Carol and Melvin Cash will serve as the White Bird Rodeo and Days grand marshals for 2017.
As of Tuesday, June 13, 2017
WHITE BIRD They may never have gotten to hear Johnny Cash in person, but they are related to him.
“He’s a cousin,” smiled Carol (Smith) Cash. She found that out through her genealogy research and some networking.
Melvin and Carol Cash will serve as the White Bird Rodeo grand marshals for 2017.
Melvin was born and raised in White Bird while Carol was born in Washington and moved to Grangeville where the two met in high school. He graduated in 1952 and she in 1953, marrying soon after.
The two eloped, saying their vows in Weiser.
“It was the first town we came to that looked like a good place to stop,” Melvin smiled.
“The judge didn’t have a witness; he went out and arrested a guy for not paying his parking meter, and he became our witness,” laughed Carol.
He worked in the sawmill until it burned down and then they moved to Joseph, Ore., where he hauled wheat for her uncle where he hauled wheat. They then went on to Enterprise, Ore., where he loaded box cars.
Melvin soon joined the Navy, which took the couple and their family all over.
“He hadn’t been out of Idaho until we got married,” Carol said.
They spent time in a variety of places including Nevada, San Diego, Texas, Oklahoma, Washington State, Memphis and Hawaii. He spent 20 years in the service and then another 20 in civil service continuing in electrical engineering.
The couple raised four boys; however, one son was killed in a bicycle accident in Poulsbo, Wash., in 1982.
They returned to White Bird 16 years ago when family members were ill and needed caring for.
They have five grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren and enjoy hunting and fishing.
“It’s a great place for those hobbies,” they agreed.
They spent time shuttling cars for whitewater companies and she is a past Rebekah member. They belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The two enjoy living on White Bird’s Main Street, across from the IOOF Hall, where they watch the parades and other town activities during White Bird Days. They have even had the sawdust dig in their large front yard.
Melvin is now 82 and Carol is 81. They are celebrating 64 years of marriage this year. What’s the secret?
“I am very independent, but you have to be able to overlook a lot of faults and discuss your problems,” Carol said. “And you cannot run home to mama! Don’t let things boil, and know forgiveness is key.”
Melvin smiled and agreed.