Tag Archives: Carrie

In Memory of Stefan Gierasch

13 Jan

The latest edition of Cowboys & Indians magazine has arrived with sad news. September saw the death of Stefan Gierasch, who played Del Gue in Jeremiah Johnson.Stefan

Gierasch created a great representation of mountain men as he showed Robert Redford the ways of survival in the mountains. At the end of the movie, Del and Jeremiah were saying their goodbyes, and Gierasch spoke the lines that epitomize the thinking of mountain men – both real and imagined. He said:

Ain’t this somethin’? I told my pap and mam I was comin’ to the mountains to trap and be a mountain man; acted like they was gut-shot. Says, “Son, make your life go here, son. Here’s where the peoples is. Them mountains is for animals and savages.” I says, “Mother Gue, the Rocky Mountains is the marrow of the world,” and by God, I was right.

As the two men parted ways, he continued:

I ain’t never seen ’em, but my common sense tells me the Andes is foothills, and the Alps is for children to climb! Keep good care of your hair! These here is God’s finest scupturings! And there ain’t no laws for the brave ones! And there ain’t no asylums for the crazy ones! And there ain’t no churches, except for this right here! And there ain’t no priests excepting the birds. By God, I are a mountain man, and I’ll live ’til an arrow or a bullet finds me. And then I’ll leave my bones on this great map of the magnificent…

Geirasch appeared in several productions that I have watched – The Hustler, High Plains Drifter, Carrie, Silver Streak, and The Champ. However, he will live in my mind as the crusty mountain man, Del Gue.

Rest in Peace, Stefan Gierasch. As Del Gue, you said, “I decided that when I depart from this life I’d like to leave something.” You left a great performance in one of the great movies.