Reporter’s note: For several years at the Idaho County Fair, I have noticed a grandparently couple sitting in the corner of the livestock barn. This year, I took the time to visit with them. Within a few minutes, I realized why I was drawn to them: They remind me of my own parents. They love their family. Here is a little slice of their story.
COTTONWOOD — “She’s a miracle,” Bob Oliver said with a loving twinkle in his eyes. “Only a small percentage of people with her type of cancer survive.”
“It was tough — but I’m here,” Claire Oliver smiled.
Having been well enough years to be considered cancer-free, the Olivers are enjoying their lives.
“Bob retired when I got sick, and that way he was around for me for appointments and everything,” Claire smiled.
The Olivers actually met at a fair in Oklahoma.
“My dad introduced us,” she said.
Bob worked in the dairy industry and their married life would lead them all over for his work, including Washington, Oregon, Texas and Idaho.
“I had never been anywhere before we got married!” Claire laughed.
The couple raised their only son, Scott, and when he and his wife, Jaime, and their daughter, Sierra, moved to Cottonwood, Bob and Claire eventually moved to nearby Culdesac. Sierra, 13, is the granddaughter they come to watch at the fair each year. But they don’t come alone.
“Peanut chose us,” Bob smiled, petting a creamy orange and white pup.
The couple’s chihuahua-terrier cross sits contentedly on their laps without a peep as they watch Sierra show a cow, her dog, and participate in the Red Robin. She walked away with many awards, much to the joy of her beaming grandparents.
“Peanut also attends Sierra’s basketball games with us,” Bob said. “Nothing seems to bother him. Even the loud noise — he falls asleep.” Sierra is a student at Prairie Junior-Senior High School.
Peanut looked on, unaffected by the passersby, the many animals and the chaos of the fair, let alone a nosy reporter, but instead leaned into his human mama and finally drifted off to sleep sitting upright in her lap like a baby.
“He’s a very finicky eater,” Claire shook her head, almost embarrassed this canine companion would be ruling the Oliver roost with his food choices.
The Olivers have had many pets, including a dachshund that lived to be 15 and a Siamese cat that was 20.
At the Idaho County Fair next year, you’ll probably see Bob and Claire, along with Peanut, sitting in the lower lefthand corner of the livestock barn, waiting for their granddaughter to show her animals. Stop and say hello. You’ll be glad you did.