Skorheim: The story of a ‘village idiot,’ a large-horned steer and a chop-top Ford

Sep 1, 2023, 6:19 PM | Updated: 6:33 pm

This photo provided by News Channel Nebraska, a Watusi bull named Howdy Doody sits in the passenger seat of a car owned by Lee Meyer on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023 in Norfolk, Neb. The car that Meyer has been driving in parades across the area for years has half the windshield and roof removed to make room for his bull to ride along. (News Channel Nebraska via AP)Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS Howdy Doody and Lee Meyer in the car. (picture courtesy of Ronda Meyer) Howdy Doody and Lee in the yard.
(picture courtesy of Ronda Meyer) Howdy Doody shows off his horns. (picture courtesy of Ronda Meyer) Howdy Doody in the car, prob gonna need a wash on that back window :( (picture courtesy of Ronda Meyer)

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve seen a 2,200-pound steer (formerly known as a bull) riding shotgun in a heavily modified, chop-top Ford Crown Victoria next to a man who refers to himself as the “village idiot,” I’d have exactly one nickel. Now, that’s not much money, but at least I’d also have a pretty great story to tell.

Lee Meyer is the owner of a now-famous bull who goes by the name of Howdy Doody. I recently had the chance to get Lee on “KIRO Nights with Jake Skorheim” and he told me the steer is “half longhorn, half watusi.” The watusi, an African breed, is where he gets the large horns coming out of his head.

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A few years back, Lee decided he wanted to bring Howdy Doody around with him to local parades.

Trucks are boring. So, naturally, Lee modified a retired 1996 police cruiser, reinforced the suspension, and made himself a pretty sweet steer transport. Unfortunately, the local cops weren’t thrilled by it, which is why Lee made national headlines when he was recently pulled over while out for a drive with Howdy Doody, or just “Howdy” as Lee refers to him.

Apparently, driving with a steer in the passenger seat isn’t completely legal. Who knew?

The pictures are pretty unbelievable when you first see them, but they’re real. And if you’re worried that this seems like animal cruelty or that Howdy doesn’t enjoy it, let your worries be at ease. Lee told me that Howdy “really seems to enjoy going over bridges or looking at water or driving by a lake.”

Lee strikes me as a pretty interesting guy, so as we were saying goodbye, I asked him if he had any other strange hobbies we should know about. He said this one was pretty much it, “Somebody’s gotta be the village idiot. Just as well it’d be me.”

I guess every town needs one, and I don’t think I could sum it up any better.

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If you should happen to find yourself in Nebraska and spot a Longhorn/Watusi steer heading down the road in a modified Crown Victoria, it’s a pretty safe bet that’s Howdy Doody.

And be sure to throw a wave over to Lee ad he’ll be the one in the driver’s seat. However, if Howdy is behind the wheel, something is desperately wrong, and I suggest you get out of the way.

Listen to KIRO Nights weeknights from 7-10 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Skorheim: The story of a ‘village idiot,’ a large-horned steer and a chop-top Ford