Scotts Named Grand Marshals
“I could write a book,” notes Hoss Scott as he reflected on the 40 years that he and Tammy have worked with Rector’s Labor Day Picnic, currently in the barbeque stand. “Yeah, Shayne Roofe and Mike Mobley called me over because they needed someone to help chopping the meat. ‘It’ll be fun, they said.’ And I’ve been here ever since.”
Hoss (William) and Tammy Scott were selected by the Labor Day Picnic Board to serve as Grand Marshals for the parade and weekend activities in Rector. Both Hoss and Tammy say they can remember only one picnic each that they ‘almost’ missed. Tammy shares that she was quite young and had fallen out of a tree that weekend, hurting her arm. Her parents took her to Dr. Futrell who must have known how badly she wanted to be at the picnic. He pronounced her arm ‘badly sprained.’ By Sunday, however, according to Tammy, “my wrist was turning black and was swollen. They were ready to take me to the hospital, but I told them it didn’t hurt a bit.” As the story goes, Tammy’s parents agreed to take her to the parade on Monday and allowed her one ride, then it would be off to the hospital. Tammy’s arm was broken in two places, but she was at the Labor Day event, broken arm and all.
Tammy tells that in 2002, just before Labor Day, Hoss had been in the hospital. He was released and that Labor Day, he was at the barbeque stand. Although he sat in a lawn chair most of the time. Still, he was there, at his post, celebrating community, family and friends on Labor Day.
The couple grew up in different communities (Rector and Marmaduke), but Rector was the place to be on weekends with teens driving the “strip” and everybody else milling around downtown talking and shopping. Prior to their teen years, though, both worked in different areas of the park. Tammy’s aunt and uncle, J.W. and Quanda Bookout, worked in the Irby Funeral Home tent and even as a pre-schooler, Tammy would be there, sometimes sitting on her aunt’s lap, helping sell tickets for the rides. Her family later took on the snow cone stand and at age eight, Tammy worked there.
Hoss shares a funny tale, one of many he could share but didn’t, about himself at age 17. Convinced by organizers to be in the dunking booth, certain that ‘not many ever hit the bull’s-eye,’ Hoss climbed in. The line for a chance to dunk Hoss stretched far too long, Hoss thought. “They were wrong! Out of 50 tries, I’ll bet 49 of them hit that target. I went into that cold water just about every time. Enough was enough. I’d rather work at the duck pond.”
He continued with more memories saying, “I loved buying the ice cream blocks. I’d get two wafers and make a sandwich of it. I’d spend just about all my money, at 25 cents each square, on ice cream.”
After Hoss and Tammy married in July of 1978, they began working the barbeque stand as a couple. Everyone gets barbeque and this allowed the couple has a chance to see their friends, family, and everyone in town visiting with everybody. Their children, Ashley Jones and Hannah Scott, “have grown up in the picnic stands and work hard because of the love they have for helping others. We could not do any of this by ourselves. We have such good volunteers,” said Tammy.
“When we were asked to be Grand Marshals, I was speechless and became teary-eyed,” Tammy said. “Of course, I said yes. This is such an honor. We work because we love it and for the good of the Woodland Heights Cemetery. It’s so beautiful. It’s like a park.”
She also noted the annual picnic has always been a family affair. “Our daughters, Ashley and Hannah, and son-in-law Carl Jones, plus our granddogs Shorty, Little Bit and Booly. And our own dog Lady Bug. The whole family is involved in the Labor Day event,” continued Tammy.
Hoss says, “When I see the young people working the stands, when I see all ages of people loving Labor Day, I know we’re good for the future. Being in the stands on Labor Day is a part of our lives. It’s one giant homecoming for Rector.”
The couple represents the many dedicated workers in Rector who keep the Labor Day weekend special for the community. The couple’s 40 years in the barbeque stand shows their love for Rector and its people, some of whom travel many miles to celebrate the holiday at home.
“I just wish these walls in all the stands could talk. It would be one wild story,” Hoss concludes, with a nod of agreement from Tammy.