Carol Fulmer Saulsbury grew up an only child, but says her home community of Raymond has made sure she never longed for any siblings.
“I’m an only child and my parents are only children. The community is like family to me because I don’t have any aunts, uncles, brothers or sisters,” she says. “Raymond is a big part of my life.”
Tears filled her eyes as she went into detail about the lengths people in Raymond will go to help each other.
“It’s such a good feeling to know these people are just a phone call away. You might not see them every day, but if you ever need anything, all it takes is a phone call,” Saulsbury, 67, says.
Judy Leonard, 67, has known Saulsbury for over 20 years and calls her a “sister that’s not blood to me.” Leonard says Saulsbury is a friend to many in the community and embodies what a true friend is supposed to be.
“Anything that you could imagine a friend could be, that’s what Carol is like to people,” Leonard says.
Leonard says her son-in-law calls Saulsbury “smiley” due to her unwavering cheerful nature.
Saulsbury has been chosen grand marshal for the 33rd annual Raymond Parade on Saturday. The award honors a longtime contributor to the community.
Most recently, Saulsbury has been heavily involved with Raymond Community Church, Raymond Museum and the Raymond Community Association, which pushed for the construction of a community park in Raymond.
But she has been pouring her soul into the community long before her adult years.
Saulsbury’s family has been a part of Raymond since the 1920s when her grandparents moved to the community with Gold Rush roots.
Her grandmother worked at the local post office and her mother at the telephone company, and a young Saulsbury remembers helping both at their respective workplaces. When not occupied at either of those places, Saulsbury says she would help her father and grandfather raise cattle in the area.
Generations of Saulsburys
The family has left quite the imprint on the community, says Leonard.
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard a bad word about her mother, father or (Saulsbury),” Leonard says. “She’s a combination of her mom and dad. And her parents were great people, well respected and loved in all the mountain area.”
Saulsbury takes great pride in the history of both her family and the community.
“I was born and raised here all my life,” she says. “I feel very honored, very lucky and blessed to be a part of community that has a lot of history and a lot of generations after generations of (families) still staying here.”
Her home is adorned with a painting of the ranch she grew up on, neighbored by a photo of her parents when they were honored as grand marshals in 1993.
Saulsbury says that parade feels like “it was only yesterday,” only to then jokingly ask, “Am I really that old?”
Her parents have since passed away, but she plans to continue to honor them on Saturday. During the parade, Saulsbury will be escorted around in the doctor’s buggy that her parents would ride during parades.
And the Saulsbury legacy lives on through her two sons, Robert and Randy, and her three grandchildren. Two of those grandchildren will join her on her parade float on Saturday.
If you go
The Raymond Parade is scheduled to begin at noon on Saturday and will be followed by a number of activities, including museum tours, cultural demonstrations, a big raffle, silent auction, arts and crafts, nonprofit booths, live country music and plenty of food.