Feature Contributors

Column: Was everything better when you were a child, including milk?

Dear readers,

Here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo!

What happened to milk? When I was a kid growing up in Shelbyville, Compton’s Dairy delivered milk to our house. Compton’s provided us with a small, insulated metal box that lived on our front porch. The dairyman put the milk in the milk box just like the mailman puts mail in the mailbox. The milk was delicious.

When I started school, milk was served in glass half pint bottles. A little round disk could be removed from the waxed paper lid revealing a small hole for a drinking straw. If you preferred to drink straight from the bottle, the entire lid could be removed. The milk was delicious.

Thanks to farmer Paul Beyer, I learned all about milk before starting school. We had no cows on the Meltzer farm but luckily for me Paul and his wife, Lucy Beyer, lived across the road. Paul was missing his index finger. I always called that finger “the pointer” from the hit song, “Where is Thumbkin.”

Paul told me how he lost his finger. My memory of that story has faded but I think it involved an Allis-Chalmers tractor. 



Anyway, now back to my milk story. Paul had a milk cow and he not only told me all about milk but gave me some “hands on” experience.  Cows have four milk spigots located conveniently on their undercarriage. There is a considerable amount of skill required to operate one of the spigots. It involves grasping the upper part of the spigot by forming a circle with your thumb and index finger. Or in Paul’s case using the thumb and middle finger.

For you readers who have “Where is Thumbkin” playing in your head, that would be “tall man.” Continuing to hold the upper part of the spigot with a firm but gentle grip between those two fingers, the other fingers squeeze. If done correctly, a stream of milk will squirt out of the cow’s milk reservoir. The entire motion must be repeated to get each squirt of milk. 

This memory of great tasting milk from my youth all came about this week because I forgot to stop for milk at the store. I was putting gas in my car at Bonded Oil, when I remembered that I was supposed to stop at the store for milk. When I went inside to pay for my gas, I noticed that Bonded had gallons of milk for sale in the refrigerated display case along with the usual assortment of soft drinks.

The milk was a little more expensive than the Great Value vintage I usually purchase.  However, the extra cost was worth it to me for the convenience of not having to make a separate trip to the store.

Taking a close look at the jug of milk after arriving at home, I discovered it came from a local family-owned farm. Ted and Gina Loggan along with children, Briley and Blaine, sell milk from their cows under the name “Flatrock Creamery.”

The Loggans’ milk is minimally processed. Their milk is pasteurized at a lower temperature to kill any bacteria but retain the vitamins and nutrients. It is not homogenized so the cream rises to the top. A gentle shaking mixes the cream back with the milk.

One taste of the Loggans’ milk and fond memories from my youth came flooding back. Well, mostly fond memories if you don’t count Paul Beyer’s missing finger.

Flatrock Creamery milk has a rich flavor with a creamy taste. It had a top note of grain with a smooth alfalfa finish. I would pair it with Oreo cookies. It tastes like a million bucks but isn’t too pretentious for dunking.

I might have to visit Flatrock Creamery and see if Ted will let me try my hand at milking one of his cows. 

See you all next week, same Schwinn time, same Schwinn channel.

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