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Bob - Miriam Carlson

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 9 months ago

Bob & Miriam Carlson


Printed in Rendezvous Pointe Newsletter, Feb. 2007

(Pinedale, WY Senior Center)


Bob and Miriam Carlson are both Wyoming natives. Born in Laramie, Bob moved to Pinedale before he was a year old. Miriam was born in Buffalo & came here when she was two. Bob lived at the Pinedale Inn which his grandparents, Dan & Bessie Doyle owned. He was a ‘town kid’. His parents were ‘Bob’ and Hazel Carlson. He said, “My nickname’s Swede. Harold Faler’s was Red”. Bob would run off to play, so his mother put a bell on him and tied him to the clothesline. One day the bell was silent. When she looked out, he was taking off his pants to get free. He was a pal to Tom, who was also restrained, being tied to the hot water heater. One day Bob took out his knife, cut Tom free and they took off on top of the trash truck to the old dump.


Another time Bob and the Carson boys rode bikes 14 miles to Steele Hot Springs in Boulder. They neglected to inform their parents. There were three boys and only two bikes so when one of them had a flat, they were stuck. Their parents finally found them. At the Pinedale Inn one of the guests, Claudie (Meyer) got locked in the bathroom. Bob had to climb through the transom to let her out. Bob remember playing stick horses with the Wenz and Faler boys in Cooley’s Field. He said, “We used to peel our sticks so we had ‘Paint’ horses.” Another time he was playing baseball when a robin landed right on his head. In spring it was a big event to jump into Pine Creek as soon as the ice went out. Bob said, “We’d just all take off our clothes and jump in – boys and girls. We were probably in 6th or 7th grade. It was the days of innocence”. Sometimes Bob and his friend Tom would help unload the freight truck at Mollring’s store. Bob said, “If we dropped a watermelon, we could eat it, so we did.” Bob remembers being in the first Rendezvous reenactment of 1936. Bob recalls that when he was little, he was full of energy & his mother gave him a jigger of wine each night to put him to sleep!


Bob’s dad was a carpenter, the 3rd sheriff of Sublette County, a Deputy Sheriff and the City Marshall. Once a year they had to clean out the water storage tank (still sitting on Orcutt Hill). It was the Deputy Sheriff’s job to clean the courthouse too. Pinedale had a unique system to notify a policeman that he was needed. There was a light at the intersection of Tyler and Pine. If it went on, they were hunting for a law officer. One time, Bob recalls, “Dad was at Mollring Store when a car came in. Realizing that the men inside were escaped convicts from Rawlins, Dad jumped on the running board and pulled out his gas gun (a pencil shaped object that stuns people). He got them to jail, locked them up and then realized that he had captured them with his pen.”


Bob spent a lot of time with his Uncle Art Doyle on his ranch. He said, “Uncle Art was one-legged. He’d roped a buffalo once and the rope had gotten around his leg and pulled. Gangrene set in and he lost the leg.” With his one leg and a cane made out of a shovel handle, Uncle Art broke horses and herded cattle. One time he had been out on Old Smokey when an eagle spooked the horse. Uncle Art fell off, busted his cane and couldn’t get back on. He crawled until he found a rock from which he could mount.


He and Uncle Art went up to see Snook Moore and they got an elk. “We hid the elk in the shed when the game warden, came. We had the meat in flour sacks and blood was coming out. He asked, “Whatcha got there?” and I said it was a calf. He said, “You butchered that calf two years ago!” But he didn’t say anymore.”


Bob worked at granddad Dan Doyle’s ranch for 5 cents/day. His job was to wind up the barbed wire. Later he was in the wagon, fooling with the wire, when it got stuck in a wheel and tore up his palm. “Uncle Art put his pipe tobacco on it!” Bob said. “Then it wrapped it with his kerchief. It healed OK, but I’ve still got the scar.”


Another time, at Uncle Art’s cabin, Bob went to bed with his head to the west. He said, “Uncle Art took a switch to me, cussed me out. He said, ‘You never sleep that way, with your head to the west. That’s how you lay when you’re dead!’”


Another job Bob had when he was young was sheep herder. He said, “My grandparents owned the Snook Moore place and I herded sheep for them. I also took care of Bill Bloom’s sheep.” Bob remembers that when he was older he guided for Snook Moore. “We ate liver three times a day! We didn’t have a camp cook so I had to wrangle the horses and do the cooking too.”


Bob’s dad and granddad had the permit for a hunting camp at Granite Hot Springs. They had it for 7 or 8 years before the Forest Service pulled the lease. Bob’s mother, Hazel, used to talk about seeing thousands of elk go by the place each day. Bob remembers his grandpa Doyle: “I think he was the best fisherman ever. He was on the Green River one day and came home with a gunny sack full of fish. Nothing was under 7# and he had one 14# rainbow.


Miriam Carlson’s parents were Bill and Anna Grinder. Miriam said, “My mother was diagnosed with tuberculosis, so she & her mother moved to Buffalo. That’s how she got there. My dad lost his ranch in Buffalo in the depression and he never got over it. I have a sister Glenna in Big Piney and a brother in MT. We were raised as ranch kids. Dad worked on lots of ranches. I went to school at Halfway and Boulder, and when I was in high school we lived on the Tanner Ranch north of Buckskin Crossing. I have fond memories, but I can’t ever remember having my own bedroom as a child.” At Halfway Miriam recalls getting snowed in by November and not coming out until the roads were dry in May. She said, “We’d get two or three presents for Christmas and one of them was always underwear! We didn’t have as much back then, but we didn’t want as much either.”


Bob and Miriam ‘just kinda knew each other’ from childhood and were married after Miriam graduated from Pinedale High School. She smiled and said, “He’s lots older than me – almost seven years. I was barely 19 when we were married. We made it – 51 years now.” Bob worked in the Wagon Wheel oil field. He has also been a carpenter for Kerbacks, for Highland Lumber and for his brother, Dan. Bob said, “We built houses, schools. I’ve rebuilt the Stockman’s Bar three times! I remember someone saying that at the Stockman’s there was drinking in the bar, gambling in the next room and in the next the preacher was calling square dances.” When Bob was working for Highland he was doing a job in Big Piney. He said, “The driver would get paid for the driving time, but I’d put in 12 hours and only get paid for the eight hours of carpentry time.” Bob also worked for the cemeteries in the north half of the county for 26 years.


Miriam has been a florist for 30 years. She started out with the Trails Flower and Gift Shop, just north of the Cowboy Shop. She said, “Judy Shaul showed me how to make a bow and a corsage and that was the extent of my training. I liked to do it and it came natural.” Miriam still works as a florist in Faler’s Gift Shop. Miriam is civic-minded and has had two terms as a town councilman as well as being Pinedale’s mayor for six years. She said, “I was raised with hard work and have always liked it.”


Bob and Miriam have three children. Brent lives in MT and has two daughters and two sons. Bruce lives in Pinedale and has two daughters, one son and three grandchildren. Colleen lives in TX and has two daughters and one son. Miriam said, “We used to backpack, hike, camp, fish, hunt. We did it all. We’d take a picnic when we went wood gathering and make it a family expedition. Raising kids in Pinedale was good. We knew everybody and if something happened, the whole town helped out. I remember a friend who moved to CA once told me, ‘You were the smartest one in our class – you stayed here’”. For three-quarters of a century (a little more for Bob and less for Miriam), Bob and Miriam have lived in Pinedale, summer and winter. They’ve traveled to Norway and they go to Texas to see Colleen, but Pinedale is home. This remarkable couple have many memories and their love runs deep. Miriam said, “Bob is my soul mate.” By Judi Myers

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