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Photograph leads to reunion after 28 years
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Jeremy Harris and Mabel Johnson reunite to catch up and reminisce about the photograph Johnson took of Harris when he was a boy. The picture features three-year-old Harris milking a cow named Sweetheart.

CUBA CITY—After 28 years, a photographer is reunited with her muse.

On June 2, 1987, Mabel Johnson of Cuba City took a picture of a little boy in a straw hat milking a cow. The picture was later used for a farming-themed postcard, becoming a popular seller.

With a large print of the picture still hanging in her room, Johnson mentioned to staff and friends at Epione Pavilion that she wondered where the little boy was now. Someone who recognized the boy knew that he had recently been visiting a relative at Epione Pavilion. He was tracked down and agreed to meet with Johnson on Oct. 4.

Jeremy Harris was only 3 years old when he was photographed by Johnson. Johnson said she got the idea for the photo after she fell in love with a similar picture taken of Harris’ uncle when he was little.

“I had to find a cow that was tame enough, that wouldn’t hurt this little boy,” Johnson said. “My girlfriend, Elaine Brant, knew someone with a 4-H cow.”

Elaine Brant is Harris’ dad’s aunt.

Johnson had the straw hat and mug and Harris’ mother dressed him in red white and blue.

“Since I was a little girl I have been interested in photography,” Johnson said.

Johnson, now 89, is no longer able to take photographs, the hobby she loved so much. She said she still looks at the world as a photographer, lining up how she would make the shot. She preferred to photograph nature and scenery, but occasionally photographed people, too.

Harris and his wife, Pam, have a daughter, Zoe. Both originally from the Dickeyville area, are now residents of Wilton, which is near Tomah.