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 7 of the series.
1982 - Bessie Hutchison's Memories of the Jernbergs
ELAINE: We’re talking to Bessie Hutchison Ellis, a lifetime friend of our family’s and we’re going to ask Bessie and Mother some questions. When do you first remember Bessie?
CLEO: Well, when I remember Bessie first, I probably met her before this but I remember that there was a convention, a teacher’s convention in Idaho Falls and I didn’t have a car so I asked them if I could go to the convention with them and they said they’d be happy to have me go with them, so I went with them and we stayed there, I don’t know, I guess, I don’t know where we stayed at night. I know we stayed two days, two or three days because the convention lasted that long. I don’t remember where we stayed though. When we got back, I wanted to pay them for part of the gas or pay them so I didn’t feel like I was a parasite, and they wouldn’t take any pay and that was the first time I’d ever met up with anybody that wouldn’t let you share their expenses. They said, “well, we were just glad to have you with us.”
BESSIE: Yeah, we enjoyed her so much, you couldn’t pay for enjoyment.
CLEO: After that, why, we’ve just always been friends.
You said you went with them. Who was there besides Bessie.
CLEO: Bessie and Lois I went with. She was teaching Bessie’s sister. And she was teaching school.
BESSIE: Della didn’t go with us?
CLEO: I don’t remember.
Where did you teach? You taught at Level. Where did Bessie?
CLEO: Bessie was teaching over at, not Spring Lake, what’s that was called.
BESSIE: I was teaching at Lakeview.
CLEO: That was Lakeview Bessie.
BESSIE: Lakeview was a school that was between Hamer and Terreton, right along there where Jackets house is now. And it was moved later to the Terreton school.
CLEO: And Lois (Hutchison) was teaching at Terreton. She taught at Terreton.
ELAINE: And where did Della teach?
BESSIE: She was teaching at Terreton then, too.
CLEO: Oh I think she was. Della may have been with us.
BESSIE: I believe Della was with us.
CLEO: I’d met Della before, you see, she’s the one that was, that got me to come out and apply for a school. She and her folks.
BESSIE: You taught first at Level.
CLEO: Uh huh.
BESSIE: I taught first. I taught two years over at Spring Lake. That’s over at Landerview, well then I taught four years at Lakeview which was down close to the ranch, down there by Jackets. Then I taught three years at Level and a year at Haemer before I was married. So, then I came back in 48 and taught a year at Territon, remember? I was principal.
CLEO: Oh yes, I remember.
BESSIE: I was principal of the school then there.
CLEO: Then when you and Benny were just little, I taught with Bessie. She was the teacher and I was the helper. You’d call it team teaching now, but we didn’t know anything about team teaching at that time.
BESSIE: But we did team up. We did team up.
That was at Level.
BESSIE: Uh huh, that was at Level.
And when you were doing that, didn’t we live in that little house that used to be George’s and your mother.
CLEO: No, we lived in. Yeah, maybe it was.
Elaine ?: Cause I can remember running away and coming down to the school because your mother was taking care of us and she couldn’t come after me.
CLEO: Oh, did you come clear to the school?
CLEO: Well, one other time, you went, we were living in the log building, do you remember when we lived in the log building?
CLEO: Well, one other time, we were living there. I helped you a couple of years, didn’t I?
BESSIE: Oh yeah. Oh, and I’d go home with them and they’d have beefsteak and one weekend, one or two weekends the snow was so bad, I couldn’t go back to the ranch and so I stayed with Dave and Cleo or was that when we had the teachers there.
CLEO: Uh huh.
BESSIE: Anyway, I would go up there and spend and I did my washing with Cleo and we got it all ready to hang out and Benny came and Roy got Benny to come and put, take handsful of dirt and throw in on our clean washing and oh wow.
CLEO: We’ll never forgive Roy for that. It wasn’t Benny’s fault.
Did Benny get spanked?
CLEO: No. He said Roy told him, didn’t he?
BESSIE: Yeah, he said Roy told him. I can remember one time though that Benny didn’t like it. He kept running off and Cleo tied something about his waist and chained him to the clothesline and that’s all he could go was just the length of the clothesline.
CLEO: Oh I remember that time that, when we lived in the log building, that Daddy and I just got scared to death, we went clear from the log building and out across that big ditch and it was just right full of water and then over Jones’s bridge and you went down to Jones’s and we looked out and you were just going across Jones’s bridge.
BESSIE: Oh wow. I boarded at Jones’s the first year I taught at Level.
CLEO: Oh did you? I boarded there, too.
BESSIE: I boarded there at, Wibby and what was his name?
BESSIE: Frank and Wibby, yeah.
ELAINE: I stayed with them one year when I went to school, too.
(We don’t think this next sentence is translated correctly off from the tapes) The Christian in Idaho Falls. So I know how well you were fed.
BESSIE: Oh, wasn’t that great.
CLEO: Marvelous cook.
No one makes better food than Wibby. Unless it might have been Bessie Mitchell.
BESSIE: Oh yeah, Bessie even made those little fried, what do you call.
BESSIE: That were so delicious, my she was.
CLEO: And cream puffs.
BESSIE: Yes, but nothing could beat your potato sausage.
CLEO: Oh, yeah we had potato sausage. Bessie had potato sausage this winter, you know case in this potato sausage. And so Bessie came over one day when we took sausage and had potato sausage.
We used to have potato sausage. Did you ever eat with them years ago when they had potato sausage?
Now you lived in Mud Lake. When did you come to Mud Lake?
BESSIE: I came to Mud Lake in 1919.
And did you always live down towards.
BESSIE: Dad homesteaded. We lived in Oklahoma and us kids, all of us got malaria and the fever and the doctor said that Dad had better take us to the northwest. He was manager of Armor Packing Company in Tulsa, no in Wiscobia at that time. So we sold our home and the only good job he could get was in Butte, Montana as a traveling salesman over western Montana and Idaho, and he moved us to Dillon. Then he traveled a circuit from Butte down to Idaho Falls, Pocatello and back up and stayed with us about every other weekend at Dillon. He got so tired of that so at one time when he passed through Mud Lake on his way to Idaho Falls, he found out about the Owsley canals being built and homesteading and so he homesteaded, and we lived one year up above the store at Hamer, up above Turman’s store.
CLEO: You mean in the upstairs?
BESSIE: In the upstairs above Turman’s store for a few months anyway, I can’t remember. And then we went to Dubois and rented a house and went to school in Dubois before we had the little shack and moved on the homestead and came out here. I finished up the 8th grade, no I finished up the 7th grade that year and then went to 8th grade to Ralph Leverman. You remember, you weren’t out there, you don’t know Ralph Leverman.
CLEO: Yes, I did. I met him I think.
BESSIE: And I graduated from the 8th grade there at, what did we call that, the Camas Creek School. It was the school that was later moved to Hamer. It was later moved behind the brick building at Hamer. Then later I taught there. I graduated from the 8th grade in that school and then they moved it to Hamer and made a grade school out of it and I taught 5th grade.
Before it was moved to Hamer then, was it up in the Camas area there?
BESSIE: No, it was right on Camas Creek there by, who was that that lived right there by the old.
BESSIE: No, Bybee’s
DAVE: Scodey’s? (We don’t think this name is written correctly. We need to ask Elaine)
BESSIE: Scodey’s. Yeah Scodey’s lived there by the school house. Then later it was moved to Hamer and I taught in it.
DAVE: Him and Bishop used to play for the dance. What was the Bishop’s name?
CLEO: Oh, what was his name?
BESSIE: Kruetzer played for the dances, remember? They’d come down and play for the dances, too. Then after I started, no it wasn’t after I started teaching. It was before I started to high school. We went the first year to high school to Mr. Fate. He was allowed to teach us a year of high school there in the old white school house. I stayed out a year and Lois graduated from the 8th grade and then we all went to one year of high school there at that school house and the Lundholm boys started again. They’d been out of school for a long while. Lo Woodard was there, Ford Sanders and a bunch of those went to high school for one year before we moved to Idaho Falls.
CLEO: Weren’t those the good old days?
BESSIE: And we had literary. We had a literary club and people would come and discuss good books and then the Kercher’s and some of them would come and we’d dance afterwards. Square dancing. That was the first time I ever danced. My mother was against dancing and she didn’t realize that we had learned to dance at school. So when Kercher’s started playing one of the Lester Bowerly it was, came over and asked me to dance and I stood up and I looked at Mom to see what she would do, you know, and finally she nodded at me. She said “I was so embarrassed cause there you were standing, everybody looking at you, and you wouldn’t go and dance with him until I nodded that you could.”
ELAINE: When you and Mother did your team teaching at Level, was it just a one-room school?
CLEO: Bessie did the teaching and I did most of the correcting or I helped them. If they’d hold up their hand, they needed help, I’d go sit with them and help them while she was working with another class.
BESSIE: That one year, we had 32, 34.
CLEO: I think so.
BESSIE: 34 children. We had 6 in the first grade.
CLEO: All eight grades.
BESSIE: Oh, we had 10 in the first grade and 6 in the 8th grade and we had all 8 grades.
Did you get paid well?
CLEO: Not too well.
BESSIE: Not too well.
CLEO: I don’t know how much you were getting for being the main teacher, but I think I got $60 for helping. And then they gave us. We couldn’t get the money. It was during the depression. What were those things they gave us?
BESSIE: They gave us.
CLEO: It wasn’t a check.
BESSIE: It wasn’t a check. It was a warrant.
CLEO: A warrant. That’s what it was.
BESSIE: A counter warrant and they’d stamp on the end of it, presented but not payable for lack of funds. And when I took a few of them. One of them I took to Idaho Falls and C.W. Neeam said that if I’d trade out, I’d have 85. That’s what I was paid, $85 cause I had an $85 warrant.
DAVE: You were lucky.
BESSIE: Oh yes, if anybody cashed it for you, they deducted 15%, but C.W. Neeam said that if I’d trade out $65 of that warrant in their store that they would give me a $20 bill cash, and I needed that $20 bill so badly because I owed $2.50 to the grocery store out there at Mud Lake that I couldn’t get cash to pay. So.
CLEO: I remember we took our warrants into a grocery store in Idaho Falls and got groceries with it, but when they took the deduction off, I think it was only about $40 or something that we got groceries for, the rest of it there.
ELAINE: Mom, Kay wants to know who paid the teacher’s wages – was it the parents or the people who lived there?
BESSIE: There was a woman over in Rigby that used to cash them for a 15% discount and then she’d hold them until they were good and then she’d get the full amount with interest and then she had her 15% discount besides.
CLEO: But we had to have groceries and that’s all we had was that warrant, so that’s what we did. We’d go get groceries and we could pay for it, all the discount they want.
BESSIE: That year, Dave drove some steers or some cattle into Hamer to ship and then found out that the shipping expenses would be more than he’d get for them when he got. Where was that David that you were going to ship those steer?
DAVE: I shipped one cow to, one cow, in the ?? ship, I shipped one cow and I sold it to a canner for 90 cents.
BESSIE: It wouldn’t hardly pay her freight.
DAVE: $11.00. It brought $11.00 but it cost me that much to ship it.
CLEO: That was in the depression days.
BESSIE: That was really depression days. My that was bad.
DAVE: 55 cents a hundred is what I got off her. It was 55 cents, she weight 1100, so I got about $6.00 or something and it cost that much to freight.
BESSIE: To freight her. I know it was terrific.
I remember you said Frank and Wibby had money. Why?
CLEO: Oh, well, he was carrying the mail. He had a government job.
DAVE: That was a long time before the depression hit.
CLEO: So he got paid every month for carrying the mail, so he had money and they had groceries. I remember Freddy and Roy used to stop there after they’d feed their cows every day, they’d eat dinner with Mrs. Jones because she had groceries and they had good food.
BESSIE: My Dad would say, sister, he always called me sister. “Sister, would you fix the potatoes and eggs tonight, I’m tired of the way Mom’s been fixing.” And one night, we’d have potato soup and scrambled eggs and the next night, we’d have fried potatoes and boiled eggs. Oh wow!
CLEO: You don’t know what the depression was. We can’t tell you. It was terrible.
BESSIE: And yet I wouldn’t trade it. Oh, I wouldn’t trade those years.
CLEO: I’m glad we went through it.
BESSIE: I am, too. And we had, when we did have fun, we really enjoyed it.
DAVE: How much did we pay for that sack of flour that time?
DAVE: For a sack of flour.
CLEO: For a 48 pound sack of flour. It was Big K flour, too, it was good flour. 35¢.
DAVE: And they gave the farmers 25¢ a hundred for wheat.
BESSIE: We saved some eggs that we didn’t use, and we sent them in with the mailman, with Mr. Jones into Hamer and he brought us back 9¢ for the dozen of eggs I remember.
CLEO: I remember when eggs were 9¢ a dozen. And I remember that cloth. That’s when Benny was little and I made all of his shirts and everything, and cloth was 9¢ a yard. I could buy shirting for 9¢ a yard to make him shirts. And I remember Grandma saying, “Well it was too bad we haven’t got a lot of money cause we could buy quite a bit of cloth and you could sew all of the time.” Cause I just loved to sew. I made everything.
Did the flour have a cloth sack on it that you used?
CLEO: Yeah, it had a cloth sack and I probably made you panties out of the sack.
BESSIE: What kind of flour was it?
CLEO: K, Big K.
BESSIE: I can just see B K right across Elaine’s behind.
Nowadays it would cost more than that for the sack that the flour was in.
BESSIE: Remember, salt came in sacks, too. And we’d save those and then take and sew them and use them for dishrags to wash your dishes in.
CLEO: And some people put four of them together and made a nice little luncheon cloth or something out of them. We just utilized everything. Nothing was wasted. I’m so glad they had things in cloth at that time, because.
BESSIE: We used it.
CLEO: Yeah, we did. That’s what I made my curtains out of and like I said, I made you lots of panties out of flour sacks.
DAVE: Price of cows, they had too many cows, the government had them, say how many cows they wanted to kill and they’d come out and shoot them for them and give them a cent and a half. Give them a cent and a half a pound for them.
BESSIE: They’d shoot them.
CLEO: Uh huh.
DAVE: They’d shoot them and some of the people after they shot them they asked them, what would they do if we eat them and they says, we shoot them and we’re going. Do what you want so somebody would take the meat and eat it.
BESSIE: Didn’t they dump potatoes, too, and then people would go and gather them up. People that wanted them. It seems to me that I remember they did that.
I remember going over to Uncle Lewis and Burton and he’d have potatoes in his cellar that were sprayed with blue paint or something. Of course, that was probably a few years later.
CLEO: They did that so they couldn’t use them for food.
BESSIE: Oh did they?
CLEO: Uh huh.
BESSIE: I thought maybe it was so they couldn’t sell them.
CLEO: Well, or sell them.
DAVE: And the inspector would come out and inspect them and then they would put, spray blue paint, put blue stuff all over the spuds so you couldn’t sell them.
CLEO: And then pay them a subsidy or whatever you called it.
BESSIE: I remember feeding our cattle some potatoes. We’d cut them up and feed potatoes to the cows.
Do you remember how long then did you live in Mud Lake? How long before you moved away?
BESSIE: I was there all the time until I was married in 37.
Mother, I remember going up and visiting Bessie when you lived at Carmen Creek?
CLEO: Oh yeah.
Is that when it was? That was nice.
BESSIE: Yes, and I have a picture of you. Cutest thing. I always adored Elaine, I thought she was just a perfect gal.
CLEO: Do you remember that big tree when we all got out and put our arms around the big tree? Daddy and you and Ben and I took your picture. And you had that much space. You couldn’t quite reach around it. Is that big tree still there?
BESSIE: Yep. That’s a big yellow pine.
How big was it supposed to be?
BESSIE: It was supposed to be about a thousand years old then. I don’t know how old it is now.
CLEO: But it’s still alive huh?
BESSIE: Still alive, yeah. Still there.
Do you remember when we came home, we dropped Kay off.
CLEO: Yeah, we stopped, all stopped to rest a minute or something and Kay was there and we said.
DAVE: In Gilmore. Just this side of Gilmore.
CLEO: Yeah, this side of Gilmore and I said, “Well, let’s get in the car and go” and she started up the road. I said come on Kay and she just kept on going. And I said “Well let’s get in the car and start the car and see what she does”. So, we all got in the car and Dave started the car and she just, she was way up there then, she heard the car start and she just waved at us and kept on going.
BESSIE: Was she going back to them?
CLEO: Yeah, she was just leaving and going back with them. Wouldn’t that have been something if somebody had come along and picked her up before we could of got her. She was way up there. I don’t know how far she’d go.
BESSIE: Yeah, this picture I have of you back there at the old ranch house, David is holding my Dick and he was real little and Benny. Were you holding Elaine?
CLEO: Uh huh.
You were holding Kay.
BESSIE: Holding Kay yes, you were holding Kay.
ELAINE: I remember I was about 7, 8, about 8 years old.
BESSIE: Oh yeah. Do you have one of those pictures?
CLEO: Uh huh. I’ve got one somewhere. I don’t take as good a care of my pictures as Bessie does. She’s got hers all in albums, all in sequence and everything.
BESSIE: All the dates and everything.
CLEO: I wish I would do that, but I don’t.
BESSIE: I got my camera today, too.
CLEO: Maybe I’ve got some on to.
BESSIE: I had to turn around and go back to get it, but I, I remembered it before it was too late.
I think I should have that on tape, Bessie, tell me again.
BESSIE: Oh, I just said I got to know Elaine so much better than Kay because Kay wasn’t born until after I was married and moved away. But I was around Elaine so much when she was little and I used to look at her and think, oh, if I could only get married and have a daughter that would be just exactly like Elaine.
CLEO: About 90, she, we went by Fred Staley’s and they were building this new house and she said, “oh if I could only be 10 years younger, maybe we could have a new house” and things like that. And I often wondered if she just wanted to be 10 years younger, why didn’t she want to be 40 or 50 years younger, but she just thought if she could just be 10 years younger, and I can understand that now.
BESSIE: I can, too. Many times I say, if I were only 50 again.
DAVE: Ten years makes quite the difference.
BESSIE: Oh my, does it make a difference especially after you’re up 65.
BESSIE: Oh, I’m 75.
1982- Patty Jernberg’s Memories of Grandpa and Grandma
ELAINE: OK. We’re going to talk to Patty Jernberg now and find out some of the things she remembers when she was growing up. Patty, what do you remember about living in Mud Lake?
PATTY: I remember living in a little tiny house. It was really small and I remember every day I’d go over to Grandma and Grandpa’s. That just never failed. Every day I’d go over there and I’d sit with Grandpa and we’d eat graham crackers and we’d dip them in milk until they’d get all mushy and then we’d eat them. Every day, I was over there.
CLEO: Do you remember your little lamb Pepper?
PATTY: That Grandpa ran over.
CLEO: Did Grandpa run over it?
CLEO: Did it kill him?
PATTY: Yeah. I think he was, he backed over him in the pickup.
CLEO: Oh did he? I didn’t know that. I remember he used to come over and get in, you know I have flowers planted in that planter and he’d jump up there and get in my flowers.
PATTY: Maybe that’s what it was because I remember he was getting real mad at us in the garden, and I bet it was me and my lamb.
ELAINE: You and your Pepper.
PATTY: Didn’t we go …? Wasn’t there ….? I remember riding in the truck back and I thought it was Elaine. There was two of us that got lambs. I was thinking maybe it was me and Mike. Cause me and Colleen?
CLEO: I don’t remember.
PATTY: I think it was.
CLEO: It might have been.
ELAINE: And then you moved to …. How old were you when you moved away?
PATTY: Six. And I remember Sheila and George were going to move into our house. And I went in there and I had this spoon and I was digging in the flower bed. I walked off and she grabbed me and whipped me around and said, that’s my spoon. And I just looked at her and I about started crying, I was so hurt. She was so worried about one little spoon.
CLEO: I remember after they moved up to Bozeman and we went up to see her. She’d just started to school and she had a great big thing about her neck; and it had her name and her address and the bus she was supposed to get on and all that stuff and what time she was supposed to get on it. Grandpa said to her, “Well don’t you know your name?” And she said, “Well you’d naturally think I had amnesia.”
PATTY: How old was I then?
CLEO: You were just starting to school.
KAY: And I remember the story that Betty Atkins told about her. They’d set her out. The kids were all playing. They had gone into Thompson’s to have a cup of coffee or something and they’d sent Patty and the other kids out on the step. She was just really tiny, and she talked really early. This lady came along and was talking baby talk to her, and she said Patty looked up at her really disgusted and said, “How come you’re talking baby talk to me.”
KAY: Mother, why don’t you tell a story about the graham crackers and how Peggy would.
CLEO: Oh yeah, Peggy had told another one. She would go over to Grandma’s and ask for graham crackers. She was getting awful tired of that. And so one day, she came over and knocked on the door and I said, “Come in Patty.” And she says, “Oh I don’t dare cause I really didn’t ask my Mama if I could come over but anyhow you got graham crackers.”
PATTY: I remember that. I still like them. Every day.
ELAINE: How long did you live in Bozeman?
PATTY: About, I think about 7 years, yeah. I went 8th grade in Billings and finished high school through there.
ELAINE: And where are you now?
PATTY: Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona.
ELAINE: What are you taking?
PATTY: Aerospace Technology. Sounds like I’m a brain, but I’m not. I just want to fly. Ever since I was little, I’ve always wanted to fly. I would look up and see those little airplanes and I would think someday I’ll be in it - and here I am.
ELAINE: So now you do some flying, right?
PATTY: Uh huh. I’m working on my private license right now.
ELAINE: What do you remember? Do you remember any funny stories about your Dad or Mother?
PATTY: I remember … you know that canal out there where we’d go? Mom would say, “All right you guys, you can run away. But if you go over that canal, you’re in big trouble.” And Kathy was the only one brave enough to do any of this I guess, and I was real little. I don’t remember, but I remember Mary Lou telling me about it. She said Kathy went over the bridge and that was it. Mom went out there and she took a big yard stick - that’s what she used to hit us with - and said, “We were all looking out the window” and we could see that yard stick going up and down, up and down, up and down, and we’d just, oh that was terrible. We never ran away. The only time I ran away I was, I was telling Mom I was going to run away and she goes, “Here let me pack your bags for you” and she’s packing my bags and she said, “And here let me make you a sandwich so you don’t get hungry on the way.” And boy that did it. I unpacked my bags and I stayed home. That made me so mad.
ELAINE: She knew what to do, didn’t she?
PATTY: Yeah, and I remember Dad never ever hit me ever until one day me and Kliffy were playing with the cat and we were pulling it apart. It was going rrreow, rrreow and we just about pulled it apart, and he whacked me a good one. I remember he put me over his knees and everything and Kliffy was there and I was so embarrassed and boy I was good around him. Big hands. But he never hit me before.
ELAINE: First sin?
PATTY: Probably not.
KAY: Daddy only spanked me once, too. He told me, that’s the only time he ever spanked me, he used to hit me every day.
PATTY: My Mom, too.
KAY: But he told me that it was really cold outside and not to go out and jerk on the pump when I went out to get the bucket of water. So, I went out there and gave it a big jerk and broke it in half. He had to go clear to Idaho Falls to get a new handle for it, and we didn’t have any water and he really clobbered me. That was the only time I ever got spanked.
ELAINE: I never did get spanked either, but I remember one time how mad he got, when he was sitting in the chair reading the newspaper. I was jumping rope and I hit him on the head with the jump rope once and he said, “Don’t do it again.” And about that time, I hit him a second time. He didn’t hit me or anything, but I think if Mother hadn’t have been there, he might have done. And one other time, he and I were washing the car, and I threw this big bucket of water and it just kind of just skimmed the top of the car.
1982 - Kim Bare’s Memories of Grandma and Grandpa
ELAINE: Now this is Kim and she is going to tell us about some of the things she remembers about Grandpa and Grandma.
KIM: I remember we used to like to go with Grandpa out to feed cows because he let us drive. Dad wouldn’t, but Grandpa would let us drive the truck and that’s how we learned how to drive.
KAY: Did you get to help Grandpa survey?
KAY: What did you do?
KIM: I don’t remember a lot about it, but I do remember having to stand still and hold the stick and move where Grandpa told me to go, but that’s about all I remember. I can remember going over to stay with Grandma and Grandpa and Grandma was trying to figure out what to feed me for lunch. I didn’t like a lot of foods then and Grandma kept naming all these different things. But I didn’t like any of them and finally she said, “Well what do you want, Corn Flakes huh?” and that’s what I ended up eating for lunch.
KAY: It was the easiest thing to fix then wasn’t it?
CLEO: It was the only thing she liked.
KAY: We’ve had a lot of talk about rabbit drives and things this winter? Do you remember about some of the rabbit drives years ago?
1920s Rabbit Drives
DAVE: Yeah, we used to, I and Carl Lindquist used to do most of the work on putting rabbit drives way back, I don’t know. That was long before I was married, probably in the 20’s somewhere we had rabbit drives, back in them days.
So, the rabbits really were there first.
CLEO: Oh yeah, I remember rabbit drives right before Kristy was born and Kristy will be 31 this year. She is 30 years old.
DAVE: That was the second big deal.
Yeah, I used to go to those.
DAVE: The first one was just in the 20’s.
KAY: They used to use strychnine? Did they used to use strychnine then?
DAVE: Yeah, they brought strychnine out and we mixed up a whole hay wagonload of hay and put strychnine on it and took it and spread it out through the sagebrush.
Didn’t one of the little girls out there get in the strychnine and get killed?
DAVE: Not that I know of.
I thought one of the little Johnson girls. I know she did.
DAVE: She might have done. I didn’t know about it.
I can remember people saying that when they put that strychnine out, they always lost their dogs and their cats.
DAVE: Oh, I don’t know. A dog could eat the rabbits for quite a while but if he ate it long enough it would get him.
KAY: Enough accumulation huh?
DAVE: It took quite a while though.
1968 or so Rabbit drives
KAY: I remember Mother saying that she hasn’t eaten a donut since we used to go to the rabbit drives.
CLEO: No, I haven’t. That used to be Daddy and mine and Ed and Della’s (Cope). That was our responsibility to see that they had donuts and coffee. So we’d bring those big donuts out in great big paper boxes with wax paper over them. Instead of letting them have us hand them a donut with a piece of wax paper which we planned on, those little kids with rabbit hair and blood all over their hands would come in there and just dive into those donuts and take a whole bunch and run with them. That was terrible.
KAY: All the donuts had rabbit fur stuck to them. Yeah, I remember seeing them do that.
CLEO: So, I said I haven’t eaten a donut since. I don’t think I ever will.