Not sure if you knew Bill, but he was a true Wicomico County patriot.
Quick story that I hope you can pass on.
Years ago, if you recall, many citizens in the county were at odds with certain members of the County Council regarding the pending decision on whether or not to fund the proposed Shorebirds Stadium. Foes, including the school teachers who felt they were underpaid, had bent the ears of the county councilmen, including President Henry Parker and the council was leaning in their direction. His argument was that the county should not be helping to fund a ‘private’ venture at the expense of the taxpayers and schools. The views were debated ad nauseam, and there was no clear consensus. The Daily Times, obviously was siding with the teachers union, so there was no way for the fans to explain the reason for their support.
At the time, I was on the board of the Chamber of Commerce, and most there backed Frank Perdue and Maryland Baseball. Each of the 3 parties, Frank Perdue, Maryland Baseball and Wicomico County were asked to toss in about $2m each.
So, one day, at a family birthday party picnic at Bill & Betsy Carey’s house in Covered Bridge, Bill senior and I were having a conversation about the stadium. He knew I was on the board at the Chamber and asked if he could get more support from us for the construction of the stadium, as he was an avid baseball fan. I told him I would see what I could do to drum up support.
So, at the next board meeting, I propose that the chamber help organize a meeting so that Frank Perdue, representatives from Maryland Baseball, the board of education and county council could all explain their case in a public forum. If you recall, that meeting was held at the Civic Center on a cold snowy night. The weather was so bad, Frank could barely land his plane and was late getting to the meeting.
After everyone had the chance to share their opinions, Mr. Parker stood up and declared that the people have spoken and sided with Bill Carey in support of the stadium. The rest was history and we have an outstanding facility in our county that has helped bring people from all over to watch the shorebirds.
Long story short, if it wasn’t for Bill, and the conversation we had in his son’s back yard, the stadium might not have been built.
For that, Bill should be remembered and thanked by anyone who has ever attended a game or an event at the stadium should credit Bill Carey for his efforts. May he rest in peace.