The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

May 19, 2013

Producers' cow has local tie

I never would have thought that the adorable Producers Dairy cow illustration on my vintage cottage cheese container that I discovered last month at the Brocton Red Barn Market was the creation of a Danville denizen!

Karen Metzen Campbell contacted me and said her dad, Bob Metzen — who owned the Colonial Parkway and was Prodo the Clown in the mid-1950s — drew the Producers Dairy cow.

Campbell said her brother, former Vermilion County Regional Superintendent of Schools Mike Metzen, guessed that the waxed cardboard cottage cheese container with their dad’s cow illustration on it is from between 1955 and 1959.

It seems that Bob Metzen was quite the illustrator, having lent his artwork for Producers Dairy newspaper ads. One of the Producers Dairy ads even features Campbell as a little girl.

Campbell said when her father passed away in 1961 at age 34, her mother sold the Colonial Parkway to Dairy Queen proprietor and former Mayor Bob Jones.

I think I will have to call my old friend Bob Jones and ask him to share his memories of the Colonial Parkway for next month’s column.

Tea time

Based on the response I received, it seems that the Stumme Tea Co., which was located at 121 N. Vermilion St., was a popular place back in the day.

Bob Peavler tells me his mother, Catherine, had worked there.

“When I was a young boy I remember a couple times I went to The Palace movie theater and after the movie, I would walk over to Stumme’s and catch a ride home with my mother,” he said.

Peavler recalled that Fred Stumme, owner of the establishment, “would sit me down and have me count a big bag of unshelled peanuts. After I was done counting them several times, and it was time for my mother to get off, he would give me the peanuts to take home.”

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