Judi and Terry Roice have sold their property and moved away.
They always loved Jackson and still do. But after seeing more and more people moving in, and after witnessing expansive development, they moved to the Pacific Coast. They needed to be revitalized with some change. They also wanted to be closer to their granddaughter, Tilly, who lives in Portland, Oregon.
Wyoming winters are also to blame. After 75 years of dealing with the cold and snow, Terry was ready to trade a snow shovel for an umbrella. No matter how big your plow is and how powerful your snowblower, there is always somewhere that still requires shoveling — and he is done with that. Plus, he and Judi like the feel of sand between their toes.
Terry said the one gripe he has always had with his parents, Ruth and Poncho, is where they were when he was born: Mountain Home, Idaho. It gnaws at him a little that when he tells people he was born and raised in Jackson — it’s a whopper. He just sees himself as a native in both ego and image.
Judi is from Oxnard, California, and moved to Victor, Idaho, with her siblings when she was a freshman in high school. Her mother, Margie, was from Victor. Judi moved to Jackson with her mother about a year later.
Margie married Willard Moulton, a rancher north of Jackson. In those days dances for teenagers were held every Saturday night at the Legion Hall across the street from the old St. John’s Church. One August night Judi showed up at the dance accompanied by her stepbrother, Tom Moulton. Terry was there, too, determined to meet the next pretty girl who moved to town. He was tired of all the upperclassmen getting to date the new girls.
As things turned out, Judi saw Terry and he saw her. Nearly 59 years later they are still married and still in love. They married young, but they beat the odds by working their way through the good times and the bad times.
Terry graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in English education, and the job hunt was on. He was offered a teaching position in Wheatland, but the principal told him he couldn’t teach anything like “The Scarlet Letter,” and if he wanted to have a drink he would have to go to a place clear out of town.
Terry also had an interview in Kemmerer, where he could be an assistant football coach for $4,900 a year. He took the Kemmerer job. After three years he went back to Laramie to work on a master’s degrees in American studies and education administration. He also took a job teaching English at Laramie High School. From there he went to Huntley to be a K-12 principal. Later he became the principal at Basin.
Because Judi and Terry were always on the road to Jackson for vacations, they decided to move back. He took the principal job at the old junior high school and later became teaching principal at Western Wyoming High School, now Summit Innovations. He eventually left administration to go back to teaching. After a life dedicated to education he retired in 2012.
Terry has a knack for storytelling, and he shared this tale:
“I only had one footrace with my dad, Poncho, but it was a doozy. It took place on the highway across the river from Hog Island.
“Slippage from the mountainside had been a chronic annual problem for a long time. Mostly it was caused by the Snake River running nearly straight into the base of the mountain and eating it away every spring. Besides the high runoff, the freezing and thawing clear to the top of the slope worked things loose every year as well.
“The day of the footrace, Poncho, Wayne Wood, who worked for the state highway department, and I were standing on the highway watching a slow landslide creeping steadily, inch by inch, across the highway. It had already covered most of the northbound lane. Frequently rocks and dirt higher above the highway would break loose and fall on the asphalt from above.
“While we were smart enough to park our pickups out of the slide’s path, we weren’t smart enough to stay out of its way ourselves. I was standing in front of Wayne and Poncho, and we were all watching the slow-motion thriller when a chunk of conglomerate rock half the size of a VW Beetle came bouncing down the slope. All three of us quickly turned and started running to avoid the danger.
“Wayne and Poncho were too big and out of shape to run very fast, and I couldn’t get around them. Consequently, when that chunk hit the pavement and blew apart, a football-sized piece of it hurtled right at me. It hit me in the hip, spun me around and knocked me to the ground. Luckily, I wasn’t hurt, but I did end up with a big bruise. All three of us were pelted with small pieces of detritus that stung a bit without causing any damage.
“The lesson I learned from this is not to stand in front of big and out-of-shape guys if you might have to turn and run.”
Best of luck to Judi and Terry as they begin a new chapter in the lives.