After passing on Don Mickles story of Jim Deegans last ride to my mother Alice Hermanrude she started to laugh and retell several stories of Jim when he was Dads assistant at Healy Creek for 2 summers.
The first one one involved a pack rat that had set up housekeeping under the seat area of the outhouse.. The rat would continually carry stuff in and around and would dive through the hole when approached. Jim was determined to rid the outhouse of the beast as the rat would thump around under there whilst a person was parked there. He actually had his head through the hole and some how used his rifle.. He came out shaking his head and was deaf for awhile and he had to clean up the splatter as well.. but the problem was solved.
The second involved trail clearing. Now Jim was anxious to be properly dressed as a Warden and when they rode down the trail he was wearing the proper tie. Dad told him a tie was only for in town not on the District. They came to some blowdowns and Dad was working chopping limbs while Jim was using a crosscut saw. Dad heard Jim call “Ole……Ole… and then quite loudly OLE !!” He turned around and found that Jims tie had been caught by the saw teeth , dragged into the cut and then jammed so he was quite effectively pinned.. Dad looked at the problem , stepped closer, swung his saddle axe and neatly trimmed the tie, releasing Jim.. Jim stepped back, looked down and said peevishly” You cut my tie!” Dad replied ” That’s why you don’t wear a tie on the district! ”
Mum also told me about a book of poems she has that Jim wrote and says it is pretty good and well worth the read.