1959 Rose Bowl Herky on display for first time, thanks to local - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

1959 Rose Bowl Herky on display for first time, thanks to local woman

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Chicken wire and paper mache make up one of the oldest Herky's in all of Iowa.

And the University of Iowa School of Dentistry is it's new temporary home thanks to Amy Kanellis, who has kept Herky in her basement since the Hawkeyes first time in the Rose Bowl, 5 and a half decades ago.

 "Ive always been sort of obsessed with Herky kind of my whole life," Kanellis said. "so to actually have something like this be an option was you know, a dream."

In 1959, Kanellis's father was a representative to the Big 10, so the family attended the Rose Bowl to cheer on the Hawks.

The Rose Parade director asked 4-year-old Amy if she would like a souvenir -- and she said she wanted Herky, who stood atop one of the floats.

"In February, my mom was washing dishes, looked out the window, a moving van pulled up, and a crate with Herky in it was delivered to our home," she recounted.

Kanellis and her husband decided to bring Herky out of their home for the first time ever in honor of the Hawks return to the Rose Bowl.

Her husband, who works at the dental school, says around 500 people walk through every day, and nearly all of them -- plus other fans -- have made a point to see the Herky.

Kanellis chose a public place to display Herky so the whole city could enjoy it.

She says even a few of the football players stopped by before they left for the Rose Bowl to touch the Herky for good luck.

"We're kind of blown away with how popular it's been," she said. "A lot of people have come to have their picture taken."

Kanellis says she will likely take the Herky back to her house after the Rose Bowl, but hopes to someday pass it down to her son, or find the old souvenir a home where people all around Iowa can enjoy it.

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