Riverside man loves his antiques
RIVERSIDE — Like a lot of other people, Verdus Ostberg enjoys antiques.
Many of those he owns have special meaning.
Included in his collection are a couple of cross-cut saws his father used in a 1940s logging operation, a 1942 military truck used in that same operation.
"My dad bought three acres of sagebrush in Moreland," Ostberg recalled. "I was raised as a logger. I drove Cat and skidded logs when I was 10 years old."
Also included in Ostberg's collection are his mother's 1940s era "washing machine" and steam iron.
"I have my mother's washer and dryer," Ostberg said with a wry smile as he displayed them during a recent visit to the home he and his wife of 44 years, Carol, share.
The "washing machine" is a washboard which dates even further back. The steam iron is the kind that women placed on a stove to heat.
Another antique he showed off is a service ticket for Vearl Ostberg and Son's lumber business. It's well over 60 years old.
After spending his early years as a logger, Ostberg changed professions. He was a policeman in Blackfoot in the late 1950s and early 1960s and worked as a fireman at what is now the Idaho National Laboratory site for a dozen years.
He also owned a housing rental business, living off the income from five homes for many years. He sold three of those homes to his children.
Now he clears 10 acres and spends time working it.
"I bought a tractor that I've spent twelve hundred hours on," he recalled.
"It's too dangerous to have livestock when you live on this highway," he said of his place, which borders State Highway 39.
Now 75 years old, Ostberg said he quit working when he was 70.
"I thought I had had enough. But that didn't work," he said, noting that he began having medical issues. So he bought that tractor.
"I keep myself out of the hospital and the doctor's office by playing with that tractor," he said.
He also has an older motorcycle in his garage. He and Carol and their children have enjoyed cycling around the country. He doesn't do that much anymore.
Not all the antiques on Ostberg's place are family treasures. He has a collection of 1970s era games he wouldn't mind selling. He has a variety of other interesting things, too, things he has picked up in yard sales.
He and Carol, who has a collection of snow globes of her own, keep themselves busy. She works at the ISU Center in Blackfoot and works for H&R Block during tax season.
They have six children, 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Their children include Tom and Rex, sons from his first marriage; Tony and Mindy, from her first marriage; and Verdus Jr. and Vicky.
Tom and Rex live in Chester, near St. Anthony. Tony and Mindy live out-of-state. Verdus Jr. is a welder at Tanner's in Blackfoot and Vicky (Berggren) works at State Hospital South.