TUPELO – His black mane is scratched and his saddle is worn from nearly six decades worth of kids’ rear ends.
His name is “Bucky,” a mechanical horse that’s been a fixture at Reed’s Department Store in downtown Tupelo for 59 years.
“He was gotten the same year Jack Reed Jr. and Alice Reed Quimby were born,” said Sissie Craft, buyer and manager for the children’s department at Reed’s. “That’s how we keep up with his age.”
The staff decided it was time to honor the horse. On Wednesday, cupcakes and mint candies were available for kids and kids at heart. A “Happy Birthday” sign and balloons were attached to Bucky.
“I would say the last time I rode him was in the mid-’80s,” said Krista Blanchard.
Her sons, Chance, 5, and Luke, 3, took short rides on Bucky’s big day. As usual, the rides were free.
Craft remembers hopping on Bucky when she was a girl in the 1970s. Now, her 6-year-old son, John Thomas, is a fan.
“Back then, he cost a dime to ride,” Craft said. “He was in the children’s department downstairs, which was behind the ladies department.”
Over the years, generations of kids have ridden Bucky, so it’s understandable that the steadfast steed’s mane and saddle show some wear.
“We have moms who say they drive by the store and kids say, ‘Mom, we’ve got to ride Bucky,’” Craft said, “so they come in. A lot of times, they don’t buy a thing, but the kids ride Bucky.”
Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal