About the Hootin an Hollarin festival guide cover: Jeremiah Paul Hamm and Miss Pinky
One of Gainesville’s youngest farmers, Jeremiah Paul Hamm, then 4, and his cowgirl-costumed red hen, Miss Pinky, walked away with the Most Unusual Pet Award in the 2017 Hootin an Hollarin pet show. Times photographer Jessi Dreckman snapped this photo of the award-winning pair backstage right after the popular Saturday morning event. Jeremiah, son of Paul and Joy Hamm and grandson of Burl and Linda Hamm, all of Gainesville, had a wide selection of farm animals to choose from for the pet show, but he was confident in his choice of Miss Pinky.
“I asked him what he’d like to bring. I told him, ‘We’ve got goats, baby sheep, lots of animals that would be cute,’” Joy told the Times. “But he chose that chicken. A chicken! I couldn’t believe it.”
Miss Pinky, an extra-gentle hen, was a good sport, allowing Joy and Jeremiah to strap the miniature cowboy hat to her head with a rubber band, fit a turquoise bandana around her neck and put her on a leash for the big event. She was patient and calm throughout the pet show, even when having to wait next to a gang of dog contestants and other larger animals.
Miss Pinky, who had been with the Hamm family for nearly as long as Jeremiah, got her name after Jeremiah decided to spray-paint her tail feathers pink one day.
“I asked him why he did it, and he told me that way we knew she was a girl,” Joy said, laughing.
Sadly, Miss Pinky has died since her prize-winning pet-show appearance, but a shadow box with her eye-catching hat and bandana and the Times newspaper clipping announcing her title as Most Unusual Pet hangs on the wall of the Hamm home as a reminder of her special day.
Jeremiah, now 5, is already looking forward to returning to this year’s pet show, Joy said. He hasn’t picked which pet he’ll bring. But, she says, he’s still crazy about his little flock of chickens, and his barred rock rooster Barb Wire is a strong contender.