Jernberg Family Stories


In 1982 Elaine Munns and her sister Kay Bare stayed in Phoenix with their parents Dave and Cleo Jernberg.  While there, they recorded 3 tapes, both sides, of stories told by Dave and Cleo of their early years, homesteading in Idaho, and raising a family. This is part 4 of the series.  

The Homestead

ELAINE:  And then where did you go?  Where did you move? (After they got married.)

CLEO:  Then we lived over on the homestead.  Daddy took me to the homestead and we lived on the homestead.  Just one of those things.

What kind of house did you have on the homestead?

CLEO:  Oh, it wasn’t bad.

DAVE:  Oh, we had two shacks put together, two rooms.

CLEO:  And I made the cutest curtains out of sugar sacks and put rick-rack all around them and I thought they were just beautiful. 

They probably were.

CLEO:  New curtains.  Daddy made me a cupboard to put dishes in.

DAVE:  So when my Mother was back up, my Dad come over there and she says, told my Dad why couldn’t you make me one like that and I think that he was insulted.

Cause he was a carpenter huh?

CLEO:  But I liked that cupboard and I put some curtains on it, too.  It didn’t have any doors, so I put curtains on it.  And I don’t know, and I scrubbed that floor nearly every day, that bare floor.

DAVE:  And I made a chair out of orange crates.

CLEO:  For Benny, yeah.  We put two orange crates you know, put one like this and then cut the other one in half and set it on and that would’ve been his high chair.

Orange crates are worth a lot of money now.

CLEO:  And that’s what my wardrobe, my, you know that’s where I kept his diapers and everything, too was in orange crates put along the wall, kept the diapers and everything in there.

Snakes Under The Floorboards 

ELAINE:  So, you had a lot of snakes, did you?

CLEO:  Yeah, we had a lot of snakes.  One day Daddy was gone and I heard this funny noise and I looked out the window and there is this old rattlesnake was just slithering under and he went under the house and I guess he could hear me walking in there and he just rattled and rattled and I looked and I saw a lot of knotholes in the floor so I got all of the pans out and put over the knotholes.

DAVE:  Then when we wanted to keep the rattlesnakes come out.  We would put them so that when the roof leaked, we’d catch the rain from the roof.

CLEO:  I cooked in them once in a while.

If you were lucky it rained in the same place as the rattlesnake or the knotholes were in the floor.

CLEO:  Oh dear, what a life, but we were happy.

Life on the Homestead

ELAINE:  What kind of transportation did you have then?

CLEO:  Oh, we had an old car then.  It was an old, what do you call it?

DAVE:  Model A.  Coupe.

CLEO:  Coupe.  Yeah, that’s what they called them was coupes.  It just had one seat and a little trunk back here, trunk thing.  It wasn’t really a trunk but it looked like one and that thing, I never saw anything that would go over the rocks like that.  It would just wiggle right over those rocks and it would go back and forth.

Did you stay at the homestead winter and summer both?

CLEO:  No.  In the wintertime, we lived over in that log, by that old log building that you know, we just tore down here seven years ago, five or six years ago.

When you had Benny, you went?

CLEO:  Well, I went to my Mother’s when he was born (January 4th, 1931) but I didn’t stay there very long.

Who was your doctor?

CLEO:  Dr. Rich from Whitney.

DAVE:  You know we had that old log building and we built a little bit of lean to behind it to have our bed in and stuff.

Down by Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  That’s where I first remember it.

DAVE:  And Grandpa had blacksmith shelf over the side of it and Benny went out there and took all his tools and all the stuff and had them out in the road.

CLEO:  Yeah.

Typical grandkids huh?

CLEO:  And they’d drag everything in my house just like it was ??  That’s all I did was throw out stuff they’d dragged in.

Getting Groceries and Going to Town

ELAINE:  When you, Daddy, you didn’t used to have stores out in Mud Lake you know, when you first moved out there?  How did you get your groceries and how often did you go to town?

DAVE:  Oh, in the winter time, we would go about twice all winter with a whole wagon load of groceries at Roberts.

I remember you told me about bringing a watermelon home off of the train from Roberts.

DAVE:  I really don’t remember about the time.  We played cards and we was going to have a big feed at midnight and opened it up, and it was no good.

It was rotten huh?

DAVE:  Yeah.

After you’d brought it all the way home to eat it.

DAVE:  Yeah.  We waited until midnight, played cards and waited until midnight and that’s when I opened the watermelon and it was rotten.

That would be really a disappointment.

DAVE:  Yeah. 

Work After Marriage

What did you do?  What kind of work did you do when you were first married?

DAVE:  Just taking care of the stock.

You had cows huh?

DAVE:  Yes.  Driving cattle.

You didn’t farm, you just had cows?  Did you farm too?

DAVE:  No.

Just cows huh?

DAVE:  Just took care of the cattle.  We always took care of the farm.

CLEO:  He took them up the hills in the summer time.

Where did you go with them in the summer?

DAVE:  Out to Medicine Lodge.

Did you stay up there?

DAVE:  I did the first three years, I stayed there.

But that was before he was married.  After he was married, you didn’t stay up there.

DAVE:  No.

He just took them up and then you’d go check on them though.

CLEO:  They had a rider up there that took care of them.

I remember you used to worry for a long time getting ready to go and you had a grub box.

CLEO:  Yeah, and I’d make all kinds of stuff to put in his grub box.  We’d buy the rolls and jam and everything.

ELAINE:  Ben and I were always so excited when you came home to get to eat what was left.  It all tasted so good because it was things we didn’t ordinarily buy. 

Where Elaine Got Her Name

ELAINE:  Who were some of the people you knew in Medicine Lodge?

DAVE:  Well, all of them up there.  Carsons, Stelzers, Hank Thertle, Eddys, Fails.

CLEO:  All the girls.  He knew all the girls.

ELAINE: You named me after one of them didn’t you?  One of the girls you knew.  Wasn’t I named after one of the girls.

DAVE:  No, she wasn’t from Medicine Lodge.  She was from Idaho Falls.

CLEO:  Yeah, but that’s why we named you.

DAVE:  Well, she was up there.  That’s where we got to know her was, she was up there visiting up in Medicine Lodge.

ELAINE: How did naming me after your old girlfriend set with Mother?

DAVE:  Huh?

ELAINE: Did she approve of you naming me after your old girlfriend? 

DAVE:  She wasn’t my girlfriend.

CLEO:  He just knew her, and he thought she was such a special girl.

DAVE:  She used to come up to camp with the Stelzer girls and I’d cook her some dinner and stuff.

CLEO:  Probably she’d be nice for a girlfriend I bet.

DAVE:  Sonny named his girl, his first one after Elaine, too.

She must’ve been all right.

DAVE:  She was.

CLEO:  Very special.

1926 or so - Dave Hurts His Knee

ELAINE:  Do you remember how you hurt your knee?  You’ve always kind of had bad knee and you’d jump around on it once in a while.

DAVE:  Oh that’s right, I was only in my 20’s I guess and I was riding on a load of sage brush and Clyde Gerard was driving a team of mules and they run away and I rolled off, fell off the load of sage brush and hit my comp track (huh?) with my foot and then tipped over and got my knee out of joint.

Was it sore for a long time?

DAVE:  Yeah, I was on crutches for about a month.

Did it swell up?

DAVE:  Yeah, I’ll say.

1929 - 1933 Living on the Homestead During the Depression

ELAINE:  How did you do your washing in those days?

CLEO:  Oh, the hard way.  I had to carry water in and heat it and wash on the floor and then carry the water out and hang them outside, which I don’t mind hanging clothes out but we, in the summertime it was nice, but in the wintertime, we had to dry them inside.  We’d have to have lines all over the house, clothes all over the chairs and hanging everywhere.  Is it doing that way again?

How many years did we live at the homestead?

DAVE:  Oh was it, five years?  Five summers.

Did you have to stay there so much and do so much work?  What did you have to do?

DAVE:  We just had to live there and fence or do something, anything you want to do.  We fenced it and that took care of the stock.

CLEO:  That’s where that $1,000 went was to buy that fencing.

The fence and the bull.  You told me, tell me about the depression.

DAVE:  Oh, I don’t remember much about it.

Except we were always going to have another one.

DAVE:  Yeah.

CLEO:  Kind of got over that.

I remember though you said that you owed a little bit of money and how hard it was.

DAVE:  We got in debt and couldn’t pay it.  Had an awful time getting it paid back.  Took us 10 years to.

How far in debt did you get?

DAVE:  Oh, I don’t remember.  Nowadays it wouldn’t be much.  Then it seemed a lot, I don’t know, about 10, 12, $15,000.

How much did cows sell for?

DAVE:  We sold them, the heifers sold for $15 apiece and we sold.  I didn’t sell mine. But Jeffers, I helped him drive them over to Sugar City … some cows … got $5 a piece for them.  The steers was about $3 a hundred.

That would’ve been what year?

DAVE:  Oh, about 1931 or 1932 or something like that?

KAY:  About the time that Ben and Elaine were born?

CLEO:  Uh huh.  It was when they were little, and they didn’t have trucks to haul cows in.  Wherever they took them, they had to drive them.  They didn’t have trucks like they do nowadays.

I remember you telling me about the encyclopedias you have and you had charged them and how hard it was.

CLEO:  Oh yes, this guy was a fast talker.  Well that’s when I was teaching school.  And when I quit teaching school, I still owed on those, on those encyclopedias and it sure was hard to pay for them.  I had to pay so much a year, so much a month or something.  It was terribly hard.  It was so hard and during the Depression it was so hard for me to get shoes.  I just remember how I babied what shoes I had.  I had one pair of shoes that looked pretty good except the soles were worn off and I was just walking on the innersoles, and I kept them for best.  When I’d go to town, I would wear them, then I didn’t want to walk in them cause I was afraid my feet would come out of the shoes, and it was just so hard.  I had a really hard time with shoes.

DAVE:  She had a little insurance cashed in on that for half of it or something.  Had a cash in value.  It come in handy.

I remember you saying something about Roy and Freddy had $3 to live on through the winter to buy their flour or something like that.

CLEO:  What was it, $3 or $11 or something.  It wasn’t very much.

DAVE:  Cost us $11.50.  When we lived on the homestead, it cost us about $12, we got by with about $12 a month.

For groceries?

DAVE:  Yes.

CLEO:  I remember Daddy used to bring a little lard bucket of the cream for Mrs. Jones’s.  They had milk cows and we’d stir that in the bowl until we got butter and then I had it in a big glass bowl.  I remember I had it on the table and I remember you pulled it off right after I got it all churned and it just broke.  That glass just went in a million pieces.  And how bad we felt cause then we didn’t have any butter and we wouldn’t have any for maybe another week or ten days.  So, Daddy went back up and got some more.

ELAINE: Did Ben and I fight when we were little?

CLEO:  Yeah, quite a bit.  Well, Benny was kind of mean to you, kind of ornery and you’d fight back.  And I was cranky with you because you were always fighting. 

KAY:  You said you used to have to take Elaine with you when you went to the toilet.

CLEO:  Yeah, I did cause he was so mean to her.  If I’d have her asleep in the basket, then I’d have to take him with me.  I’d have to take him out to hang the clothes out and to go out and get a bucket of water or whatever I had to go out, yeah, even to go to the toilet I had to take Benny with me cause I wouldn’t dare leave him with Elaine cause he get to climb up and pull her out of the basket or tip the basket over.  And then if he was asleep it wouldn’t be so bad.  She’d get up.  I could never leave them alone, the two of them together.

1931 Ben was born - 1932 Elaine were born

ELAINE: You told me it was kind of a hard winter when Ben and I were born.  Ben was born and I was born.

CLEO:  Especially when you were born in 1931. (she was  actually born in 1932)

DAVE:  Yeah when you was born I was in there and I had to go home.  I went home and I got out and the road bridge was out between Roberts and Menan, you couldn’t go that way.  You had to go out to the desert out there, and I got about halfway, and the snow was about 18 inches deep I think.  And about halfway, the low band went out on my Model T in the middle of the night.  I had to take the light, the taillight off the Model T and bring it up so I could see. Then I had to take the reverse band and put the same band and put it on into Twoost ?? to drive on.  I got to, that night I got into ?? and they had that little store at …

CLEO:  The junction.

DAVE:  Sage Junction.

CLEO:  Little service station.

DAVE:  Little service station that they had.

What did you do?  Stay there.

DAVE:  No.  I think I come on home that night, got home in the morning.  But I got some gas there and stuff.

CLEO:  It was a little service station.  He said he parked the car out and didn’t move it.

DAVE:  The cellar in Staple Spring because you couldn’t drive, the snow was so deep.

Was that the winter the horses died?

DAVE:  No, I don’t think so.

CLEO:  No, that was years later because Ben went with you, rode over there with you.  No that was years later.  The year Benny was born, it wasn’t such a bad winter that year.  I went home.  Greta came and got me, Benny was about, oh about a month old she came and got me. 

ELAINE:  Did Freddie go with you both times when we were born?

CLEO:  Yeah, she went with us both times.  They were awful good in taking care of us.

DAVE:  Well, the reason I didn’t stop at Bruce’s, I had two or three sacks of potatoes in there and I didn’t want them to freeze. I went on home and put them in the cellar.

CLEO:  No telephones or anything.  There was no way to find out if he ever made it or not.  If you didn’t know, then you didn’t worry, I guess.  No way to find out.

ELAINE: We were healthy kids?

CLEO:  Yeah, I’ll say.  It’s a good thing you were.

ELAINE:  Ben used to crawl out from under the fence and you’d worry about the rattlesnakes.

CLEO:  Oh yeah, you couldn’t keep him anywhere.  Daddy built a good fence and he’d be under it and Daddy put big rocks so he dug under it.

You were telling us about Ben when he was a little boy.  What else?

CLEO:  Oh I said that you couldn’t keep him anywhere.  He’d lift those rocks up and just pack them off and then I was always afraid that he’d get out where there was a rattlesnake or something and I’d.  Every morning I’d go out and take the broom and beat all around in the grass to be sure there was no rattlesnakes before I’d put him out to play.  I guess I was worried more than I should’ve been about rattlesnakes.  The dogs though was barking one morning and we went out there and there was a big old rattlesnake all rolled up there.

ELAINE:  Do you remember when us kids were little?  Did we give you a bad time?

DAVE:  Not too much.

1931 – Fritz the dog

Tell me about Fritz.  The Fritz dog and when did you get it?

DAVE:  I got him up from Stelzer’s up at Medicine Lodge.

How old was Ben?

DAVE:  What?

Was Ben a baby when you got him?

CLEO:  Oh you remember Fritz don’t you?

Where did you get him?

CLEO:  You kids were quite old when we got him?

I thought you got him when Ben was one year old or something.

DAVE:  Oh no.

I don’t remember getting him.  I remember when he died.

DAVE:  Uh huh.  I don’t know just how old he’d been.

I thought he was 14 when he died and we were 14.  I thought you told me you got Fritz when Ben was a year old.

DAVE:  Benny couldn’t have been too old cause I got him up in Medicine Lodge when I was up there.  We already had him when Benny was born I think.

CLEO:  Did we?

I think Ben was a baby when you got Fritz cause you had Fritz from whenever I remembered, we had Fritz.

DAVE:  Ben couldn’t have been very old when we got him.  I brought him up there and then we had him several years.


Horses named Christopher, Old Chief, Goliath, and Denver

Kay:  I remember a horse we had named Christopher.

DAVE:  Yeah, that was a gray horse.

Where did you get it?

DAVE:  I got him from some fellas, traded for him from a guy named Roberts.

CLEO:  He was my horse.  I rode him all the time.

You got him right after you were first married?

CLEO:  Well, Daddy already had him, and I sure liked him.  He was lively and still he was gentle so that was my horse.  That was the one I always rode.

DAVE:  Boy I’ll say, Edel Floyd took him to go to work out there one time and was smoking a cigarette and spilled ashes and burned the blanket out from under the horse.

CLEO:  He didn’t do anything. 

DAVE:  Didn’t raise no heck.

CLEO:  He was just that gentle.

ELAINE:  I remember by the time Ben and I were about 5 and 6 and when we rode at Jones’s, we both used to ride him and he had such a sway back that he had a built-in saddle that we could sit in there.

CLEO:  Was that Christopher?

Uh huh.

CLEO:  You used to ride Old Chief, too.

ELAINE:  Right, that was later.  What other horses did you have?

DAVE:  Oh, I had a lot of horses.

Do you remember Goliath?

DAVE:  Yeah.

How big was he?

DAVE:  Oh, he was taller than a man, as tall as a man’s head.

How many hands?

DAVE:  I wouldn’t know.

KAY:  I remember even a big man had to stand on something to put his halter on.  He was really big.

CLEO:  Well, he had one named Old Denver that he was awful hard to ride.  Jack Gerard rode him one time and we were all riding down there and he says “I wish this horse would quit trotting and go to bucking.”

ELAINE:  Thought it’d be smoother, huh? 

1932 or so - The Brosek Story

ELAINE:  Was that, where was it, I remember you saying something about Brosek?

CLEO:  Oh yeah.  We lived over on the homestead and Daddy wasn’t home one day.  And I think he thought I was gone, too, because I think Daddy had taken the car.  There was nothing there but I’d stayed home and I had old Fritz with me, too.  He was in the house I think … and no, I didn’t have the dog with me.  You had the dog with you cause he always followed Daddy when Daddy went on a horse.  But I think I was home with you kids and this knock came on the door.  I had jumped up to see who was knocking on the door and I saw this man running for his horse.  He ran and jumped on his horse and just went away as fast as he could go.  Daddy always thought that he would’ve set our house on fire if I hadn’t been there because he was mad at Daddy and Daddy was mad at him.  But we’ve always thought that what he was going to do was to set our house on fire if we hadn’t been there.  But he heard me.  He heard the stairs, and boy did he get on his horse and take off.

Was that about the same time that he shot Charlie O’Toole?

DAVE:  No, that was later.  Several years later.

CLEO:  This was right after he had stolen our cows and Daddy, they had him in court and everything so he was really.  He was really trying to get some kind of revenge.

DAVE:  I’ll bet he would’ve set the house on fire if nobody had been there, that’s what I figured.

1933 or 1934 Ben and the Milk and the Chickens

I like the story you told me, too, about when you left Benny with Grandpa and he got in the milk.

CLEO:  Oh yeah.  I left him with Grandpa and Grandma.  She stepped outside to go outside to do something and told Grandpa to watch Benny.  She had her milk in these flat milk bins you know, like we used to have in those days, she had it in the bottom of her cupboard and then she’d let the cream rise and skim it off and make Dutch cheese and everything and make her own butter and everything.  She said Grandpa was reading the paper and she’d come in and Benny had the door open and he was going … he just had his hands splashing up and down in the milk like that, and he had it all over everything.  So she was telling me about that.

ELAINE:  Tell us about Ben and the chickens, the sitting hens.

CLEO:  Oh yeah, I had an old hen.  She was sitting kind of up in a box on a ledge.  I missed Benny and I went out there and there he had thrown that old chicken off of that heap.  He used to go with me to feed the chickens all the time.  He knew everything, all about it.  And he’d thrown this old hen off of her eggs and he was sitting on the eggs.  When I went in to find him, I could see him sitting on those eggs and he had eggs mashed all over.  I was so angry cause that meant so much to have little baby chickens, and so I jerked him.  I started after him and he could tell I was upset, and he said, “Cluck, cluck.” 

How old was he?

CLEO:  Oh he must’ve been about 2 or 2 ½, just big enough to climb up there and take that hen off of there.  He says “cluck, cluck.”

Around 1935 – 1937 Ben and the Caterpillar Tractor

I can remember that big Caterpillar tractor that Grandpa was so proud of.

DAVE:  Yeah, he got that later.

CLEO:  Benny was what, about, he was sitting on there about 6 or about 4.

ELAINE:  I remember that one.  I remember one day when they had a ditch meeting at Grandpa’s house.  Ben and I went out in the shop and got the oil can because it was so fun to squirt it, and we went around and squirted oil on everybody’s windshields and let it run down.  Do you remember us doing that?  Grandpa was pretty unhappy with us.  So, you farmed with horses then until (1812  Did you ever drive more than two head of horses on anything?

DAVE:  Oh yeah.  Four on a Fresno and we used to have four or five on a plow.

1935 Mitchell’s Shear Sheep

Mitchell’s used to shear sheep, do you remember that?

DAVE:  Well, Mr. Mitchell sheared sheep for years.  I guess he was, he brung a, there was several outfits shearing sheep and he brung them this fastest sheep shearers in the United States.

So he was really good at it?

CLEO:  I think he took several prizes.

DAVE:  Then after, after he, later on then Sandy and Bruce and them did some sheep shearing, too.  And Jack Gerard, Jack got the itch, so he had to quit.

1935 or 1936 - Getting Electricity

ELAINE:  Do you remember when we got electricity what ritual we went through?  Tell us about it Daddy.

DAVE:  Oh Cleo remembers more.

CLEO:  Well, we got electricity and they came and turned it on. I think it was about 10:00 in the morning or something when they got all done with it, and it was really early.  But Daddy wouldn’t let us turn it on until it got dark that night.  It had to get real dark before he would let us turn the lights on so we could get the full effect of the electricity.  That was wonderful to have electricity.

DAVE:  And the kids.

ELAINE:  Did you have appliances?

CLEO:  No, I had a stove, I had a stove and I didn’t think I’d ever have an electric stove.  But we got an electric stove when we got the electricity and they gave us one on a discount.

DAVE:  Yeah, and before we got the electricity, the kids would play hide and seek and just about run us wild, run all over the house.  After we got electricity, why they’d get books and draw pictures and stuff.

CLEO:  Yeah, it was a lot easier to live after we got electricity.  They were terrible.  They’d hide in the closet and under the beds and everywhere else, playing hide and seek and just make so much noise, we couldn’t stand it.

ELAINE:  I remember we all stood by a light switch.  We didn’t have too many cause we didn’t have too many rooms but when Daddy said the word, then we all turned our light on.  What did you used to do to keep meat and things before we got electricity.

CLEO:  We canned meat.  We canned it.

DAVE:  Cooked it in a pressure cooker and canned it and that was pretty good eating, too.

CLEO:  I bought Gravy Train, just like gravy train.

DAVE:  Would make pretty good meat.  And then we bought salt pork.

ELAINE:  But we used to kill our own pigs and you used to do something with the hams.  What did you do?

DAVE:  Oh, we’d salt them.  We’d salt the hams and bury them in a vat, we had oats down in the cellar.  Bury it in the cellar it kept good down there or I would put them in a barrel that had oats down in the cellar in a barrel and bury them in the barrel.

CLEO:  We put smoke on them, too.  You could buy liquid smoke and we’d put smoke all around them so they would do.

And then you’d parboilboil them before you’d eat them.

CLEO:  For boiling it, we’d slice the ham and then I’d have a big pan of water, cold water and put it in there and bring it to a boil and that would take that salt out of it so it wasn’t so salty.  We couldn’t eat it now at all because, well, we’re not supposed to eat salt with the meat.

DAVE:  Made good beans.

CLEO:  Uh huh.

Dave's Breakfast When Cleo Is Gone

KAY:  Do you remember what you used to fix for breakfast for us when Mother was gone?

CLEO:  Two eggs and I would never have two eggs before.

What else did you usually cook for us?  Do you remember you used to cook beefsteak?

DAVE:  No.

KAY:  Uh huh.  Beefsteak and milk gravy.

DAVE:  Yeah. 

ELAINE:  What did you used to do when you made pancakes?  Do you remember how you used to turn them over for us?

DAVE:  Oh flip them.  Take the pan and throw them up in the air and catch them and flip them.

ELAINE:  We thought that was fun. 

1937 Moving from the original Homestead

ELAINE:  After we lived at the homestead then, where did we move to when we moved away from the homestead?

DAVE:  Well, we lived there then we moved our homestead house over there on the hill.

CLEO:  Where Kay is, where Kay is.

DAVE:  Stayed in it a while when we built onto it.  We built a front room onto it.

CLEO:  Up where we lived, up where Kay lives.  Up where Kay lives.

ELAINE: I can remember living at Jones’s house.

CLEO:  Oh yeah, we did. 

DAVE:  We stayed at Jones’s house.

CLEO:  That’s right.  And then he started to grade school when Benny was 6 years old and you were 5 years old, we went to Jones’s (1937).  Jones’s moved to town that year.  Moved out of the Falls and we moved into their house.  Did you run their farm?  You did didn’t you?

DAVE:  I and somebody.

CLEO:  Yeah, Daddy run Jones’s farm and we lived in their house and oh, I was so thrilled to live in that house.  I thought that was a beautiful place to live and we had such a nice garden place.  I raised a beautiful garden, both years.  We lived there two years I think.

CLEO:  And then Gene got married, Gene Jones got married about that time and he wanted to come out and live on Jones’s farm, and I was almost mad at him that we had to move cause I was just so happy there.  Thought that was about the best place I’d ever lived was there.  They had trees and grass and a garden, and I really did enjoy it there.

1938 Charles and Mary Jernberg’s Golden Wedding Anniversary

ELAINE:  What do you remember about Grandma and Grandpa’s golden wedding?

DAVE:  You would remember more than I do.

What do you remember?

CLEO:  About their golden wedding?  I remember everybody was there but Mildred.  She wouldn’t come cause she didn’t have a new pair of shoes or something, and we were all so upset with her cause she didn’t come.  We took a lot of pictures.  You’ve all got pictures.  That was before Kay was born. 

They had a dance or something didn’t they?

CLEO:  Yeah, they had a dance that night, I remember and Grandma had kind of a red dress.  She’d bought her a new red dress.  Seemed like somebody danced with Grandma and she danced that night on her golden wedding.  I don’t know who it was that danced with her. 

Didn’t she usually dance?

CLEO:  No, she thought she was too old to dance.  I don’t think they ever do much dancing did they?

DAVE:  No.

CLEO:  Back east, you know, back in Chicago.

ELAINE:  I remember you all went together and got her a pretty gold chenille bedspread that had balls on it.

CLEO:  It was pretty.

1939 Elaine Cuts Her Lip Riding a Bicycle

ELAINE:  Mother, do you remember when I cut my lip?

CLEO:  Uh-huh.  On your new bicycle.  Wasn’t it?

ELAINE:  No, it was one of Mitchell’s that didn’t have any handlebar grips.  They were teaching me to ride.

CLEO:  Oh, I thought it was your bicycle.


CLEO:  I had to take you into the doctor it was so bad.

ELAINE:  You were washing I remember.

CLEO:  You’ve still got the scar.

ELAINE:  Uh-huh.  I remember I was, you were washing and I ran in and the blood was squirting out in a big long string and how upset you were and Dr. Kline sewed me up and I can still remember being able to see the needle coming at my lip underneath the cloth he had over my face.  Had a big blister.

CLEO:  I think he did a pretty good job though didn’t he?  That isn’t too bad a scar.

ELAINE:  It could’ve been worse.

CLEO:  And it was after that, you got your own bicycle.

1939 Charles Jernberg Dies from Whooping Cough

ELAINE:  Grandpa Jernberg, had he had good health all his life?

DAVE:  Oh, he had a little trouble with his back I remember he used, one day he took Doan’s kidney pills.

CLEO:  Everybody took them.

He got something from us kids didn’t he?

DAVE:  Yeah, when we were kids and we got whooping cough and he didn’t come home.  He stayed somewhere else and he went to work so he wouldn’t miss any time until we was over with.  And then after we got out to Mud Lake and you kids got the whooping cough, he caught it from you, and that’s what killed him.

Kind of had a bad heart or something.

CLEO:  Hemorrhage, hemorrhage in his heart.

DAVE:  Broke all the vessels in, broke some blood vessels in his lungs.

CLEO:  He coughed so hard.

DAVE:  He coughed so hard.

That’s when Kay was a baby or just before Kay was born?

DAVE:  He died the same time.

CLEO:  Who knows.

DAVE:  He died the same time Kay was born.

CLEO:  That’s right.  He died the same time Kay was born.  I’m sure glad we didn’t have whooping cough after she was born.  Wouldn’t that have been terrible cause I was scared to death of it.

ELAINE:  How sick were Ben and I? 

CLEO:  Pretty sick.  You broke a blood vessel on your eye.  Your eye was all red and Joe Hartwell came over there and about scared me to death, he says “that will never go away.”  And I says “it’s got to go away, she can’t have an eye like that all through her life” and it cleared up in just a little while.  But I’d forgotten that that was just before Kay was born.

I think you were in Idaho Falls when they were preparing for Grandpa’s funeral.

CLEO:  He died the day that I came out of the hospital with her.

1939 Kay was Born

ELAINE:  I remember the first time that I saw Kay she was laying in, on Mrs. Jones’s bed. 

CLEO:  When you were born, Freddy and Grandma or Freddy went up to the store to call a doctor.  But it was such cold, cold weather and he had to come with a team on a cutter and by the time he got there, you were already born.  And Mrs. Carpenter was there, she was sort of a midwife.  She had already taken care of you all but cutting the cord.  And so here he came and he cut the cord and lifted you up and give you a little spank, and he says, “This is what’s been causing all your trouble.”  And then the kids at Lorenzo all wanted to come in and see you, and I wouldn’t let them because there was whooping cough going around about that time.  And I wouldn’t let them come in to see you.  But were all, they just couldn’t hardly understand how you came before the doctor did.  They never did understand how Elaine got there before the doctor got there because they had all been taught that the doctor brought the babies, you know.  They couldn’t understand that at all.

ELAINE:  Was this the same doctor that you used to tell me about.

CLEO:  Yes, it was the same doctor when I had typhoid fever, staying with my Aunt Goldie, her husband had typhoid fever, too, and he came in to check us and he put the thermometer in my Uncle’s mouth and he said “oh oh Ed, did I give you the rectal one or the oral one?”

After it was already in his mouth, huh?

CLEO:  He was quite a joker.