Hanging up the robe: Cary to retire from JP position

By Sahar Chmais

The walls in Judge of the Peace, Pact  5 Scott Cary’s office, speak the tales of a full and diverse lifetime. The trophies, newspapers and awards hanging on all four sides of the room tell of an athlete who dedicates countless hours to running, a husband and father who loves his family, a police officer who saved lives and a judge who serves his constituents.

But Cary will be packing up all his momentous  as he, at the age of 67, has decided to retire and hang up his robe. He sent in his letter of resignation on his birthday, Dec. 1.

Judge Cary’s wall, painted with achievements.

Cary has put countless hours behind his service as a police officer, Sergeant, homicide detective, bomb squad officer, SWAT member, basketball coach for people with disabilities at Marbridge and more.

His successor, Lucinda Doyle, will have some large shoes to fill – literally and metaphorically – for Cary towers over many at six feet and two inches. Doyle has a long-standing friendship with Cary and said she knows it will take work to fill in that position.

The two met 25 years ago, volunteering at their children’s elementary school in Buda. In the decades Doyle has known Cary, she has gotten to understand how knowledgeable he is on many subjects, given his wealth of experience.

Doyle said that Cary is a humble man with a big heart, given his long history volunteering with the school and coaching the Marbridge basketball team, winning six state championships.

It seems that Cary has fulfilled many callings in his lifetime, but he did not always have that direction. When he first went to junior college on a football scholarship, Cary was unsure what he wanted to do. Eventually he found his way into the police department and let the athleticism follow him in every step of the way, even when it stopped being part of his job.

His volunteerism spans beyond coaching the Marbridge basketball team; he is a Hays YMCA board of director, member of Buda Lions Club and a member of the Buda Area Chamber of Commerce. And in 2019, Cary was called on to become a trainer for the Texas Justice Court Training Center, where all JPs in Texas do their training. This achievement is one Cary was particularly proud of, but it was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic and eventually was moved online.

Even on the job, Cary finds creative ways to incorporate athleticism. In 1995, there was a string of robberies in Austin on Town Lake’s hike and bike trail. Cary devised a program to get off-duty police officers to run on the trail and in return he would compensate their time while they get in a workout. Within two months, the robbers were caught.

The golden shoe awarded to Cary, hanging on his wall.

Cary’s creative solution won him a golden shoe, which hangs high on his office wall.

Beneath the shoe sits another part of Cary’s life, unrelated to his work – a passion for travel. Cary has hiked in many continents and plans to visit more. From the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu, to Spain, Germany, the Great Wall of China and the bottom of the Grand Canyon, Cary has seen the highs and lows of the world.

His favorite place, which warranted a second visit with his wife, was Machu Picchu.

“It’s like going to Disney World. It’s all manmade; it seems impossible,” Cary spoke of the experience. “Hiking to Machu Picchu is a four-day trip. You go up almost 15,000 feet and come down into Machu Picchu and it’s a very spiritual experience.”

Cary’s travels are very well fitting of his job. He drew on a Mark Twain quote which states that travel is necessary for humans to understand one another and opens the eyes.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime,” wrote Mark Twain.

After serving as JP5 in Hays County for 12 years where he was on call 24/7, Cary can finally relax and see more of the world without worrying about which event he will be pulled out of or which vacation might be cut short.

He and his wife, Merry Cary, will get a recreational vehicle (RV) to travel all around the U.S. The coupe will also have more time to visit their daughter in California and their other daughter and grandchildren in Conroe.

“This has always been a pretty corny saying people say – ‘the next chapter,’ but I’m really looking forward to the next chapter,” Cary said with his robust voice. “I don’t know what it’s going to hold. But it’s just time for me to retire… it’s time for me to move aside and let someone else take over.”

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Sahar Chmais holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been covering cities in Hays County for one year, touching on residents' struggles and successes, city issues, COVID-19 and more. Prior to reporting on the local spectrum, Sahar reported for a national news organization, covering gun violence. Sahar enjoys working as a local reporter because she gets to work with real people and their stories.

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