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Jean-George Rahm

Page history last edited by Judi Myers 13 years, 9 months ago

Jean Rahm and her twin sister June were born prematurely on Nov 5, 1930 in a 3-room log cabin (which is still used) at the Daniel Fish Hatchery.   Her parents, Walt and Maime (Thomas) Brewer, packed the girls in cotton and laid them on the oven door to keep them warm.  Walt & Maime had 6 children.  Jean went to school at Bronx School and in Big Piney before graduating from 8th grade in Pinedale.   While in Big Piney she learned to sew.  She said, “Mom had diphtheria and spent the whole winter in bed.  One day she got a note from the teacher saying ‘Jean will have to get on the sewing machine and patch her brothers’ jeans.  They can’t come to school like this.’  I told mom, ‘I can’t reach the pedal’ and Mom said, ‘Yes you can if you put enough Montgomery Ward  catalogs on the treadle.”  Jean sewed and sewed.  She had a tiny 3” doll and made Levi’s, little boots, a cowboy hat and a shirt with puffed sleeves for it.  When Jean was young, a man killed a sow bear.  It had 2 cubs.  The Game Warden let the Looney boys have one & her family got the other.  Jean said, “They had to kill theirs.  I think they played too rough with it.  Ours went to the Denver Zoo.  A man came in a car to get it, but our cub didn’t like men or cars so the man had to stay with us 2 or 3 days while we kids rode  around and around with him in the car getting the cub used to him & his car.   Then the man left with the cub sitting in the front seat beside him.”   After 8th grade she kept house for her Aunt Dorothy & Uncle Harold Taylor in Pinedale before starting high school in Jackson.   Her schooling ended when she fell into an unmarked, open sewer and couldn’t walk.  She had to return to her mother’s house in Merna.  Jean said, “My mother got a little peeved with me one morning and pulled me out of bed.  I fell.  She told me to get up and walk, so I did.”  When asked how she met George she said, “A whole bunch of us went up to Green River Lakes for a picnic.  I was sitting with ‘Gramma Taylor’andmy cousin Karol.  We saw a man leading a beautiful sorrel horse with a white mane & tail.  It was a hot day & he was walking the horse.  We went on and on about that horse.  Gramma said, ‘What’s wrong with teenagers not paying any attention to that nice young man?’  I answered, ‘Oh, I’ll marry him one day.  He’s kind to his horse’.”  Jean & George dated for some time, but when he found out she was under 18, they decided to wait until she was of age.  They were married Nov 27, 1948.  Their first winter, in Merna, they fed cattle for Boyd Kelly.  The snow was 8 or 9 feet deep.  Jean said, “There was not a fence post anywhere.”   Jean & George had one daughter, Barbara.  When she died in 1983, they raised their 9 and 11 year old grandchildren, Melissa & Dwayne.  Jean added, “We’ve helped raise 9 kids.”  Some were related and some weren’t.    She remembers living in Pinedale and running the Pinedale Inn on south Franklin for 3 years.  For 2 winters they lived at Charlie White’s Tie Camp on Beaver Creek (north of Warren Bridge and west).   George was a tie hack and Jean kept house.  One day Martha and Ladd Layland’s 2 boys, Bert & Pete, got into a fight.  Jean remembered, “One yelled, ‘It’s my turn to use it!’ and so the other boy threw the axe at him.  It stuck right there in the middle of his head.  I saw it all.  I ran across the swampy creek to get Martha.  My feet never even got wet.  None of the cars would start so we took her brother Claude Long’s car.  I wouldn’t let Martha take the axe out of his head.  Then Claude saw us and jumped in.  He took that axe right out.  We got a bath!  We held the wound shut all the way to the Jackson hospital.  The doctor was so mad that he’d taken the axe out.  He could hardly believe it.”  The boy survived.  Jean and George are frequent visitors to Rendezvous Pointe and their stories are always interesting & full of history. 

By Judi Myers, August, 2010

 

 

George Rahm was born April 27, 1921, in Cora to Gottfried and Viola (Westfall) Rahm.  George added, “Pinedale was only 20 years old when I was born.”  His grandmother Westfall was the first postmistress at Cora and drove 6 and 10 horse teams to Rock Springs for freight.  He lost his mother when he was just 4.  They tied a bed to the back of a flat bed and then tied her to the bed for the 10 & a half hour drive over 2-track roads to Rock Springs.  She had surgery and was doing fine and then suddenly passed away.  From 1926 to 1937 George lived in Cathedral (Episcopal) Home, an orphanage in Laramie.  George said, “Oh, no, it wasn’t traumatic.  We (he & his 2 brothers) were young enough we never knew our mother.  I’ve had a mixed up world but I liked all of it.  I have nothing to say wrong about the orphanage.”  They attended public school and were nicknamed “The Home Kids”.    After 10th grade George went back to Cora and worked for 3 years.  In winter he ran a trapline with his father.  Gottfried had 5 cabins – one north of Green River Lakes, one at Three Forks Park, one on Gottfried Lake, one at Spring Creek Park and one north of Soda Lake (the only one still standing).  George added, “It’s made of Quakies”.   On one trapping trip George lost all his furs.  He said, “They were pine marten furs.  We got about 75 pine martens each winter.  Well, I lost those furs and had to walk back up to middle cabin looking for it all the way.  Coming back I was striking matches to see my way home and then just feeling my way.  I found the furs 100 yards from where I started!”  After saving $500 George went back to Cathedral Home & graduated from Laramie HS in 1941.  He said, “I didn’t pass high school.  They just let me have the diploma.”   One time George remembers, “I went over to Preston, Idaho to ‘make my fortune’.  First I worked in the timber.  Then I was milking 20 cows every day.  I came home with $12.50.”  From 1942-1945 he served in WWII as a Pfc in the 115th Infantry Regiment.  In 1948 he married Jean Brewer.    He said,  “ I just lived life as it was.  I never wrote anything down.  I worked everywhere & did everything you can think of.  It was a wandering life until I met Jean.”  His careers have included cowboying, farm work,  tie hacking, working in the oil field, for the Game & Fish and Forest Service, and ‘retiring’ after 20 years with the WY Highway Department.   He & Jean have also been Amway dealers.  George said, “There were 45 people under me, but the young people ‘forgot’ to pay their bills.  It about broke us.”   In ‘retirement’ George enjoyed building furniture, rock hounding, fishing, & hunting.  He took up wood carving when he was over 65.  One of his pieces of woodworking, a Wishing Well, was given to Rendezvous Pointe.   George said, “My eyesight is too poor to carve anymore.  I can’t see to do the details.  I don’t go into the mountains anymore either.  Those damn, silly bears.  Wolves don’t make any difference to me, but them grizzlies and black bears are everywhere.   I enjoy life as a whole.  I’ve never had anything much, but I can’t believe what I do have -a house & 2 cabins, 3 cars, 3 four-wheelers.  Jean’s 80 and I’m 90  - what are we going to do with it all?”  When asked if he’d thought about moving to the Retirement Center, George replied, “No!  I’m not going.  I don’t owe nobody nothing and we’re totally free right where we are.”  As our interview ended George added, “And that’s the end of the trail.  It’s a good world.   I’m free and I’m happy. ”   Yes, he truly is.

         By Judi Myers August, 2010

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