Larry Pankoke has always been a big chicken, but not in the way that you might think! You see Larry spent a lot of his childhood out on his grandparents farm near Beaver Crossing.
Larry says a great way to pass the time was to impress the chickens with his classically clever clucking, "I did think that I was getting better because the chickens would look at me and the rooster like 'that's an awful big chicken' makin' that kind of noise."
And when Larry's friends heard that noise they encouraged him to compete at the Wayne Chicken Days National Cluck-Off Championships, Kim Shelley says, "He's like a real chicken. I mean what else can you say, he's up there struttin' his stuff and I just can't believe how real he sounds."
Larry says he went beak to beak with the 11-time champion from Arkansas, and came out the winner, "It made me really teary eyed and very emotional, that's the first time I ever won anything."
The new national title has attracted a lot of attention for this 51-year old Lincoln Northeast graduate, but, "Out of every bit of all of this, all that stuff was good and getting the medals and that, but I think the most important thing to me and that made me really emotional is how proud I think my grandparents would be of me. That I turned something like that into this."
Larry beat a field of 31 chicken impersonators from around the nation and he says he performed in front of thousands of spectators at the Wayne Chicken Days.