Marv Sumner named 2022 Crooked River Grand Marshal
Marv Sumner loves basketball.
His love of that sport was no more evident than when he spearheaded an effort last year to renovate the basketball courts at Ochoco Creek Park, an effort that took a lot of fundraising and a lot of planning.
But he loves rodeo even more.
"I have said numerous times in the past that I love rodeo and I love basketball, and if they are here in town on the same night, I'm gonna miss the game." Sumner will get to enjoy rodeo this summer in a way he never has before, thanks to his selection as the 2022 Crooked River Roundup Grand Marshal.
"It is something I think I am going to enjoy very much," he said.
Sumner was born in Prineville, "down in the old hospital on First Street," but a nomadic lifestyle kept him away from the community at different times throughout his life.
"My folks were here for a few years, and then we moved up to the Suplee country where Dad ran a sawmill," Sumner recalls. "Then, we went from there to John Day, to where I spent my school years."
Embarking on a career in banking, Sumner finally found his way back to Prineville, the third stop of many during his working years.
"I was excited to come back to my birthplace," he said. "We lived here for three years and then my wife and I moved away to Klamath Falls, and then we were asked if we wanted to come back. Well, gosh, we were excited — I didn't even have to call her to get the answer to that question. So, we were here for seven years that time."
During each stay in Prineville, his work with the Roundup was limited to providing the banking services for the Crooked River Roundup Race Meet, but toward the end of his seven-year stint, he was voted onto the Roundup board.
"I was very excited because I had always loved the Roundup," he said.
But his tenure wouldn't last very long. After only a few months on the board, he was promoted and transferred once again to another community — this time, Burns. He only stayed there for about two years before moving again to Baker City.
It was there that his nomadic lifestyle finally settled down — he spent the next 30 years there, working in banking the entire time. But eventually, it came time to retire, and Sumner faced a tough decision.
"We loved Baker, but we also loved Prineville."
Prineville ultimately won out, and he and his wife found a home. And in 2016, Sumner once again returned to his birthplace, this time to stay. He hoped that he would get another chance to serve on the board, and he got that chance, getting voted onto the board a second time, serving as treasurer. He held the position for six years, his term expiring this past fall.
Sumner is eager to immerse himself in the Crooked River Roundup and in rodeos in general during the weeks ahead.
"I loved rodeo as a kid," he said. "We would come in with my grandparents and uncles from the ranch out at Suplee where I spent a lot of my summers." He added that he enjoyed attending the Paulina Rodeo as well, an event that was only 18 miles away.
His connection to rodeo continued into adulthood. At many of his career stops in other communities, he found himself volunteering for different tasks at the rodeos, typically behind the scenes. Then, when his youngest son, Ty, became a saddle bronc rider, Sumner spent much of his son's high school, college and professional competitions helping him behind the chutes.
Sumner has already gotten a taste of the grand marshal life, and he enjoyed it. A couple weekends ago, he attended the Spray Rodeo and participated in the parade.
"It was a good time," he said, reasoning that his time as grand marshal is "all going to be fun."
While he is happy to hold the grand marshal title, he is humbled and wonders if he deserves the spotlight. He stresses that so many other people work hard and more deserving than him.
"It's one of those things where you say, 'Why me?' because you think of all those people who you have worked with and been associated with," he said. "I felt really humbled by the fact that my co-directors found me worthy of the position."
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