The Cows Came Home

For Old Orcutt the cows did come home. After varying months away the lost cows mysteriously reappeared on the same day in late October and their owners are delighted. The artistically painted cows, donated by an anonymous artist for Orcutt fun and whimsy, had been stolen. An article in the Pioneer and a plea on Next Door seems to have inspired their return.

Nobody was happier than Sheila Gibilisco whose late father, an artist, managed to acquire one of the cows and paint it for her. “I cried, said Sheila, owner of InSPArations Spa, 130 E Clark. “It was my goal to get it back. It made me feel good, like there is hope for people who have a conscience.”

Receptionist Lyndsey Hiltner explained that their cow returned with a new hairdo, pointing out the blue paint between the cow’s ears. “It’s like he went to college and now he’s back with a new haircut and we’re going to leave it.” Sheila is okay with it too. “Whoever had it put their flare on it but doesn’t need to have it anymore.”

The missing Orcutt Post Office cow, with polka dots on one side, was also returned and a little worse for wear. “Kids probably,” staff member Mario surmised. He and fellow staffer Jaz agreed that they were just glad to have it back.

Jim Albrecht, architect with an office in the Mercantile Building, 125 Union Ave, was also pleased their cow was returned. “It looks like it had a hard time. An ear and horn is broken and the tail. I’ll have to go to Wendy’s and see if I can get it restored.”

Wendy is Wendy Steller of Deja Vu. She has a pipeline to the anonymous cow donor, and said that a restoration appointment could be made. She commented “I just couldn’t be more thrilled that they have started to come home. This town needs some positive things to happen.”

The last cow to come home was the cupcake-decorated calf at Jack’s Restaurant, 156 S Broadway. It had lost the tip of its tail, was bowed, and had white paint drips on its back. Chris Salazar, one of Jack’s owners, said, “I’m just happy to have it back. Nice to know they didn’t completely trash them.” He explained that until they can attach their cows to the building they will be bringing them inside at closing and put them out in the morning. “We love the cows,” commented co-owner, Terry Salazar. “A lot of people take pictures of them with their kids.”

A couple eating at Jacks was overheard discussing who had taken the cows and why they came home. “Their parents found out,” one joked.

Wendy Steller was able to get a reaction from the mystery artist who creates the cows. “I am so happy the cows have come home! It actually takes a strong person to do the right thing and return them. I think the community appreciates it. Orcutt Proud!”

Katy Jacobson reporting