Book outline on Jack W. Case

I have had a couple email exchanges with a couple folks asking me about my search for my Daddy and if I ever found anything out.  The answer is no, he left this earth without my finding him.  I am still hoping to find where and when he died.  I had started writing an outline about him, what I knew and set it to the side, until now.  I guess it is time to go back to this story and update and fill in so that my kids and grandkids will know something about him.

I have mentioned several times the web page that a dear friend, Dean Isaacson, has put up with pictures of Daddy .  Click on the PHOTO’S link to see the many pictures.

Also the Autry Museum in S. Calif has put together a collection memorabilia on Daddy they have found.

If you are into the Old Cowboys and Rodeos, etc. this may be of interest to you.

Jackie Juntti / WGEN   idzrus@earthlink.net

Jack Case archive: Rex, the Wonder Horse

I am one of the daughters of Jack W. Case and since I have the most information there is about Daddy I guess it is up to me to write it out. Partly to leave a record of his life and also to correct a lot of erroneous information that has been floating around for years.

Daddy didn’t live the most honorable or ethical life but regardless of that point, he did do a lot of things, and that should be recorded in the family genealogy, at least I think so. I will not try to whitewash the things he did or didn’t do, I will try to just tell the story as I know it after many, many years of searching for him after he and Mom divorced in 1956 in Seattle. I had just turned 16 when the divorce was final. Daddy was with our family the longest of any others.

The last time I saw him was in Sept. of 1962, in Federal Way, WA at my home. My husband, 3 children and myself were getting ready to go to Seattle to visit the Seattle Worlds Fair again. I saw this old black car, packed full, go past the house and I made a comment to my husband that I thought that was my Dad. He had never met him but doubted that it was as that car stopped at a house past ours and how would he know how to find me anyway as I had married since last seeing him as well as moving to Alaska, Upper Michigan and then back to the Puget Sound area. As we were exiting the house to leave that car was now parked in front of our house. The driver got out and walked towards me. It WAS my Daddy.

Please understand that this was not a run and hug meeting as I still had some reservations due to things that had happened before and following my folks divorce. I did invite him in after introducing him to my husband and children. We didn’t go to the Fair that day, we stayed home and visited. He gave me part of a page out of a newspaper that had the obituary of his mother, Mary Jane Lyda-Case-Vreeland. That was how I learned Gramma Case had died.

He stayed the night and when he left the next morning it was the last time I ever saw him.
I did get a very long, rambling, letter, 22 pages on that old thin paper used for airmail, from him which was postmarked Seattle WA July 24, 1967. That was the last I heard from him. I began trying to find him shortly after that. I have been told that my search is a story worth telling in and of itself. I can attest to it being the longest and most twisted adventure of my life.

Just a few of the things that I remember about Daddy during the 16 years he was with our family: he was tall, 6 ft 4in.; he had poor teeth; he was soft spoken; almost shy in many ways; I have no recollection of ever hearing my folks argue or fight; he didn’t drink or smoke; he did swear a lot and most anything he said had several cuss words in it; he was ambidextrous in all things he did; he didn’t have a grey hair in his head the last time I saw him; he never lost his Southern way of saying some words; he always seemed to walk a solitary path in life, never really getting close to anyone other than Rex; he had no use for ‘revenooers’ (government agents).

THE BEGINNING:

Daddy was born on September 3, 1902 in Edneyville, Henderson County, N.C. His given name at birth was Willard Luna Case. He adopted the name, Jack, after leaving home as a teenager. He was the first born of Joseph Fielding Case and Mary Jane Lyda Case. Mary Jane Lyda Case was a descendent of Isaac Monroe Lyda II. Joseph Case was a descendent of Marcus Patton Case.

Joseph and Mary Jane had two daughters in addition to Daddy. Addie Mae Case, born December 18, 1905 and Lydia (Liddie) Case, born April 18, 1908. Both of them were born in Edneyville, NC.

Stories I have heard tell that Liddie was a rather wild child, liked to party a lot. When she was 19 she had gone out and didn’t come home. She was found the following day, October 19, 1927, hanged in a hayloft in a barn. I have an old news clipping of the arrest of the boys who were charged with her murder. It is difficult to read as it is so old. From what I can gather from the news clipping it seems that the two boys involved were arrested and then let go for some reason. Later more new evidence was brought forth and they were indicted (1928). Their last names were Souther and Drake

One of Daddy’s cousins (Ralph Case) told me that after Lydia’s death, Grampa Joe and Gramma Mary Jane left N.C. and went out to Southern Idaho where other Lyda family members lived. Grampa Joe had told Ralph’s father (Grampa Joe’s brother) that if he stayed around Edneyville he was afraid he would take revenge on the men and he would be in trouble. Ralph also related that just prior to WWII Grampa Joe brought the family back to Edneyville to live. They had not been back long before Grampa Joe met one of the men on the street. Joe went to his brothers house and told him about meeting the man and that in order to avoid trouble he was leaving for Idaho the next morning. Grampa Joe left and the rest of the family soon followed and never came back to Edneyville to live.

This same cousin told me that Daddy had left the home of his parents when he was around 11 or 12, stayed with Ralph’s parents for a bit and then he took off one day on his bicycle and was gone for some time before anyone heard from him. The next time he came home as a young man and told the family he was traveling with traveling shows. This cousin said he always wanted to be a cowboy like Daddy. I have found that Daddy kept in touch with Ralph and his sister Sue over the years either by letter or when in the area would visit. Making contact with Ralph when I did in 1982 helped to fill in many empty spots that I haven’t found elsewhere. It was a blessing to finally meet Ralph and his wife, Mary Ellen, in person when I went to NC in August, 2005. We had talked on the phone many times and written letters back and forth as well as sharing family pictures.

In my many pictures I have noticed that I have no pictures of Daddy as a youngster. The earliest picture of him is one that Ralph sent to me. It was a postcard picturing Daddy holding a cow down with the caption being, “Jack Case Bulldogging – California – Frank’s Rodeo (Doubleday)”
Daddy had sent it to Ralph’s sister Sue. On the face of the card just below his picture Daddy wrote, “From Jack to Sue.”

DADDY in the years before I came along:

Like one of the Country songs says – Daddy was a ‘looker’ – a tall, handsome man and he never had any problem with having female companionship. I have heard numerous stories about his handsome looks and the females who passed though his life. I have little in the way of documentation of some of those relationships so unless I have proof of his being married to the many women I shall refer to them as girlfriends.

To the best of my knowledge and searching, Daddy was legally married to:

(1) Edith Corrine Pittenger in 1921 at Boise Idaho. They had two children, Sarah Katherine Case and Kenneth Knowlton Case.

(2) Helen Mary Beck in 1939 somewhere in Missouri. They had four children. Jacquelyn Mary Case (that is me), Bonnie Lee Case (died at birth), Carol Jane Case, and Gordon Meredith Case.

(3) Jacqueline Alice Price in Nov. 1956, Alhambra, CA. They had two children. Wanda Gay Case and Jack Webster Case. These two children were later adopted by their step-father and took the name of Ford.

I am not sure when Daddy took to using the name “JACK” but it goes back as far as I have been able to find any written material on him. He was and is still called Willard by many in the Lyda family. I do know that he really disliked the name “Luna”. I know that because I remember finding out that was his middle name when I was around ten or so. Being a rather ‘ornery’ child I thought it was great fun when I would be mad at him to get a distance away and then start hollering, “Luna, Luna, Luna”. Then I would take off running because I knew I was going to get a whoopin’ when he caught me. I said I was ten, not smart. (Smile)

All the written material I have been able to gather over these many years call him by Jack W. Case, no mention of Luna or even Willard. Letters I received from him years ago are all signed J.W. Case or just J.C., your father.

Daddy was just a few days shy of 18 years old when he married Corrine. I have not been able to find any information as to when he began to ride in the rodeo’s but I believe it was probably right around the time they married. I have heard that he left that family the night that their son, Kenneth, was born. The daughter, Katherine, told me at one time that she had gone to a rodeo in the Boise/Nampa area when she was a young girl (no age given) and afterwards had been told that the guy who won was her Dad. She had no idea and didn’t remember seeing him prior to that time.

Looking at date of when Kenneth was born I can see that the marriage to Corrine didn’t last very long. It could be that when Daddy left, it appears he was about 22 years of age then, he headed out to the rodeo circuit and on to Hollywood where he was a stuntman and a double for many of the old cowboy stars. I have pictures of him on a Tom Mix set.

Not sure of exactly when he got Rex. I do remember hearing that he got Rex as a colt and Daddy trained him. Rex was a beautiful Arabian Stallion and he was extremely well trained. There was a bond between Daddy and Rex that was something to watch in action. I never did learn how Daddy cued Rex the numbers to tell the time or other tricks they performed. It had to be something other than touching as Daddy wouldn’t touch Rex in many of the tricks. Daddy was a gifted man with animals. I saw him break and train several horses when we were living in Southern Calif. I used to watch and try to learn as I was more than fascinated by how he did it.

I have pictures of him taken at rodeos which I am guessing were probably taken in the mid 1930’s. He won World Round Championship Cowboy at some point but I haven’t been able to find any written records thru the official records. I do know he won a silver mounted saddle and tack for Rex, his horse, and a beautiful silver belt buckle. I spent many hours saddle soaping that saddle and the tack with it even though I could never lift it to put on Rex but I kept it looking mighty fine. I usually rode bareback unless Daddy would put the saddle on Rex for me. I could handle the bridle part but there were times I didn’t even use it as Rex was so well trained that I could ride him “Indian style”. I sure loved that horse.

There have been enough mentions of a “Betty’ and one named “Doris” for me to believe that there was a serious relationship between Daddy and them. However, I have also come across enough ‘talk’ that tells me they were never married to him. I have never found any children from those two relationships either.

I am not sure which one came first. Based on the copy of the June 1937 Life Magazine article about Daddy I am thinking it may have been Doris as she is the woman in the Life Magazine story.

The story with many pictures is about Daddy. “Famous Rodeo Contestant throws and ties his horse on ranch near Reno to trim its hoofs. A swank Nevada dude ranch is Reno’s Nevada Stock Farm which covers 300 acres and boasts the greatest number of Palomino (Spanish origin) horses in the world. Here you see Cowboy Jack Case, a touring rodeo contestant who specializes in broncho-busting and horse roping, lasso one on the ranch’s horses prior to trimming its hoofs – an operation which is performed every six weeks. Since Nevada Stock Farm is the $40-a-week headquarters for many a Reno divorce seeker necessary stunts like this one furnish exciting entertainment for many an unhappy lady from New York and Washington and Chicago”
There is much more but that gives you a taste of the article.

Betty seems to come up afterwards according to the letter I have from Ralph Case in which he mentions Betty. Although it is possible they were around at the same time too.

Betty also appears on the letterhead that was only recently discovered thru an auction of old West/Cowboy memorabilia out of Dallas TX. I was fortunate enough to get the Auction house to email me a copy of that letterhead which I had never seen before.

In my years of searching for Daddy I have been more than amazed at the many things he did. What makes it even more amazing to me is the years that he did those things, considering how travel was so much more difficult than it is today. Also to keep in mind is the economy during those years – not very good at all.

From his early twenties until he was around 40 or 41, he traveled across this country, was a World All Round Champion Cowboy, was in Hollywood in the movies and worked with or knew many of the old cowboy stars. He also was connected somehow with the famous 101 Ranch out of Oklahoma. Thanks to my sister-in-law (brother Gordon’s wife, Randi) we now know that he was at the 101 Ranch and that articles that bear Daddy’s signature or likeness are sought after memorabilia. A man in Cody Wyoming sent me pictures of a gun he bought that has Daddy’s name engraved on it. He also sent me pictures of the box the gun is in. It has pictures of Daddy and Doris.

Sometime in the mid 1930’s Daddy started up his Jack Case’s Bar 20 Ranch show starring Rex The Wonder Horse. I have a lot of pictures, papers, flyers, that my Mother kept in a scrap book. I also have several old albums of personal family type pictures of those days.

I am not exactly sure of the year that Daddy was traveling in the Mid West and heard my mother, Helen Beck and her younger sister, Beverly, singing on the radio. They had a weekly radio show that was heard on KWNO and WLS.

I have an undated news clipping from Mom’s scrapbook that has a picture of Mom and her sister, Beverly, playing their guitars. I am inclined to think it was from 1937 based on a couple other clippings in there. It says:

“Sign Contract”

The Beck sisters, Helen and Beverly, well-known local radio entertainers and daughters of Mr. and Mrs. William H. Beck, 861 East Broadway, have signed a contract to appear during the summer with the Bar 20 Ranch shows, operated by Jack Case.

The contract was the result of a broadcast over KWNO by the girls last week which Mr. Case heard near Janesville, Minn. He came to Winona the following day and offered the sisters a contract. The shows will appear in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois during the summer and the Winonans will join them at Bloomberg Prairie Tuesday night.

Other communities in this area this area where the shows will play include Lanesboro, Rushford, Lewiston, Kenyon, Preston, St. Charles and Stewartville.

Mr. Case was manager of the 101 Ranch shows during its European tours in 1924 and 1926, has had 11 years of experience in the movies with First National, Warner Brothers and Fox pictures, doubling in thrill events for many big stars, and has been with many other well known attractions.”

Another undated clipping right above it:

Theatre goers will have the opportunity on Wednesday, June 22, of witnessing the remarkable feats of the world’s greatest trained horse when Jack Case appears at the Whitehall Theatre for an evening performance on the stage. This famous horse, Rex and the Bar 20 Ranch Troupe of cowboys and cow girls have performed before over one million people in 1937, in foreign countries as well as all over the United States. Appearing now with the Bar 20 Ranch Stage shows are the Beck Sisters, well known over stations KWNO and WLS. Appearing also are Don Carter, yodeling cowboy and Shorty Deines, banjo chiropractor. Rex can do 187 major tricks, one of which is to tell the correct reading of any individual’s watch in the audience. This is a show for young and old. Good old cowboy and western music galore. This stage show will be in addition to an excellent movie.

That summer contract in 1937 eventually turned into another ‘contract’ in 1939. Somewhere in Missouri Jack W. Case and Helen Beck got married. I arrived in 1940. Mom obviously went back to her folks to give birth to me as I was born in the same house, room, and bed that my mother was born in. From pictures I have seen it appears that after a period of time to recuperate, Mom and I rejoined the Bar 20 Ranch Show.

The Bar 20 Ranch road show traveled throughout the South and the Mid-West. I have many pictures of those days and places. I was fortunate enough to be able to retrace a stop in Centerville, TN (home of Minnie Pearl) finding the exact spot my Mom had taken a picture of me in March of 1941. What was fun to see was how little that place had changed in all those many years. It was easy to pick out the buildings from 1941 to the same buildings in May 2005.

Being ‘The Bosses Kid’ I was given a lot of attention by all those who worked for my folks. Even Rex seemed to know that I was ‘special’ I’ve been told stories of when the show would stop and Rex would be staked out that I would often be found asleep on the ground and Rex would be standing ‘guard’ over me. This was when I was just crawling around and beginning to walk so I was pretty young. I always had a special connection to Rex and always had this feeling of being SAFE when he was around. Later in life when Daddy was teaching me some trick riding, if I slipped or lost my grip and fell, Rex would immediately stop. I could also ride him without any bridle as he reacted to knee signals completely. I remember riding him thru the alfalfa fields and getting off and laying in the alfalfa while he would munch next to me. No ropes or bridle – just that ‘connection’ we had. I could just grab his mane and mount him and off we would go again. Daddy had really trained Rex far beyond what usually passes for training an animal.

The life on the road was drawing to an end. The economy, the War, and the talkies (movies with sound) were making Stage shows go out of style. I have heard many stories from family that many times the Show would leave town owing money. Must have been a hard thing to live that way, hoping to not get caught for bad debts or bills that one owed. At any rate, the Bar 20 Ranch Stage Show closed down at some point around 1942 or ‘43. I have no real memories of the Show itself and I do have many vivid memories of other things when I was 3 years old. I base my dates on that.

My first memories were being at my Moms parents place in Winona, MN and I remember a lot of snow so must have been winter. My folks found a place to rent out of town. I remember that house and it had to be fairly close to Gramma Becks place because I could call her on the wall crank phone. I remember pushing a chair over to the wall so I could reach the big old wall phone. For some reason I seem to remember that was a place called Happy Valley but not real sure. We didn’t live there very long.

The next place I remember is Albertville, MN. North of Minneapolis. My folks rented a large farm there. I have vivid memories of a lot of things that happened there not from pictures but actual memories with clear mental pictures. I guess my folks were trying to make a living by farming but that just didn’t work out.

Somehow we ended up back in Winona again and while I am not clear on the facts I will put them down as much as I can. My folks marriage must have been having major problems and my Grampa Beck figured out a way to make sure it broke up. It was cold and cars didn’t start too well. I guess Daddy was telling Grampa about the problem he was having getting his car started and Grampa told him that folks would take a bunch of old dry corncobs and burn them under the car to heat up the pan. Well, when Daddy did that Grampa used that as a reason to have Daddy committed to the State Hospital, claiming he was crazy as no person would do such a thing. I am sure there is much more to this story but I was too young to have personal memory of it and am just pulling out what I can remember hearing over the years from others in the family. I do have memory of going to visit Daddy in that hospital. He was sitting in a chair in a big room with lots of windows and he was very quiet while we visited. He was not dressed in street clothes but more like pajamas and a robe.

It was during this time that I first met Kenneth, Daddy’s son from his first marriage. Somehow or other Mom had made contact with Kenneth and he came to help Mom get Daddy out of that hospital. Kenneth was in the Marines – he was a MARINE!!!!! I had an instant crush on him the first time I saw him and was thrilled beyond words to discover I had an older brother. Little did I know at that time that Kenny had captured a German spy on Dec. 7, 1941 on the Island of Oahu while the Japanese were bombing. I only learned that many years later from a news clipping Kenny sent to me in the late 1980’s.

Daddy was released from the hospital and that began our trek away from Winona. We moved to a town in Wisconsin where Daddy and Mom began to wire houses. The R.E.A. was in and that provided a way for the folks to make a living. Daddy went from being an entertainer to being an electrician with a wife and kid to support in hard times. That must have been a hard transition for him as he had spent the majority of his life till then in a cowboy lifestyle and entertainer.

We lived in Menominee, WI for awhile. Mom had a baby girl that didn’t live while we lived there. That was in August of 1944.

Kenneth and his wife, Aggie, came to visit us while we lived there. I have many pictures that Mom took of that visit.

That place has a lot of ‘interesting’ memories for me too. Not sure at what point Mom and I ended up back in Winona but we did. I have no memory of Daddy being there with us. Then Mom left and I stayed with Gramma Beck. From some old letters I have found in Moms stuff she went to be with Daddy out in Oregon. She came to Gramma’s for sure in Aug of 1945 because that is when she gave birth to another girl, my sister Carol. Again, I have no memory of Daddy being there during this time. Due to Gramma’s deteriorating health we stayed there until Gramma died in May 1946. After Gramma died and was finally buried (another story) we left and then really began our trek towards the West.

Our first real stop was in Mitchell, South Dakota. Home of the Corn Palace. Since Rex was with us we always had to find a place to rent that had room for him too. We weren’t in Mitchell very long as I recall.

The next stop was in Mt. Vernon, South Dakota. My folks bought a piece of property there and built a house. I remember we were there when it was time to harvest potatoes as I went out into the fields with them to dig potatoes at some big potato farm for pay. I also went to school for a time in Mt. Vernon. I remember the teacher, Mrs. Bromwell and her sister lived down the street and they had tulips that grew on each side of their sidewalk. There was a basement to the house my folks were building and we lived in that until they got the top part done. They sold the house when it was done and we moved on further West.

Some things I remember about this part of life was Daddy driving along a road next to cornfields. He would take one of his rifles or maybe it was a shotgun (I was too young to know the difference) and walk out into the cornfield taking Queenie, his Black Lab, with him. Mom, my sister and I would wait in the car. Pretty soon here he would come out with a couple pheasants and an armful of corn. That would be dinner. I also remember when we would stop at a gas station. That was in the time the gas station pumped your gas and checked things out for you. It also was when the gas was in those big glass containers on top of the pumps. Daddy would stand outside and talk with the attendant. At times I would stand out there with him. One of his favorite things to do was to be talking away with the guy and then at some point he would tell the guy that something was really puzzling him and the guy would almost always ask him what it was. Then, straight faced as could be, Daddy would ask the guy if he knew which weighed more, a pound of feathers or a pound of lead. Of course he would put more emphasis on ‘lead’ as he would ask the question. Sure enough the guy would answer that it was lead – OF COURSE. Daddy would thank him for resolving that problem for him then pay for the gas and we would drive off. I think that was my introduction to how easy it was to fool folks and how easily they believed so much that was pure hype… and what a dry sense of humor Daddy had.

I remember driving thru the Badlands and stopping at Mt. Rushmore where Daddy talked a lot with the folks working on it. Another memory was stopping in Yellowstone at Old Faithful and watching Daddy walk out to the edge to the water.. Remember this was back in early 1947 and the roads back then were much different than they are today. I remember that big bag of water that was full and attached to the front of the car in case of overheating. Keep in mind that our car was filled with ‘stuff’ and we were pulling a homemade trailer that held Rex on one side and the rest of our things on the other side. We had a black Lab named Queenie. She rode in the back seat with me and some time before we reached Boise, ID, Queenie began to give birth to a bunch of puppies. I thought that was a whole lot of fun.

We finally arrived in Boise at Daddy’s parents place. They lived out of town on the Second Bench right close to the New York Canal. We stayed there a couple of nights, until my sister and I woke up covered with bites. Uh oh – bed bugs!!!!. My mom had a fit and told Daddy to find us another place to stay as we were not staying there another night. We moved into a small rental house a ways back towards town from Grampa Case’s place.

The house they rented was a few blocks (country blocks) closer to town from Grandpa Case’s place. It was small and I remember the kitchen being more like a closed in sun porch with a wood cook stove. A fond memory is coming in that back door and smelling bread baking. That smell in the air can make any place seem like a castle.

I am not sure what Daddy was doing for work while we lived there. I do know that Mom found work cleaning houses for others and she took me with her. Carol (my younger sister) stayed with some friends. That was where I learned how to clean houses as Mom worked for many different kinds of folks with a variety of houses. One of my favorite places was for the several homes above the golf course at Overland Road and Orchard St. where a community of Basque folks lived in really big and fancy houses on the bluff. I got to play with their kids instead of having to do work. It was the place where I first put on a pair of skis to go down the slope into the golf course – on my behind – as I fell on my behind about two feet after beginning the trip down. That was also my last time on skis.

At some point my folks had an obvious disagreement over something (have no idea what as I have no recollection of them ever fighting) and Daddy took Carol and went to his folks place. I don’t remember him doing this so he may have picked her up from the babysitter. The part I remember was the police coming to the rental house, picking up Mom and me and going to the road near Grandpa Cases place. All I can remember is seeing the windows boarded up and gun barrels sticking out thru small openings and a lot of talking and yelling going on back and forth.

Obviously some kind of settlement must have been made as we were all back together and at some point soon after we left Boise and moved North to Orofino, ID where Daddy was back to doing electrical work again. We lived in a small trailer some of the time, moving from one farm to another as the work of bringing electricity to the farms around Orofino was accomplished. It was a wonderful time for a kid like me. I made lots of new friends with the farm kids and would walk from one farm to another to play with the kids I got to know. The world was my playground. I suppose some would think that was a hard way to grow up but I thought I was the lucky one by traveling as we did and meeting so many new people all the time. Another fun part was living in places that had no electricity and learning how folks lived without it. So many grand experiences that most kids never got.

Our next stopping place was Lewiston ID where the folks rented a house in an area that had lots of cherry orchards which I remember going to with my folks to pick cherries to make some money.

It was during our stay in Lewiston that we drove across the state line to Clarkston, WA to a Tent meeting a traveling Evangelist was having. Mom was very accomplished in singing and playing all the string instruments and after the service we stayed to talk with the Evangelist and his wife, Brother Mac and Flossie McAlmond. We went back every night and they came to visit and for dinner to the house the folks had rented. Mom wrote several songs during that short time and showed them to Brother Mac. He told her they were right out of scripture and did she know that. Mom wasn’t aware of that fact and Brother Mac showed her where they were in the Bible. Mom and Flossie sang those songs every night during the meetings. This is where I first saw real healings take place, not those phoney TV healings. It is also where I accepted Christ as my Saviour – 1947.

Not sure of the month but Mom, Carol and I got on a train and went to Northern Calif where we stayed with Mom’s sister on Mare Island Naval Base. This was Naval housing and quite crowded. At some point Daddy arrived with our belongings and Rex. We didn’t stay much longer after he arrived. We then moved down to Los Angeles to stay with Brother Mac and Flossie at their home above Beverly and Glendale Blvds. The only reason I remember the street names is because Mom’s sister was named Beverly and her husband was Glenn and they joked about that all the time.

From Brother Mac’s place we next moved to a rental house on Los Alomitas Blvd in Artesia, CA, near Long Beach CA. The area was called Hawaiian Gardens. That was a short time as Daddy and Mom found a small house a short ways away and they bought it. 21905 So. Seine St., Artesia CA. In the years we lived there Daddy and Mom did a lot of work on that place and enlarged it a lot, added a white picket fence with honeysuckle – a rose arbor at the front gate and a big garage. Also a stall for Rex in the back yard and rabbit pens for the Angora rabbits they raised. A big garden with some fruit trees was the rest of the back yard.

Can’t remember the exact year but Daddy took a construction job on Guam. That was a big deal to me as he had to fly on a big plane and that was something I really remember. Mom took a job at McDonald Aircraft in Long Beach. While Daddy was in Guam he sent me a lot of shells he found on the beaches. That must be where I came by my collecting shells over my life.

While in Guam working Daddy stepped on a nail and the contractor sent him back to the States for medical care. His foot developed gangrene and the doctors said they needed to amputate his foot as it was already spreading up his leg. Mom called Brother Mac in Los Angeles to come down to pray for Daddy for the foot to be healed. Brother Mac came down and laid hands on Daddy and prayed for healing. I remember them saying that you could almost see the poison recede after that. When Daddy went back to see the doctors they couldn’t believe it. His foot was totally healed with no after affects from the gangrene. That is one more of the real healings I have personally witnessed in my life.

During this time Mom had decided she was going to prepare herself to become a Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff. She had to go to night school at Excelsior High School at night and I went with her to many of her classes. She quit the aircraft job and went to work for a Dr. Pliney Fisk Haskell in Artesia during this time. Dr. Haskell was a Seventh Day Adventist and he also owned a lot of horses. When he found out Daddy could train horses he hired Daddy to train some of his. Daddy kept each horse at our place as he worked with them so I got to be right there and learn how training a young horse is a lot of work but the results were worth it.

During this same time was when Daddy found time to teach me some trick riding skills on Rex. Since Rex was such an awesome horse he made my learning those tricks easy. Whenever I would fall off Rex would stop and wait for me to get back on and redo the trick. The silver mounted saddle, bridle, and tack that Daddy had won when he got the World Round Championship Cowboy title was heavy and I never was able to lift it so I learned to ride bareback and how to direct Rex by my knee movements. Now that I look back I am not sure if I learned how to do that or that Rex just was that smart. He was such an awesome horse!!!

In early 1953 Daddy, Mom, Carol and new brother, Gordy, who was born January 1952, went North to Washington State. I didn’t want to go as I wanted to graduate from 8th grade with the kids I had been in school with for 4 years (our longest stay in one place at that time). Arrangements were made for me to stay with my best friends family until school was out. The folks came back to Calif about a month or so before school was out. They rented a house in Cypress and I had to move back with them and be driven to school each day. The day after graduation we all left California and moved to Bremerton WA.

When we got to Bremerton we stayed in a trailer on Brother Mac and Flossie’s home property. They had moved back up to Bremerton as well. Daddy and Mom bought a piece of property near the hospital and built a house to sell. After a short stay at Brother Macs place they rented a two story house at 1531 Naval Ave., Bremerton, and I was enrolled at Coontz Jr. High when school began.

They finished the house and sold it and we moved at the end of the first quarter of school to what is now Federal Way, WA – It was in the Kent mail zone at that time though.

It was during this time that Daddy decided that he could no longer provide the care that Rex was beginning to need as Rex was getting up in years for a horse. He found a family that had pasture and they agreed to let Rex live out his days there. That was a hard thing for Daddy as he really loved Rex and I know that he just couldn’t face having to see him die and bury him.

In December 1953 we made a trip to Idaho to visit Daddy’s parents. When we got back to Washington a decision was made to move to Boise again. In January, 1954, in the middle of a huge snow storm we packed the trailer and car, rented out the house and began the trip to Boise.
That was a long trip and one filled with car problems and many broken tire chains as we drove thru the Blue Mountains. When we arrived in Boise the folks rented a small house in Sargent City, old military housing gone public, on the First Bench above Boise. 69 Pershing Drive. I was enrolled at South Jr. High, my third school for the year. I don’t remember what either of my folks did for work during this period of time as I was not very involved in home. I skipped school for the first time in my life. The school system was clamping down on such and when I got caught they made an example of me. I was sent to 6 weeks in a reform school. When I was released I was placed in a foster home, had to get enrolled into North Jr. High and also get a part time job. Pretty hard row to hoe at 14 years old. When school was out I was allowed to move back home. I got another job as a roller skating car hop at a close by drive in restaurant and saved up enough money to buy a bus ticket back to Seattle. I called the neighbors to my folks house in Washington and made arrangements to go live with them and babysit their kids. I told Mom I was leaving, she took me to the Greyhound Station in Boise and I was on my way back to Washington State.

A couple months went by and Daddy and Mom moved back to Washington and back into the house which was vacant. I moved back with them but Daddy and I got into a fight that was the catalyst for them getting divorced. There was a lot more involved in that decision but that fight was the straw.

Mom filed for divorce and other than in court I didn’t see Daddy again until that day in 1962 that he showed up at my house in Federal Way.

Other than the long letter I received from him in 1967 I never saw or heard from him again. In off and on spurts I have spent the years since trying to find him. I never have found Daddy but in my search for him I have found many more family members, some I was aware of as a youngster, some not until I began the direct contacts with members of the Lyda family (Grandma Mary Jane Lyda-Case branch of the family tree).

My adventure in this effort to find Daddy has been a long one – filled with many wonderful experiences and some that have brought tears. I think Daddy just made a decision to not be found – to die in a pasture of his choosing as he had done with Rex. I would have liked to tell him I cared and that I finally understood why he did as he did.

I only hope Daddy made his peace with God before he left his earthly body. I do know that it was Daddy’s moving us around that brought us to Clarkston WA in 1947 where I was blessed to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour.

Jackie Case Juntti
May 19, 2009

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