Years of caring usher Vale pair into marshal role

By Mitchell Willetts

The Enterprise

Tom and Mary Gray have been together "forever and a day," and in that time, have helped to preserve the livelihoods and the history of Malheur County in a way that many in Vale don't want to forget.

Friends and family, neighbors and colleagues lobbied the 4th of July Rodeo Board to name the husband and wife this year's grand marshals.

The 18 letters of recommendation recount decades of memories and moments from a shared life. They paint a picture of a poet, pilot, sometimes-politician and at-all-times father, and of a doting mother and self-trained historian, whose community comes second only to her kids.

Come July, they will be waving from on top of a parade carriage through Main Street, becoming a part of the rodeo's history.

Tom and Mary are transplants to Oregon, meeting at . . .