20 Jan Ranch history Podcast: Episode 7
Jim and Virginia talk about their kids
My Grandparents, Jim and Virginia Wood, sat down with me to talk about their kids’ activities growing up, how they helped on the ranch and some of their accomplishments.
Right now I have both grandpa Jim Wood and my grandma Virginia Wood with me today. The question that I wanted to kind of ask them now was, as their kids were growing up, what kind of activities were they involved in and what type of work were they doing on the ranch or off the ranch in their childhood years?
Well, those kids were two or three years apart when they were born. As they were growing up, I’m sure they had a good childhood. As they got older, let’s say up to 10 years old. Well they all went to Northside Grade School. None of them went to mom and I’s old, one-room school on Gold Creek. When each one of them got about 10 years old, we would give them a heifer calf. That heifer calf would stay with the herd and that was their start in the in the cattle business. They expanded that of course. All of them had cattle and the same way with horses as quick as they got old enough to ride a horse, we gave them a horse.
I was working down at the sale yard in Sandpoint, on sale day. They sold everything from sheep, to hogs, to everything else and horses. There was two different occasions that I can remember bringing a horse home for the kids. The first one was a Shetland pony. What was that horse’s name?
Yeah, Patchy. He was kind of a spotted horse. That was probably the first horse the kids had and they all rode him. Then another horse that we’d brought home was Danny’s horse. Dan was expecting a horse better than Patch. I had backed up to the loading chute to unload this horse and he nickered. That was the horse that Dan had.
Do you remember what that horse’s name was?
It was a mare. What was her name?
I can’t remember her name either.
Anyway, he had that horse all her life and she’s buried out on Section 31.
No, not her. Tick. She had a colt. Tick, that was the horse that Dan had all through 4-H.
I remember Tick because I remember when my parents started doing rides out on 31, Tick lived out there.
He ended up dying out there.
Yeah, and he just kind of hung out there on his own, and he had run of the place.
Yeah, he was retired.
I don’t remember, what was Steve’s first horse was?
Well, I don’t know. Him and I both claimed…
He had a horse before that.
But anyway, during those kids’ growing up days, we took lots of overnight rides. We led 4-H clubs and we rode the mountains on the Cabinet side. Boundary Peak, Lunch Peak, I can’t remember some of them other peaks over there, but we’ve been on top of all of them with horses. They would be, most of them were two day rides. Parents, lots of parents have been along. There’d be quite a crew.
I remember a picture, I don’t know who has it, but it’s floating around somewhere of one of those rides. I think you guys are up on a peak or a ridge or something and there’s quite a motley crew of people double on horses, foals running along behind their mothers on the ride. It was quite a caravan.
Yep, it was good days. We’ve had good days. We’ve had a good life.
I can remember one trail ride that yellow jackets were really bad. I was kind of pulling up the rear and another young neighbor girl, I was kind of helping her out. Those yellow jackets were horrendous with those horses, but we made it safe and sound.
You said that your kids did Horse in 4-H, I’m assuming they also did Beef in 4-H?
Yes, they did. Yeah. They had champion steers, occasionally. They had blue ribbon champion horses and show horses, the games… They had horses and cattle that they were proud of.
Can you tell me a little bit about Bri’s horse experiences? He got into endurance rides, competitive trail rides. Where did that start and which horses did he do that with?
Well, we got into the competitive trail ride. A fellow here in Sandpoint-
Yeah, Sam Warmington was his name.
Who was working at Schweitzer at the time.
He got us-
His wife, actually.
He got us mixed up with this competitive trail ride business and it was Idaho, Montana and Washington. What was Bri’s horse name?
Yeah. Smokey was about 10 years older. I said Smokey, I mean Bri was about 10 years old or so. He wanted to ride the junior division. Smokey was running loose out on Section 31 with some other horses. Bri went out and caught old Smokey, went on that ride and won the grand champion and the horse hadn’t been…
Conditioned or nothing else. That was the history. There was a number of years that he was involved in that competitive trail ride and it was the same thing every time. He never conditioned that horse. He just went out and caught him and went on it and always won grand champion. Smokey was a different horse. Smokey’s buried over there behind Bri’s house. After that on the cattle business, all of the kids had cattle. They all showed steers. They had ownership of cattle, that has stuck with them for life. Both through the horse business and the cattle business.
As they were growing up, how much did they help you on the ranch?
Well, hell, had’nt been for them boys, I wouldn’t have got nothing done. Them boys, I overworked them. Let me put it that way. I hate to admit it. They weren’t any of the worst for it, I can tell you that. They worked their ass off. Whatever needed to be done. Just like 1968 in that big snow year. All them buildings had to be shoveled off. They’re the ones that shoveled most of them while I was out on the CAT plowing snow for the county. Opening up county roads and they were shoveling snow.
Well, you might don’t necessarily say the boys. Janice also, and we also helped. Haying…
Right, yeah. It was a whole family process.
That’s right. When it comes to haying, the whole family was involved. Involved in some way. Mom drove truck, hauled bales. Janie done some raking.
She also ran the swather a little.
But we worked together as a family. We got closer as a family. I see these families that are shattered all over the country now.
Well, I think that working together, it says something that all of your family, like you said, you could make a phone call and they’re within 15 minutes of you or less. It says something about that working together. How they all turned out.
Yep. Well, there’s so many families that 99% of the families are scattered out so bad. How often can one of their kids come in and spend a few hours, and have a cup of coffee, and talk about world conditions, and things on the ranch and whatever? Means a lot to everybody.
Yeah. Well can you think of anything else you want to talk about from when your kids were growing up?
Well, the only thing I can-
Did you have sewing classes?
Well, that’s what I was going to say. We didn’t touch much on your mom.
Okay. My mom is Janice. She’s your youngest and she’s younger by six years?
Six and a half years.
I was a sewing leader for many years before Janice was even old enough to start sewing. But of course when she was old enough, she had a project in sewing every year. Besides several other kinds of projects, horse, and beef, and I don’t remember what else. But-
She had dogs. She had that-
Oh that’s’ right. The dogs, yes.
Tell me about her dogs.
Well, I can’t even remember his name.
Was it skipper?
Something, no. What was that dog’s name? The first dog she had was that one that he was a really, really good dog that got killed the road.
Yeah. I was thinking that’s the only dog she had.
No. Then she had the dog that Leonard brought down here with him, that he got killed out here on the highway, but he was getting pretty old.
They were blue heelers.
She took those in, in 4-H?
Yes, and won many prizes with them. Top dog prizes. Oh you’ll have to ask your mom.
She’ll remember. Janice was honored in high school, by being chosen the Sandpoint Junior Miss at that time. However, now it’s called women. Oh, what is it?
Distinguished Young Women.
Yeah, Distinguished Young Women. But that was quite an honor.
Leonard and your mom had quite a few competitions trying to best each other. Leonard was still living up at the house. When she won the Junior Miss, she called him and said, “well, I’ve done something that I don’t think you can best me at.” Anyhow, I remember the first summer we were down here, they had a program in 4-H. Gosh, now I can’t tell you what the name of it was. Anyhow, she had about a dozen projects and I remember sitting there at the table, me trying to help her fill out all these record books because she was competing in this contest. She got them all done, but she still didn’t win. Hiking and backpacking, and… Oh, I don’t remember what all there was.
The spring she graduated from high school, she had won a scholarship in junior miss. She was more or less thinking about going to college. Jill Johnson, who was a year older than her, was going to college in Moscow. I don’t remember what time of year, but anyhow, I took Janice down and we met Jill. Jill had a room and her roommate was sacked out in bed with a hangover. I thought to myself, I don’t know if I want my daughter down here. Anyhow, we came home and soon after that Howard Fox from the bank called, “Janice, would you be interested in coming to work at the bank?” I said, ” Janie, it’s up to you with what you want to do.” Well, and then I think she and your dad were already engaged or thinking about, at least. “I think I’ll go to work at the bank.” That’s what she did and I don’t think she regrets not going to college.
I don’t think she’s ever regretted. I’ve never heard a word of it.
Well, when your dad graduated from high school or graduate from college in Ellensburg, she’d come home, “yep, I got my HPT.”
Yeah PHD. PHT.
Putting Husband Through. I thought that was pretty cute.