By Amber Hayden
BOYCEVILLE – This year’s Cucumber Festival Grand Marshals Bob and Lynda Bird both agree that it is an honor to represent the village of Boyceville.
“We look forward to seeing everyone in town as well as those who come home for the event that we may only get to see once a year,” commented Lynda.
[emember_protected] Lynda grew up in Boyceville and Bob moved to the village 75 years ago from Menomonie. The home they currently live in is only 10 miles from where Lynda grew up.
They have always been active when it came to the school, from Bob driving bus for the last 20 years, which he only subs in on the days they need a driver now), to Lynda’s close to 20 years spent on the school board, they keep active in the community.
Be it as athletic or music boosters, reaching out to find new ways to help kids with special needs, or picking which pie to bake for a church social. “We used to be part of the coronation process for the festival, but we don’t do that part anymore,” commented the couple.
The Birds have made the future of young kids a priority. “We’ve always been really into the education of the kids, we want to see them succeed in life,” said Lynda.
Lynda along with her son Tim (53), who has Down syndrome and lives with the couple, have spoken to several universities on new ways to help special needs students. Tim also continues to help as a volunteer two days a week at Tiffany Creek Elementary school with the fifth grade classes.
“I really enjoy it,” Tim said.
Lynda also mentioned that their son Tim visits his sisters Tammy and Amy to help in their classrooms in order to educate more students on how to treat people with special needs. The Birds are also very active with the Special Olympics programs.
“When Tim was younger there were no classes for him, I wanted to find a way to change that,” Lynda says.
Up until 2003 they had been dairy farmers, but now only crop farm. During this time Lynda was working with all levels of kids with special needs, and running a dual disabilities group home. “I always made sure to decorate it for all the holidays,” she said, “it made it relaxing for everyone and we always kept things around to help the residents keep busy. I ran it … How I would want it to be if Tim was there.”
The continuing theme for this family though seems to be making sure that people were made aware of what they could do to help others.
Keeping busy accurately describes the couple with countless graduations, weddings, and reunions they spend as much time with the family as they can. “We aren’t done yet either, we all try to get together at least once to twice a year. But Easter is always the hardest holiday to get together,” according to Lynda.
The couple has five children. Steve, who currently serves on the Boyceville school board and daughter-in-law Jolene teaches at Tiffany Creek Elementary and is the girls head basketball coach; Kevin and Tim, who still reside in the Boyceville area; and two daughters: Tammy, who lives in Green Bay and Amy, who resides in Oshkosh. They also have 11 grandchildren and two great-grand children. Both of their daughters have gone on to become teachers, focusing primarily on special needs students.
When asked how the kids feel about their parents receiving the honor Lynda commented, “They think it’s great!”
The Birds feel honored to represent the village. “We are proud to represent the village, even if we don’t know what we are getting ourselves into,” the couple said.
Not only will the Birds be leading the parade as grand marshals, Bob will have four tractors for the 17th annual tractor show as well as have a Model T entered into the parade.
According to Bob, he and his brothers are members of the Bird’s polka band that played during the 100th year (1962) and 150th year (2012) celebrations for Boyceville, which took place during Cucumber Festival. “That was the last time we actually played together as a band,” Bob says.
Another part of the festival the Birds look forward to is checking out all the different local vendors and the parades.
If you can’t make it to the parade but still want to see the couple, you can always check over at Sno-Jammers chicken. “It’s messy but it’s really good,” said Bob.
But all in all the couple is looking forward to the fun-filled and good feelings with friends and family during the weekend long event.
The festival will run from August 17 – 19 starting at 5 p.m. Friday, August 17 with the Hearts and Hands Quilt show and the carnival. [/emember_protected]