Stockings named Pioneer Days grand
Traditional Carey event is this weekend
By MATT FURBER
Express Staff Writer
They say blood is thicker than water.
However, for the Stocking family in Carey the two substances run in equal
measure. To help celebrate that fact, Lois, 72, and Boyd Stocking, 74, have been
chosen as Pioneer Days grand marshals for this year’s parade on Saturday.
Lois was born in the hospital building in
Carey. Boyd came from Burley, but the couple met at the Carey School, where they
Class reunions typically run in
conjunction with Pioneer Days, but this is not one of the major reunion years.
Still, for the Stockings, with six children, 32 grandchildren and 27
great-grandchildren, every year is a reunion year.
"They camp out in the backyard," Boyd
said. "I have a big yard."
About 14 Stocking grandchildren attended
the Carey community picnic July 6. A number will come for Pioneer Days, but some
live too far away to make the trip this year.
"When you get that many you get a pretty
good scatter," Boyd said.
Boyd become the Little Wood Irrigation
District water master in 1966. That’s when the importance of water entered the
Midway through his 20-year career as water
master, Stocking had his most challenging year with the district.
"In 1977 it was real tight," said Boyd,
whose job it was to inform people about a limited water supply. "The reservoir
didn’t fill. We left a lot of ground idle."
The Pioneer Days celebration is as much
about celebrating family and community as it is about celebrating the legacy of
Brigham Young. The followers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
who came West with Young to present day Utah, reached the Great Salt Lake area
on July 24, 1847.
Lois is the youngest of her siblings. And
her parents moved to Carey in 1919.
The Stockings haven’t moved far from their
roots, having celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary on the Fourth of July at
their home near the intersection of Highway 73 and the Little Wood Reservoir
Road this year.
"She married me to travel but she didn’t
get to," Boyd said.
"We’ve been to Arizona a little to visit
his mother," Lois said.
Lois has fond memories of serving the
construction crew that paved the road over to the Wood River Valley at the
intersection called Sun Valley Junction. Her granddaughter, Tammy Castle, who is
also one of the Pioneer Days organizers, is in the process of building a new
Sinclair car wash and service station at the same intersection.
The Stockings were in the milk business
from 1949—when they got married—until 1986 raising Holstein cows.
Boyd is still within earshot of the Little
Wood Reservoir, where he still manages the hydroelectric plant, an income stream
for the Little Wood Irrigation District. The power is sold back to the Idaho
Lois worked for 11 years at the Carey post
office when Yolande Bennett was post mistress.
"I thought it was 11 years. She told me it
was eight," Lois said.
Actually between them the Stockings have
worked just about everywhere there is to work in Carey. Boyd worked at Adamson’s
service station in the mid-1950s and volunteered as a 4-H leader for 11 years.
At the family home Lois makes quilts and
sells them, said Castle. When the children went out to milk the cows, Lois would
already be up doing chores, she said.
"She’s always been a hard worker," Castle
said. "When I was young she would teach us to paint or tin punch." The arts have
been more than an avocation for Lois. She used to teach art at the College of
Southern Idaho, too.
Boyd worked on the renovation of the
Barber dam out side of Boise for a year in 1990. The couple lived in the city.
"At that time Boise was really peaceful,"
Lois said. "I really liked it."
So, Lois did get to travel, after all,
living with Boyd.
Boyd is also the longest serving member of
the Carey Water and Sewer Board.
"I am also the oldest," he said.
Boyd said he is concerned about city water
and the impact of water demand on city water supplies and on the Snake River
Aquifer due to development growth. The city is currently trying to establish a
second well, which is required by DEQ, Boyd said.
"We’re working on staying ahead of
growth," Boyd said.
He added that pressure for water is
beginning to become an important problem for the community to solve.
"Water’s going to help control growth," he
said. "The water board used to meet once every other month for 30 minutes.
Recently, a meeting lasted three and a half hours and that’s becoming the norm."
Focusing on family and community needs has
always been a priority for the Stockings, and in Carey sometimes they are one in
the same. The couple said that family members stop by to visit on a regular
"Usually when we need something," Castle