Cream of the Crop

Joe Milking

Brooklyn-born and raised, Joe Paterno probably hadn’t seen many cows before he arrived in Happy Valley in 1950. He almost certainly hadn’t had many chances to milk one.

We’re not entirely sure of the origins of this shot*, which our colleague, Marc Kauffman, art director at The Penn Stater magazine, found a few months back during one of his occasional deep digs into the University Library photo archives. From the image itself, we can guess it was taken around the time Joe succeeded Rip Engle as head coach in 1966—yes, 50 years ago this fall. Neither his wardrobe nor (we’re guessing) his technique are those of a natural dairyman, but that’s alright. Mostly, he seems to be enjoying the moment. A city boy at heart, it wouldn’t be long before he made this rural Pennsylvania college town his home.

  • After we published, our friend and preeminent Penn State football historian Lou Prato ’59 pointed out that this shot might not have been taken on campus, but in Dallas, where the Nittany Lions faced Texas in the 1972 Cotton Bowl. Lou notes that the man standing behind Paterno might well be Darrell Royal, the Longhorns’ longtime coach. As always, when it comes to blue and white history, we assume Lou is most likely correct.

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5 thoughts on “Cream of the Crop

  1. JoePa wasn’t wearing his trademark khakis. So, this photo must have been taken in winter. Also, I noticed, he’s wearing a watch which appears to have a logo on its face and a patch on his jacket which reads maybe something like “love” and “be a milkman”. You tell me.
    I miss Joe Paterno.

    • A lot of us miss Joe Paterno and just want the university to do the right thing and honor him the way that it should and w want that honor to happen so that Sue Paterno can enjoy it too because she was right there beside him as his partner in doing all they could for the university.

  2. That looks like Coach Darrell Royal of Texas with him. This could have been taken at the 1972 Cotton Bowl.

  3. Every time I see The Coach I remember how much he meant to non-student-athletes. He was there for all of us. His words, his deeds, his actions inspired all of us to want to be better, to want to make Penn State better. He deserves to be recognized with his statue at Paterno Stadium.

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