This was John Dewey Shafer's baby brother, James but he went by the name Jim. I was written by him.
Life Story of James Lester Shafer
My folks lived on a farm about halfway between Colfax and Pullman Washington, when I was born September 3, 1911.
The things that stand out about that place were my oldest sister Ruth getting married. After the wedding the reception was in our house, I don’t suppose I was more than one year old and what I remember about it was that I had been put to bed, but woke up and had to investigate noises in the house. I went out in my pajamas and saw the place full of people. My Mother saw me and rushed me back to bed.
Another thing that I remember was when my oldest Brother Dewey took me to the barnyard and sat me on the back of a gentle Colt. The Colt’s name was “Nig”.
When I was 3 years old my parents moved to a farm 6 miles South of La Crosse, Washington. I think we lived there about ten years.
I attended grade school at Pampa, Washington for 5 1/2 years.
Dad had a wheat and cattle ranch and I can remember many pleasant happenings, among them the Box Socials at school and Father and Son banquets at the Methodist church in La Crosse, Washington.
When I was thirteen years old my parents moved to a farm in Ferry County about halfway between Curlew, and Republic, Washington. I started to school in the 6 grade at Karamin which was about 1/4 of a mile from home so my sister Aileen and I were able to walk to school and go home for lunch.
Karamin had 2 teachers – one thought the first five grades, the other teacher taught the sixth through the tenth grades.
When I was in the Eighth grade Karamin consolidated with Republic, Washington and my sister Aileen and my Brother Frank and I had to ride twelve miles to school on a school bus.
I would get out of bed at 4:00 A.M. and go to the barn, feed, milk and clean stables for thirty milk cows. Dad would turn the separation by hand to separate the cream from the milk, and then carry the skim milk to the hogs. After my chores at the barn were finished I would go to the house, clean up, change clothes, eat breakfast and be ready to meet the bus sometime between 7:00 and 7:30 A.M.
I graduated from High School in May 1931. There were nine of us in the senior class and we went on a “Senior Sneak” to OROVILLE, Washington.
In May of 1932 my folks moved to a small farm (80 acres) near Colfax, Washington. Those were really hard times and I got small jobs working for farmers in the neighborhood.
On December 26, 1936 I left for Los Angeles, California to attend “National Schools” which was a trade school. I enrolled in a class that taught Electricity, Radio, Television and Talking Pictures and in November 24, 1937 - I received a “Radiotelephone First Class” License. Jobs were mighty hard to find and by that time. I had my “Belly Full” of city life so I went back home to live with my folks for two more years.
I think that it was in the fall of 1935 I had met a real nice “School Mom” and of course she was one reason I went back. I rented an 80 acre farm across the road from my parent’s farm and on June 29, 1940, we were married. In 1941 we bought the farm.
We bought some cows and chickens and then made our living. But the chickens only lasted a few years and we got rid of them. We kept on milking cows and shipping milk until – I think about 1973- then we sold them. So we could spend a lot of time at “Expo 74”. We bought season tickets and spent many enjoyable days at Expo.
1975 and 1976 I continued to farm the land. Then the next 3 years I rented the land to a neighbor. We made many enjoyable trips to nearby lakes – fishing.
In the spring of 1979, I was sitting in our living room reading; Bonita came in and said a man is out here who would like to try to sell our farm, shall we list it with him? I said o.k. and in the fall of ’79 we sold it. Then we bought a 2 room apartment at Rockwood Manor. We moved in on the 29th of February, 1980. A double was not available at that time so for 6 months we lived in rooms 720 and 521.
Then in July 1980, we moved into rooms 503 and 505. We have never been sorry we moved in here.
Among the activities I enjoy are shuffleboard, pool and operating the movie projector on Tuesday evenings.
Died September 6, 1997
Bens Band Concert
5 weeks ago