Vale rodeo grand marshals ‘go the extra mile’ for the community

Gail (left) and Connie Bateman pose for a portrait in their living room in Vale earlier this month. (The Enterprise/Angelina Katsanis)

VALE – Connie and Gail Bateman were never leaving Arizona. 

Raised in Arizona, Connie was an Arizona Wildcat and Gail an Arizona State Sun Devil. After marrying in 1963, Connie, who worked for the Bureau of Land Management, was assigned a six-month job in Vale, Oregon — after which they would return to Arizona.

“We were supposed to be here for six months and 55 years later … we’re still here,” said Gail, chuckling about their 54-year overstay. 

The Batemans have done a lot in those 55 years, and that record of service is recognized in their selection as grand marshals for the Vale 4th of July Rodeo. After decades of . . .