ok. it's been 5 days so my memory isn't perfect.
i installed these 2 rpms which were gaim depended on:
I got them from the internet. probably rpmfind.net or freshrpms.net
these rpms may have required other rpms to be installed. and i got all of those from the RedHat 9 disks. RPMs are located in the RedHat/RPMS folder when you put the cdrom in.
after you get all the rpms installed type:
make sure you are using the new version of gaim
the version should be 0.71
report back with details to help others who read. (probably should have done that myself