by Tim Linscott
This year has been one filled with milestones for Doug and Sharon Tatum of Grant.
In June Doug marked 40 years in business as a barber, in November Sharon will mark 40 years working at the family business, the Barber Pole, and the couple will celebrate 40 years of marriage in October.
The couple have been named the 2014 Grand Marshals to the annual county fair parade.
The announcement was especially sweet for the Tatums as their daughter, Andi Lee, Perkins County Chamber of Commerce President, broke the news that they were chosen for the annual chamber honor.
“It was so nice Andi called,” Doug said. “It is nice to see the things she’s doing and being involved and active.”
The couple were surprised that they were chosen for the honor.
“You think of people who are deserving of such a thing, you don’t consider yourself in that realm,” Doug explained. “Anytime you are singled out for something like that, you wonder why. I can think of dozens of people far more deserving in my mind. It is a great honor. It is nice to be recognized.”
The couple will have a different perspective of this year’s parade, instead of a float or sitting along side of the route, they will be in an exalted role.
“Rather than be in a spot and watch the parade go by, you will be in a parade and watch all the people go by,” Doug said.
The parade has not changed much over the years for Doug and Sharon Tatum, which is just fine with them.
“The situation stays the same, just the faces change,” Doug said. “We are lucky to hang on to many of the traditions we have here and this is one of them. It is great we keep the parade going.”
Over the years the fair has meant a lot to the Tatum family. When she was younger, Sharon was involved with 4-H and spent a lot of time at the fair. Her children were involved with various fair activities and now she is excited to see her grandchildren involved in the Perkins County Fair.
“We had the chance to experience all of the fair activities with our children and now with our grandchildren,” Sharon said. “It is just fun.”
Both Doug and Sharon were born and raised in the community and made a decision 40 years ago to have their careers and lives in Perkins County, a decision Doug has never regretted.
“For us, we were born and raised here. We then chose to come back and have our careers here, raise our kids here and we now get to watch our grandkids grow up here,” Doug said. “It just proves to us that the decision we made 40 years ago to come home was the right one. We are reminded of that every day.”
Being named Grand Marshal has been what Doug called a ‘capper’ to a crazy, exciting, wonderful year.
The couple plan on ‘just taking in the fair’ and seeing the sights and socialize.
“As fair week, we’ll be there throughout the week taking part in different activities and it will be like an extension of what we do on a daily basis,” Doug said. “We come in contact with people and visit with people, we are very social people, it will be an extension of that. For us, it is a continuation of what we do all the time.”
“You can’t beat fair hamburgers, pie and ice cream,” Sharon added. “That is the best.”
Perkins County as a whole has been a wonderful extended community to the Tatum family and being named to lead the parade is a humbling honor.
“We have a lot of family here and a lot of friends,” Sharon said. “There are a lot of wonderful people in the county. It is not just Grant, but the entire county has so many special people.”
“For me, the heart of a community is the people,” Doug said. “Other towns and counties may be the same size, but they don’t have the people that we have. I think that is a huge difference.”