Gerald Stout looks back on life and how it shaped him.

Gerald Stout was born in 1927 in Farson, Wyoming and by the 1930s the United States of America was thrust into the greatest economic crisis ever experienced. Stout may have only been three years old, but he recalled his life like it was yesterday.

Stout likes to tell stories. Ask him about a topic and he’ll sit with you for hours and just talk. One topic leads to the next until before you know it, the sun has fallen back behind the Rockies and it’s time for you to make your way back home.

Gerald is currently 93 years old.  And as he tells this story he has trouble speaking. His family didn’t have much, and as he described it, there wasn’t much to have in Farson. “There wasn’t nothin’ here!” Stout quipped before going on. “If you wanted anything you had to drive into Rock Springs, and at the time Rock Springs was not a place you wanted to find yourself after dark.” It was a mining town full of criminals and there was practically a shooting per day.  

Stout went on to talk about life with his mom, dad, and brother. “We weren’t a wealthy family, to begin with, we had a couple of dogs and just enough of everything else to get us by.” 

Betty Applequest, a neighbor of Geralds, was born in 1925 and pipped in with the same sentiment. “Living in a small town I was probably better off than some other people.” Together the two described the community they felt in the little town of Farson, Wyoming. “The people around us helped us out as much as they could, and we helped them when we could.” Applequest looked back on the time fondly. “I never felt like I had less than anyone else.”

The effects of growing up in this time can be seen in the way Gerald lives now. His property is littered with a collection of anything and everything. Stout recently commissioned some residents of Farson to help him clean up his yard.

Shaneal Miller of Rock Springs, Wyoming volunteered to help. “You can see why he has all this stuff. He never had anything and so now he saves everything. To him, everything can be used for something.” Miller stated as she looked out towards the property.

The Great Depression is known by all as the greatest economic downturn in the history of the industrialized world. The effects were felt across the United States, and in a small town in Wyoming, just barely established was a little boy named Gerald Stout.


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