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The Adams County Record
Council, Idaho
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November 28, 2012     The Adams County Record
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Page 6 Wednesday, November 28, 2012 The Adams County Record Community Spotlight How can a man overcome a- difficult childhood and become the man his own father never could be? Not many people in Council have heard Tim Frahm's incredible childhood stories, but he is a survivor. His broad smile, quiet humor and gentle wit belie his early years fraught with hardship. His father, Howard, could never fit in, never find his niche. Howard married his mother Kathy when she was only 16. "It was a hard marriage;' Tim recalled. Tim. was born in Nyssa, Oregon-in 1953, the second of four children. Howard then took his young bride to a barren farm in the remote Oregon Owyhee Mountains, They moved into a-tiny rock house with a dirt floor and no indoor water or plumbing. They bathed in the frigid river until it froze in the winter. Tim's dad often took off alone though the mountains for days at a time. It was a lonely, impoverished existence. They parked the truck across the river to ensure they gould get to town. Tim remembers his mom staying in town when one baby was born. On the trip home, a rattler bit his father, and for two days his dad laid unconscious while 3-year-old Tim and his 5-year-old sister, Laura, fended for themselves. Later a severe back injury nearly paralyzed his dad. His mother was unable to transport him across the river for care. They nearly starved, living off of wheat flour, tomatoes, deer tallow, and bottled fruit. "I can't imagine how awful life was for my mother;' Tim considered. His dad brought home strange pets...a raccoon, a coyote, and a pig that followed him around like a dog. "I think we ended up eating the pig;' Tim remembered. Mostly he remembers his dad's pet skunk, which ate at the table with the family. "The skunk just smelled bad7 he laughed. Eventually a torrent of rain washed away the tractor, the truck and the farm dream, and Tim's family moved to the Big Bend area in late 1958. They could never count on a regular paycheck. Morn cleaned up a tiny old house that -cows had taken over. They had running water but still no bath. Tim started first grade in a one room schoolhouse. A cherished picture recalls his class celebrating his 6th birthday there. It was the first normalcy he had ever experienced. I was amazed that people would do this for me;' he said. "The worst was having to ask people for" everything;' Tim sighed. "We never had anything, and never paid our bills" Finally dad took off for Nevada with Tim Frahm Saved by a Twist of Fate 13-year-old Tim, living a nomadic lifestyle working hay ranches, dragging Tim along through school after school. At times his mother had no idea where he was. At 16 Tim dropped out of school when dad couldn't pay the rent. Tim found a job and kept a roof over their heads. One evening at work" he learned his dad had died in a motorcycle accident. "It was the last time in my life that I got kicked that hard;' Tim remembered. But the horrifying kick became a divine intervention. Howard had been planning to drag Tim to South America for yet another ranching folly. Tim's mom came and took him home. The chaos of his father's reign was ended. "His death sent me on my own direction;' Tim shared gratefully. "No telling where I would have ended, up otherwise. My life finally took a turn for the better" While Tim was struggling with his father, his mother had struggled to build a better life. She completed a high school diploma and was attending college for a teacher's degree in California. She made Tim pursue his GED. In his mother's father Tim found the male role model he'd been lacking. "He was everything good people should dependable and responsible;' Tim reminisced. He admired his mother for climbing out of the chaos. Tim found a job at a poultry farm, and made friends with the other teens working there. Particularly appealing was an attractive young woman named Carol. "I was petrified at the thought of a boy liking me;' Carol .laughed when she recalled the story of their early dates. Right away Tim knew he wanted a family with her. Carol loved Tim's quiet manner and polite nature, and the poetry he sent to her down the egg processing line. Nurturing Carol had the stable, background and good family Tim had wanted. An excellent seamstress, her mom had married her dad when he settled in Hawaii after military service. The years of reconstruction after Pearl Harbor drained the family income, and they moved to California, where Carol was born. They married, and Tim's GED landed him a well-paying railroad job. Shortly afterwards, he sold his motorcycle for a down payment on a house. Above all, Tim craved stability. "I wanted to live in one place, and I wanted my kids to attend one school;' he explained, as his eyes misted with By Deb Wilson tears. They embrace the challenge of succeeding in life at a young age, and put down deep roots, living in Phoenix 22 years. Work on the railroad required hard 12-hour days, but Tim loved running the equipment, and his coworkers' camaraderie. During. off hours he and Carol built .their lives around family activities with their two children, Tami and Tim Jason. They found old beater vehicles and renovated them together. They rode horses, played racquetball, and Tim scuba dived with his son: Except for long work hours, Tim has been everything to his family his father never could be. He retired after 30 years on the job, They found the perfect foreclosure property badly in need of repair in Council, Idaho ten years ago. Self reliant and innovative, they garden and remodel their home. Tim even figured out how to process vegetable oil into diesel fuel. He and Carol help raise their grandchildren while their son and his wife, Violet, complete school. Tim treasures the box of childhood memorabilia his mother saved for him. "My mom always tried to make us feel like a normal family in spite of everything. I have to credit her for theft he said wistfully. He helps his siblings and mother any time they need him. Against all odds, Tim has created his own niche, with the woman and the family he loves. Cambridge Senior Chatter by ]anice Vuich Cawyer -- 257-3358 I trust everyone sur- vived Thanksgiving and "Black Friday" shopping the day afterwards. I spent a nice afternoon at my sister's house enjoy- ing a wonderful dinner and a few games of Gin Rummy. I didn't partake in the shopping madness though; it's just a bit too much madness for me. I don't like big crowds or long lines, so I prefer to do all of my Shopping, except for groceries, online. I got a call from Steve Besel this morning and he will be bringing his choir group up for lunch and to sing at seniors on Wednesday December 5th. I hope you can make it to dinner that day; the kids are looking forward to singing for us. Sunday, December 9th the Upper Country Singers will be presenting their annual Christmas show at the Washington County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall. The performance starts at 3 PM and it is always a great way to kick off the Christmas holiday season. The music is a wonder- ful mix of old and new favorites of both secular and religious songs. Come, bring the family and enjoy a musical start to the Christmas season. Our next shopping trip to Ontario will be on Tuesday, December 11th and a sign up sheet can be found on the front table. December's food pan- try will be on Thursday, December 27th at 3 pm. The Food Bank is changing to a new program that will enable ordering in "real time." I went to a training session at McCall Senior Center this morning ,to find out how the new sys- tem will work, and I think that what we order might be closer to what we get with the new system. We can only hope this is the case. Until next time, I hope ,you are well and happy.