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Many of you will remember a gentleman known as "Cookie," who would walk up and down the streets of Hazard during the 1960's with a trash can lid in his hands. The lid represented the steering wheel of his car which was only visible to him.  He followed all the driving rules, stopping at red lights and stop signs, using hand signals for turning or switching lanes, shifting gears and verbally providing all of his engine sounds. He always put money in the parking meter and parked his garbage lid in the parking space. Little is known about the man, his life, his real name, and what happened to him.  According to HazardKentucky.com viewers, Cookie moved to Milan, Tennessee where he was last seen in the late '70s or early '80s and his last name is thought to be Oden.  You can help solve the mystery of one of Hazard's most colorful characters.  If you have any information on Cookie - contact us

"Cookie would come to Backwoods and pick my sister Viola and me up for a ride and my Foster Dad ( Luke Hogg) would give him gas money so that he could get us back home.  He liked Viola in front with him and I had to sit in the back.  It was hard for me to stop without running into his back."  (smile). Cheyenne "Jackie" Cornett, West Carrollton, Ohio

"I remember the night at the Brown Derby in Lothair when a stranger asked for a ride downtown and how everyone sorta held their composure when Cookie volunteered.  You should have seen the look on this poor guys face when he walks out in the pouring rain and Cookie is standing there, lid in hand and says 'hop in the back!!!'  P.S.  My kids still don't believe this but I swear it happened.  Thanks Cookie."  Jim in Burlington, KY

"I was riding with my Aunt, when out of the blue, Cookie came screaming out from behind the fire department and tried to pull her over!  Guess she was speeding!  This would have been mid to late '60's"  John in Ohio

"I remember my mom telling me stories of Cookie parking his trash can lid that he called his car and someone parking over top of it and
he would get the police."  Anonymous


Cookie ordered meals at the local Drive-In, in the same manner as other motorists.

"I remember Cookie very well.  There was another one like Cookie that thought he was a policeman.  His name was Robert Neace.  I was standing in front of the Sweet Shop talking to Robert and Cookie came driving down the street with his lard can lid.  He was leading all the traffic on Main Street.  I walked out in front of him and asked him to peel rubber.  Of course he did and Robert told him he was under arrest for peeling rubber.  Cookie took off with Robert in pursuit trying to arrest him.  All the traffic stopped and I almost died laughing.  Does anyone remember Robert Niece?  He wore a cap pistol and a badge.  He stopped my car one day and made me get out of it and took my picture.  I asked him what he was going to do with the picture and he said he was going to send it to the FBI to see if I was wanted.  Cookie wore shoes that were at least two sizes too big for him.  They were turned up at the toe.  The first time I saw him I was at Smyle's Drive-in.  I was parked and ordering a hotdog and coke when I heard someone blow his horn.  I looked over and it was Cookie.  The waitress came out and waited on him.  He also ordered a hotdog and coke.  I stayed around to see how she would hang the tray on him.  He laid his lard can lid on the ground and stuck his arm out and she hung it on his arm.  There he stood with the tray hanging on his arm eating a hotdog and drinking his coke.  When he got ready to leave he pulled his lights on and the waitress came out and got his tray.  He picked up his lard can lid and threw gravel all over my car with his feet.  I will never forget Cookie or Robert Neace."  Al Smith, Simpsonville, KY

"I remember Robert Neace.  He wore an old army coat and pulled a wagon which somebody had bought him.  If  you asked him 'Who is your daddy?' he would tell you with no hesitation, Pick Rose my daddy." Glynna Richie, Perry County

"I remember working for Bob Muncy part time and Cookie coming in to get gas for his 'car'.  I also remember a car going up Main Street one night the wrong way with Cookie in hot pursuit, siren blasting.  He was quite a character, but always kind to everyone.  I also remember Bear's Model A with the Buick engine.  I think Richard Brashear may have ended up with it. It was definitely the talk of the town when Bear brought it in here.  I also remember the one Aubrey Dale Combs had.  Here's to Cookie for stirring memories!"  Jerry

"I remember Cookie.  I was a teenager in the '60's.  I was at the fire department quite a bit which was also the jail.  He's probably not with us anymore but its nice to remember people like this that made us laugh during our childhood."  Linda

"Wouldn't it be great if a movie could be made of Cookie's life!" Anonymous

"I was a policeman for the City, and remember Cookie very well. Everyone was always playing tricks on him. Police Chief Bud Luttrell played jokes on him all the time. He really did park in those parking spaces in front of the old coal building, right beside the old courthouse, and nobody was allowed to park on his meter space. He always paid to park his lid there. I haven't heard of him in years. I hadn't even thought of him in many years. This was early '60's. He even called his lid a 'Oldsmobile Bonneville.' lol." Anonymous

"When I was very young, I often heard tales of A black man who lived in the city of Hazard.  He would run up and down the streets of Hazard with A trash can lid in his hand.  This lid was his car which he would drive everyday.  Would love to hear any info about him, or stories you may know of." Terry

"Everyone called him 'Cookie.'  He would pay the parking meter and park his hubcap in the parking space.  I remember him well, I just don't know what happened to him. Cookie is one of many things I remember about Hazard as a child.  I am in my mid-forties and haven't heard of him since I was about 8 years old." MCN-73


Cookie on Main Street

"Reading these notes about Cookie really made me laugh and brought back an old incident I had in Hazard around 1963. I had been living in Califorinia for a couple of years and went back to Hazard on vacation with two of my California friends. I brought a hot rod, a 1930 Model A Ford Coupe with a 1955 Buick engine in it, with me. One evening one of my friends and I were cruising in my Model A. We were stopped at a red light at the end of the bypass when we heard all these verbal car sounds coming from the right hand side. To our disbelief we looked out and saw this black guy standing in the highway beside us. He was holding a garbage can lid in his hands and verbally making all these engine revving sounds. We started cracking up and as the light turned green, he 'burned rubber', shifting gears each time and ran up the highway like a bat out of hell. My hot rod had beat corvettes and just about all the cars in the Hazard area, but we were left in the starting blocks that evening. That had to be Cookie. We saw him one other time when I was attempting to park one day on Main Street. He came over and told us the spot was taken. He had his lid on the ground in the parking spot and I guess I parked over it. After hearing him explaining it for awhile, we pulled out and found another spot.  After we came back to California, we told many people about this guy in Hazard, Ky. that 'drove' a garbage can lid on the highways and had many a laugh over it. To say the least, not many people believed us."  George "Bear" Oliver

"I have just read all the comments about Cookie and one thing that is not in all of your many good comments is that Cookie carried a ticket book and would write you a traffic ticket!  Of course, they were not valid tickets, but he did write them!  He used to hang out a lot at the fire station, as many have said.  I was always told that he washed the trucks and cars, etc. and they would give him money and buy him pretty much what he wanted!  I haven't seen him in over 30 years.  I am now 48.  He was a one of a kind person, who can never be forgotten by the many who grew up in the '60's in Hazard!  I was very young, when I last saw him, maybe 10 or so, but I remember him running the streets of Hazard with his garbage can lid, put'n it in parking places , etc., just like you would your car.  It is probably hard to believe that someone such as he was allowed to do this, but, times were different back then. I guess he was judged to be of little or no harm to folks, even though he would run along side of you sometimes and try to give you a traffic ticket and talk to you about your driving, etc.  He really could run fast.  You know, when I think back about him, it amazes me that he ever did what he did and so I can see why someone would find it hard to believe!"  John Earl Goff, Jr.

"When I was a child, I saw someone starting to park in a space where Cookie had 'parked' his lid. A policeman motioned the person away. It made perfect sense to me then and now." Suzy

"Hi, I remember Cookie also when I was a child.  My family was at a get together the other day and Cookie's name was brought up.  I was a small child when Cookie was around, but I always remember looking for him when my family would go to town.  I loved to see him driving his steering wheel (lid) up and down north Main Street.  He was so nice and his way of living was so amazing to me as a youngster.  I lived out in the county and our family went to town on weekends.  I looked more forward to seeing Cookie than getting an ice-cream from 'Days Dairy Bar.  Cookie was very well respected.  The year was probably in the mid sixties."  Anonymous

"All our love to you Cookie, wherever your spirit might be." Gwin

"Cookie was originally from Letcher County in the Neon area and he could be seen doing the same thing up there. I know when I visited, I would see him there and go back to Hazard and he would be there. I wish I remembered his real name. I used to know it but it escapes me now. I will ask around. The last time I saw him, he was in Letcher County."  Anonymous

"I too remember Cookie, and seeing him drive his 'car'. I remember that no one was allowed to park over Cookie's car on Main Street, even if you had to keep circling the block to find another space." Cooper Carson

"I also remember Cookie in the mid '60's.  The reason no one parked in his space, he paid the meter the same as anyone else.  He would be the first to let you know that was his space and his dime. A friendly person." James Branson

"You all have wonderful, if somewhat clouded, memories of Cookie. You must first remember what was going on during the time he was famous, or infamous as the case may be. Cookie was quite a character who amazingly became as normal as the rest of us once the draft was discontinued.  Crazy?  Like a fox!"  Anonymous

"My Father ran into Cookie in Milan, Tennessee about 15 years ago.  He was building a restaurant there and Cookie was selling firewood.  Dad immediately recognized him and asked if he was Cookie.  He said yes and Dad then asked what was up with that garbage can lid and Cookie said he did it all as a prank just acting crazy.  We never saw Cookie again." Allison


Cookie with Hazard Fire Chief - Shorty Sizemore

"Cookie was a very good friend to the firemen at the Hazard Fire Department.  He also called Fire Chief Lawrence 'Shorty' Sizemore 'daddy.'  He would get volunteer fireman and trusty Garnett Woodall to cook him cornbread and he would eat it with a whole onion without pealing it." Hazard Fireman

"Cookie use to take his 'CAR' to Gene Baker and my dad would put it up on the grease rack and work on it. He would say it wasn't running right and he would treat him just like any other person except there was always no charge. He was always nice to all us kids and quiet a character."  Anonymous

"This is the first I've heard about Cookie and truly love the stories and all the comments."   Anonymous

"I remembered people telling me about Cookie following the fire engines everywhere they went. The FD was called to a fire at Walkertown and Cookie was following the fire engine. As the fire engine was going across the by-pass the driver had to downshift. I was told by several people that when the driver downshifted, Cookie passed the fire engine and beat it to Walkertown."

"Well when I was first driving I parked at the parking lot at the end of town. Well, I was introduced to Cookie by the man himself!  I was this scared 16 year old who had pulled over that Trash can lid!  I never forgot to do it again.  I heard he could run really fast!" Lyric 45

"The world would probably be better off if there were more Cookies."  J. Skaggs

"I remember Cookie very well growing up in Hazard.  All the above mentioned, parking his garbage can lid , following the fire truck as it made runs, pulling up beside people and making car noises, but he also followed all the driving rules, stopping at all red lights and stop signs, using hand signals for turning or switching lanes. He was a joy to watch." Hounddog

"Hey, this just amazes me.  My sister was telling me about him the other day.  I honestly did not believe her.  She remembers him so well.  My family lived in the country at that time and she loved coming to Hazard on weekends just to see him.  She said that he could run as fast as a car.  I guess I believe her now.  It is amazing how things like that can make you miss childhood so much.  My sister said that it seemed that some people called Cookie, Tag.  Thanks for all the posts."  

"I think he used to live over the fire station.  I wonder too, what happened to him?  I don't guess he is still around."  Calla (Kay) White, Nicholasville, KY

"The last time I saw Cookie, we were down at the Shamrock. The telephone gang and we told him he backed into somebody's car and he got all bent out of shape and spun out going up Baker Hill!"  Harry

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