The year was 1940 and N. S. Golding was in the Washington State College creamery surrounded by a group of dairy science students. Crowding near, the young men strained to follow as Golding described the intricacies of cheese-making…
Clarke: I graduated from high school in Noxon, Mont., and had a scholarship to WSC in forestry. I didn’t like math, so somehow ended up in dairy. Maybe it was fate?
Yes, I did. I made a batch of cheddar cheese the morning of July 1, 1942 — and had also made arrangements to get married later that day. My wife to be, Lorraine, and her mother were coming from Vancouver and the train was delayed or something — so I guess there was real sweat going into that cheese. We got married that afternoon in Moscow and four days later I went into the service. We were married 65 years.
I had signed up for manufacturing, and was supposed to go to Chicago to make cheese, but I ended up with troops guarding government prisoners in France.
The first batch came out much too orange. Dr. Golding didn’t like it, so … that was the last of the color. (Today’s Cougar Gold© has no added color and is pale yellow.)
No. He didn’t develop canned cheese for the army — the Forest Service had canned processed cheese years before we started canning Cougar Gold©. Golding was trying to prevent mold growth — that was his goal.
They were the only kind available at that time. (Cougar Gold© was sold in four-pound cans until the late 1970s when the creamery changed to one-pound cans.)
It was based on the Disney character, Ferdinand the bull, but we think it also had something to do with Rune Ferdinand Goransen — another dairy science student. He was a favorite of professor Bendixen, who led the dairy products judging team and also worked for Golding.
I was first hired by Darigold to work in their blue cheese plant in Raymond. Then I went to work for Safeway in L.A. in 1952 — at the old milk plant on the edge of Watts. In 1954, I began managing the milk plant in Portland, then in Butte for six years, then Bellevue in 1966. I retired in 1982 — after 30 years with Safeway.
When I met my wife …