First Posted: 6/24/2014
Robertson (Bobby) Baird’s great-great-grandfather William Baird was a hearty Scotsman, who was born around 1870 and sailed from Glasgow to Halifax, Nova Scotia, then walked to Inkerman, near Pittston.
It took him three years to walk to Pittston. He stopped along the way, taking jobs as a blacksmith until he got to the Glen Alden Coal Co. in Inkerman, where he had pre-arranged a job shoeing the mining company’s mules.
His son, Archibald Baird, owned an 80-acre farm in Orange, and was a road supervisor in Orange. Archibald Baird raised eight children on that farm and was a weight and shipping master at the Penn Coal Co. in Wilkes-Barre.
Bobby Baird remembers his first trumpet solo, which he played for his grandfather Archibald when Archibald was running for a political office. “At 5 years old, I played ‘Abide with Me’ at Glen Echo Park on the Sullivan Trail in Orange for him,” Baird said.
Baird’s father, also Robertson Baird, operated Baird’s Dairy in Kingston for many years.
Bobby Baird, a former radio station manager at WNAK, lives in Shavertown with his wife Pat (Roberts) Baird, a former teacher at Trucksville Nursery School. Pat Baird was originally from Cooperstown, N.Y. but graduated from Kingston Township High School. They raised three daughters Bonnie, Lori, Wendy and one son, Robertson, in the Back Mountain.
Both now retired, Bobby and Pat and members of the Baird family had the thrill of a lifetime when, in May, their grandson Matthew Joseph Solomon (son of Lori Baird) graduated from Boston College and was commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy.
The grandson’s father, Dr. James Solomon, is a 23-year veteran of the Navy and Bobby Baird served four years as a Musician First Class and trumpet soloist with the United States Navy Band in Washington, D.C., performing for presidential inaugurations and state events.
According to tradition, when Matthew Solomon was called to the podium to receive his officer’s shoulder boards, Robertson “Bobby” Baird, his grandfather, was also called to receive his grandson’s first salute as a U.S. Naval officer, a proud moment for three generations of the Baird family.