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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of July 23 - 29, 2003


Carey city favorites
to be parade
grand marshals

Express Staff Writer

Following last year’s Pioneer Days Parade in Carey that honored U.S. Armed Forces veterans, this year the organizing committee has chosen one of those veterans, who is also a third generation resident of Carey, Ray Baird and his wife Carley to be the marshals. They are being honored for their commitment to the community, and they will ride in the parade on horseback.

Ray and Carley Baird share their tales at the 93 Express. They are the grand marshals for the annual Pioneer Days parade in Carey. Express photo by Matt Furber

The Bairds joined a few neighbors for a cold drink on a hot day at the 93 Express cafe to talk about the parade and their lives in the community. Ray’s grandfather came with the first Mormon families that settled Carey, when they came up from the Great Salt Lake to homestead.

The Bairds have carried on the ranching and farming traditions in the valley started in 1892.

"We raised six boys," said Carley Baird. "David, Rick, Gary, Jack, Brock and Kim."

These days the Bairds spend as much time as possible on their 650 acre Little Fish Creek cattle camp, north of Carey, where it is cooler in the summer. Ray descends frequently to participate as a planning and zoning commissioner. He was integral in getting the city government back on its feet in the late 1990s.

Carey was incorporated in 1919, but after World War I the town had "drifted away." It was under county government for about 50 years, said Baird. As Baird and others worked on a new comprehensive plan for the town, they discovered that Carey had never officially "unincorporated."

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.

"I am not LDS," said Carley Baird, laughing with her contagious smile. "I am the black sheep."

The Bairds have continued to work as farmers and ranchers, despite other career obligations. Baird spent over 30 years working as welder at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, east of Arco.

Having grown up ranching, Baird has run cattle on his family’s land since he returned from two years serving in the Navy in the South Pacific at the end of World War II.

Today, he and his wife lease out some of their grazing land, but they also run about 50 cows of their own, many of them Black Angus.

"Black is beautiful," said Ray.

He and Carley met at an American Legion "Legion Loonies" talent show after Baird returned from the war. Carley, originally from Missouri, went to high school in Richfield. They have been married for 55 years.

The grand marshals will ride horseback in the parade. In fact, they have been riding together since the 1950s, when they participated in the Carey Riding Club.

"We both traveled around the country with the club," said Carley. "We looked good. We wore a uniform with white shirts and black hats. (We) were sharp."

The group even traveled out of state to Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Montana, Oregon and Washington to show their skills.

Carey still has many active riders, but the stage will be set this weekend by a pair of handlers as steeped in the experience and the land of southern Idaho as any of their Mormon ancestors.



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