Not everyone can say they lived around the corner from President Harry S. Truman and raised nationally recognized championship dogs, but Jett Earl can.
The Columbus, KS, native's road to Kansas City was a long and round-about one. After graduating from high school in 1934, she went back to school to learn shorthand. Then she joined the Civil Works Administration (CWA). It was the height of the Depression and jobs were scarce.
One night she and a girlfriend stopped to get a Coke and met Joseph Earl, who lived in Commerce, OK. He asked Jett for a date and a year later they were married.
Jett went to work for a doctor, but found there were too many health problems in mining country.
"We were going to California, but Joe met a recruiter for Remington Firearms and went to work for them in Independence, MO," Jett recalls. "We rented a big house right around the corner from Mr. Truman."
While Jett went to work in an office, Joe joined the Navy. Jett went to Idaho to see him at fire school.
"When he was shipped out, I went to California with him," she recalls. She then went to work for a hospital in Oakland.
When Joe returned from the service, they moved to Joplin. Jett worked for a doctor and Joe went into sales.
Offered a position in Kansas City, Joe went to work at General Motors and Jett went to work at Bethany Medical Center. After Joe was seriously injured in an accident, they began raising dogs at their Bonner Springs home. Joe became president of the first Irish Setter Club in the Kansas City area, and the two went on to show their dogs.
"It was quite an experience," Jett smiles proudly.
For 20 years, they built a national reputation for their dogs. Moving to a farm, they also began raising Charolais cattle.
"You can't imagine how much fun it was," she says.
Retiring from the championship circuit, Joe and Jett moved home to Columbus. After his death, Jett lived with her sister, then moved to Via Christi Village in Pittsburg.
"I like it here," she reflects. "The food is good and the staff is wonderful."