo, the county’s multi-talented poster cow for Clover Stornetta Farms since 1968. She’s appeared on billboards, in newspapers and magazines, and in 1995 the Sonoma County Museum had an exhibit tracing her pun-filled career. But, until now, she’s never spoken publicly.
Here, in an exclusive interview, we go Up Clo’s and Personal with our beloved billboard bovine, courtesy of Clover-Stornetta’s Karen Hall, former personal assistant to the grande dame.
Hometown? I was born and brought up in Sonoma Cownty.
How old are you? I like to think I’m ageless.
Tell us about your family: I come from a Clo’s-knit family, but have a large stable of friends, many of whom I think of as family, especially the Benedetti clan.
Is there a significant other in your life? While I’d never rule out marriage if the right bull came along, I am a career cow, and have so much fun it would be hard to settle down. Some years ago, I was in a relationship with BeauVine, but now we’re just good friends.
How tall are you? I’m 8 feet tall. But don’t ask how much I weigh, because my grandmother taught me a lady never reveals her measurements. I’m proud of my waistline: who wants to see a skinny cow?
Tell us about your job: On the farm, I’m a hard-working gal, just one of the herd, spending time with the other ladies. But when I get out to parades, fairs and civic events, I kick up my hooves.
Did you receive special training to be a spokescow? No. I’m just a natural.
What is it like, being a public figure? Udderly exhilarating. I hate to be immodest, but I am popular, so it can be frustrating, in a good way, if I don’t have time to see everyone. My job is fulfilling, especially when I see kids’ faces light up when I smile at them. Sometimes my size scares people, even though I’m a gentle giant.
Is it hard, always being recognized when you leave the barn? Never. When I get that call, when it’s time to make my appearance, it’s what I live for.
Any favorite foods? I’m a strict vegan so my idea of a five-star meal is fresh green Sonoma County grass.
You’ve been featured on so many billboards. Which do you like best? It’s hard to pick one, but I think my Dairy magazine cover shot captured the real me.
Favorite movie? I have to go along with the herd: “The Sound of Moosic.”
Favorite book? Of course, there are my biographies, “Wholly Cow” and “Wholly Cow II.” I’m partial to dairy tales like “Clo White and the Seven Quarts.” Growing up, one of the stories I loved best was “Ferdinand the Bull.” I had a terrible crush, wanted to marry him, so it was sad when I learned he wasn’t real.
We rarely see you in the same outfit. Are you a fashionista? I couldn’t possibly call myself a clothes horse, but I do enjoy being au cowrant. It’s fun fitting in with event themes; wearing appropriate outfits. Fortunately I have a large closet.
Philosophy? I moo, therefore I am.
What sports do you like? I’ve participated in most sports: from baseball pitcher to sumoo wrestler. I’ve got a daredevil streak so some of my happiest moments have been on a surfboard. Cowabunga!
Interests? I think of myself as an intellectual cow: as cultured as yogurt. I enjoy mooseums, particularly the art of Moonet. (My ancestresses posed for the Venus di Moolo and the Moona Lisa.) I have versatile moosical tastes, from classical (I love Moozart) to Elvis, especially his “Milkcow Blues Boogie.”
A big interest is the theater: there really is no business like Clo business. I’ve even been a Cloreographer. I’ve performed in “Anthony and Clopatra” and “Fiddler on the Hoof.” And, of course, I’ve done opera because it’s not Clover until the fat lady sings.
I like to read: I’ve studied Cowpernicus and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. You know, e=mc2? I did put my own twist on it: Energy equals More Clover to the second power.
How would you describe your personality? Outgoing, versatile, cowoperative. I have a great sense of humor: in a former life I was a quart jester.
What honors have you received? I was Grand Marshal of the Santa Rosa Rose Parade in 2001, in 1988 I was privileged to be named Miss Sonoma Cownty and in 1997 I made a guest appearance on Mount Rushmooer.
You’ve done so much, is there anything left on your bucket list? I’ve never met a president, although I’ve spent time with the Supreme Quart.
One last question. Does it hurt to be milked? No. It’s an udder relief.
Read about all 10 people chosen as Towns’ “Faces of Sonoma County.”