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Gridley Herald - Gridley, CA
  • Fulfilling a dream at 96 years of age

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  • For many years, Bernice Jarnigan submitted informative stories on her early days growing up in Roswell, New Mexico and readers of The Gridley Herald enjoyed following her early years. She grew up in North Lincoln County, north of where Billy The Kid “did his rampaging.” Following the Red Suspenders activities in May, Jarnigan told Biggs-Gridley Memorial Hospital Social Worker Frances Cole-Boyd that she wanted to ride the Ferris Wheel when the fair came to town in August. Cole-Boyd made this ladies dream come true when she took her to the Butte County Fair where she also visited the Feather Room and Flower Bowl to see the talents of others along with the animals. “Bernice expressed her desire to ride the Ferris Wheel and this is the fun part of my job. She kept reminding me so we went,” Cole-Boyd stated. Jarnigan and her sister Lorene Woodward both live at the hospital's Hovlid Skilled Nursing Center with their rooms across from each other. Woodward is 98 years old. Jarnigan remembered riding the Ferris Wheel while growing up but it had been many years since she had ridden any carnival ride. Asked if she was apprehensive when it came time to board the Ferris Wheel, Jarnigan stated she was very excited. “I have always liked to do dangerous things for the thrill of it,” she explained. Now that she has seen how fun the fair can be she has decided she wants to attend every year and Cole-Boyd assured her she would take her. Following church services at Hovlid each Sunday, Jarnigan is picked up and taken to her church, the United Pentecostal Church where her sister's brother-in-law Burl was pastor for many years. In her spare time, Jarnigan enjoys reading and doing puzzles. She is currently re-reading her own book, “When the Gospel came to Superior.” Many will remember when Jarnigan would ride her three wheeled trike around town. “She rode this bike to the grocery story, local businesses and church events,” Pastor Tim Bledsoe wrote in the forward to her book.
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