The Grand Marshal for this year’s Hoquiam Elks Grand Parade has been involved with Loggers Playday events for the majority of his life.
Marty Moir’s father, Brick, competed in the very first Playday in the mid 60s, and Moir has been involved since the second year of the event.
“I’m the old goat, that’s the truth,” Moir, now 77, said of why he was selected. “The oldest living member who has been there the longest.”
Moir’s son, Hoki, said his father’s career as a longshoreman out of Aberdeen — and as a commercial fisherman in Alaska during the summers — allowed for a good amount of free time that he invested heavily into Playday preparations.
“My dad was chosen because of his near 50-year commitment to the organization,” he said.
Hoki remembers attending work parties for the event with his brother, Darren, as a young child.
“I was raised around these guys,” he said, of the original committee members, including: Don Bell, Jack Root, Omar Parker and J.T. Spradlin. “Early on, the same guys that brought dad into the committee instilled in us that it’s an incredible way to give back to the community.”
In his mid-20s, Moir worked for a logging outfit — rigging, driving and doing other miscellaneous jobs. It was Jack Reynvaan, whom he later worked for as a tugboat deckhand, who led him to Loggers Playday. He said setup for the event today is “fairly simple, but still work” in comparison to when they first started.
“We had to do everything by hand, and it took a lot of time and a lot of stuff,” he said.
Hoki added that in the past setting up and preparing for the event was, in itself, an huge community event.
“It used to be that if something had to be done a bunch of people got together and got it done,” he said, adding his father is often nostalgic at such thoughts of the past. “Times have changed and it doesn’t work out that way a lot of the time.”
Moir views Playday as a necessity for community bonding since “one of the biggest things Hoquiam ever had,” the Thanksgiving Day football game against Aberdeen, is now a thing of the past.
“If you grew up in Hoquiam and you married and moved away … and you were planning a vacation most people would always try to plan around the Thanksgiving ballgame,” he said. “Everyone showed up around then, sort of like a reunion. We don’t have that anymore and the closest thing we have is the log show.”
He said that while there have been log shows that are more heavily invested in financially, none have had the attendance — at one point as high as 5,000 people — that Loggers Playday and the Elk’s Grand Parade have attracted. And he points out that the best thing about the Hoquiam logging show is that when all is said and done, “Loggers Playday is still about the everyday logger.”
Hoki said his dad’s dedication to the Playday project and the community of Grays Harbor will always be a part of his life and family.
“He has a love and respect for the people here. He’s been here nearly his entire life,” he said. “… It’s just a lifelong commitment. He enjoys physical labor and he enjoys giving back.”