“Grandpa Gray” honored as 2013 Bull of the Woods | Buckley Log Show

Wally Green made a career of hauling logs from Northwest forests. - Courtesy photo
Wally Green made a career of hauling logs from Northwest forests.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

The Buckley Log Show is celebrating its 40th year of family fun and 2013 Bull of the Woods Walter “Wally” Gray has participated in all but a few.

The 68-year-old Gray, who was born and raised in Buckley, began his logging career with Roy Bowen Logging in 1968. The work was hard but rewarding, he said. He started out working on the chokers and rigging, but he eventually moved out of the brush and into hauling logs and equipment around the state. He thoroughly enjoyed exploring the sites and wildlife of the Northwest, he said, with each day bringing a new adventure or a new destination.

In 2005 and 2006, Gray underwent knee surgery, which forced him into an early retirement. Now that his days aren’t filled with work in the forest, Gray looks forward to trout fishing and tending to his yard.

A family man at heart, Gray was married on the first day of summer 1968 to Marian Lanphere. Together they have three children — Tina, Tracy and Tim — and nine grandchildren.

Gray said his fondest Log Show memories are of winning first place in the Ma and Pa Bucking on different occasions with his wife and both daughters. Being named this year’s Bull of the Woods will go down as his proudest moment, however.

“I never won All Around Logger, but I did come in one or two points away a few times,” he said. “I just couldn’t beat all the young kids, that’s why they call me Grandpa Gray.

“My son has won it six or seven times and I feel privileged he was able to pull that off,” he said. “But now I’ll be grand marshal of the parade! It’s quite an honor that I’m proud of because the kids can’t take away Bull of the Woods from me!”

Grandpa Gray said he’s proud to have played a role in what has historically been one of the state’s key economic industries and is grateful the Buckley Log Show committee — which hands out the Bull of the Woods honor each year — recognizes it as well, he said.

The Buckley Chamber of Commerce log show parade is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday June 29. Other logging events will begin at noon Saturday and again at 11 a.m. Sunday.

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