Rainey, Smith are grand marshals

Marlys Good

“Long Live Cowboys,” is the theme of this year’s Days of ‘49 celebration, and LaWana Rainey and Morris Smith have been selected by the committee as co-grand marshals.
Morris Smith, the son of Chot and Gladys Smith, is a descendent of Jordan L. Smith, who came to the Shell Valley in 1884, when farmers and ranchers were settling on Shell Creek.
Morris was “raised” by Pauline Tatlock and Gen Hinman because his mother, Gladys, was the owner-operator of the Modern Beauty Shop on Greybull Avenue, and his father, Chot was working long hours on their ranch.
He remembers the shock he got when he had to eat the school lunches. “No one should have to eat that,” he said with a laugh. “Mother finally talked to Chuck Shirran and made a deal for me to eat lunch there [with some conditions] and I walked there every day at noon. And while I waited for them to fix my dinner, I would take out the trash [and do other chores] and Chuck would pay me a couple of dollars,” he recalled with a laugh.
He quit school after his sophomore year. In the ensuing years, he worked on the railroad and in the oil fields, moved around and worked in California, but finally returned to his roots. One major change in his life was he was now a married man: he and Sandra Linse had exchanged vows. Sandra was a long-time teacher at Greybull High School, teaching German, high-level English classes and composition.
His parents had sold their farm and purchased land on Trapper Creek, as had his uncles, Jack and Gladys Smith, and Cub and Marjorie Smith.
So Morris purchased 13 acres and leased more, and the couple became ranchers.  Some years later, they sold their Trapper Creek property and purchased their home on Shell Route from Eleanor Anderson, where Morris still resides, surrounded by “wonderful neighbors.”
And cowgirls too. Those three words should have been included in this year’s theme, but co-grand marshal LaWana Rainey didn’t think much about that. She simply said “I’m thrilled,” at the honor of being asked.
LaWana, the daughter of Lee and Ira Hanson, and her husband, Myrle Rainey, came to Greybull in 1950. LaWana explains that her brother and sister-in-law, Darrel and Darlene Hanson, had come to Greybull several years before when Darrel established Hanson Honey.
Myrle worked for Core Chevrolet for 10 years and then took a job as parts manager working for Ben and Willie Minter at Minter’s Auto Supply. LaWana worked for the telephone company in Idaho and eventually found a home as a telephone operator right here in Greybull. She worked for the telephone company until dialing systems were installed. After that, there were jobs at Pruett’s Cleaners, another cleaning company after Pruett sold his, for Safeway, the drug store and the list goes on. She was a jack of all trades and, all the while, took care of the Rainey’s two daughters, Cheryl and Vicki.
The Raineys — mom, dad and two daughters — loved the outdoors. They went boating and fishing and their daughters loved water skiing. LaWana put a brake on water-skiing, but loved to swim and took every advantage to swim in Greybull’s “new” pool down by the high school.
In 1955, LaWana and Myrle purchased the house that her brother and sister-in-law had been living in, on Second Avenue South, where she still resides today.
She says she doesn’t really know why she was chosen as a co-grand marshal, but we believe because she is an embodiment of what makes this community a welcoming small town.
So hats off to our co-grand marshals. We’ll we anxious to see if LaWana is the only “rider” in the horse-drawn wagon if Morris decides he’d rather be handling the reins.