General news articles about Grangeville Border Days - Idaho's Oldest Rodeo since 1912.

Border Days 2019 Grand Marshal: Janet Klement

Janet Klement

Border Days is a family affair for grand marshal Klement

By Lorie Palmer, Idaho County Free Press

GRANGEVILLE – Janet Klement has family ties in Border Days history and this year she will become more entwined with Idaho County’s largest celebration. Janet has been chosen to serve as Border Days grand marshal for 2019.

“I don’t know if I’m that special, but it will be fun,” she smiled.

Janet was born in Ferdinand to a farming and ranching family where she attended St. Maurus Catholic School through grade eight, then went on to graduate from Ferdinand High School where she was one of 18 in her class.

“I had six siblings and I was the youngest – supposedly the most spoiled,” she laughed. While her older siblings helped outdoors, she would help her mother with 5:30 a.m. breakfast and evening meals during harvest.

Following high school, she began work in Dr. Rockwell’s office in Grangeville. One evening in 1966, when she was 28, she and a girlfriend decided to get some dinner in Ferdinand.

“There weren’t many choices, but the bar had sandwiches, so that’s where we went,” she recalled. It was there she ran onto John Klement. He was originally from New Mexico, but was working on a ranch in the Joseph Plains area along the Snake River and was in town in-between jobs.

“My friend’s brother and John were close friends, so that was that,” Janet smiled. They formed a friendship and sustained a long-distance relationship for the next year.

“Because of his job, I never knew when he would be in town, so I just had to be ready at a moment’s notice to get together,” she laughed. “I guess I learned early on to be spontaneous.”

The couple married a year later in 1967.

John began work for Ernie Robinson and the couple moved to the Russell place outside of White Bird where he worked. Janet worked for Dr. Rockwell until they began a family, then she worked at various jobs in White Bird, including as a waitress at Hoot’s Café and at Killgore’s fruit stand. The Klement family raised their own cattle on the side and all the kids rode horse and worked on the ranch.

The Klements had six children: Lisa, Lori, Doni, Leslie, Jason and Dean.

“Some people didn’t want their kids to drive that White Bird Hill, but I was glad when the kids got their drivers’ licenses,” Janet said. “It was nice to have someone else to run the errands or to get themselves where they were going.”

Throughout the years her husband and kids participated in Border Days Rodeo and they enjoyed attending the events in town.

“My favorite has been saddle-bronc, bareback and bull riding,” Janet added.

In 1999, the Klements purchased land across the road from where they lived.

John and Janet Klement Property outside of White Bird circa 1999

“We had a beautiful view there,” Janet said. “When we first moved to the White Bird area, I always said once John was gone, I was out of there, because I didn’t really like it at first. But I got used to it and I learned to love it there.”

Janet went to work again for Dr. Rockwell and when he retired, she began work in the office at St. Mary’s Physical Therapy office in Grangeville where she spent about 15 years prior to retirement.

John died in 2004, and Janet moved to Grangeville in 2016. She said she enjoys being in the center of what’s happening. She’s a big sports fan and attends the games of grandchildren as often as she can.

“I love to watch basketball,” she said.

She also enjoys crossword puzzles and playing Bingo. She is a member of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Parish and likes to visit with her 18 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Janet’s family Border Days history includes granddaughters Megan DeFord Peterson and Taylor Canaday McCullough serving as past queens and granddaughters Colby Canaday and Molly DeFord serving as 2019 queen and princess, respectively. Her son-in-law, Gary Canaday, is on the Border Days committee as is grandson, Justin DeFord, and granddaughter, Megan, and grandson-in-law, Wade Peterson. Son Dean participates in team roping at the rodeo, as well. Other children and grandchildren participate in the parades and drill team. With her youngest grandchild just three months old, the family Border Days history is far from over.

“I guess there’s just a lot of family involved in all areas,” she laughed. “I suppose there will be someone not too busy to help me get through the parades and to the rodeos. I’m excited. I just love it all.