Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Beloved Cousins: Too Soon Gone, Part Three, by Sue Kinsella


Jack Lloyd Taylor
Son of Arnon Taylor, who was son of Nancy Ethel Taylor, daughter of Kate Baker
July 6, 1948 – June 25, 1994

Jack was a firecracker, for sure, born two days after the 4th of July. He was three years older than me, which when we were kids seemed huge. I remember staying for a week with Arnon’s family when I was about seven. We picked strawberries, peeled sunburn from Nancy’s back, and played cowboys with a western frontier town scene set up on the kitchen floor after dinner. I thought all the Taylor boys were dazzlingly handsome. I can’t imagine Jack without a happy-go-lucky, rakish grin.

Diana tells about the first time she met Jack, when he came up from Florida to see his dad. It just so happened that Arnon was at that time trying his hand at making beer. Everyone was pressed into service to help and Jack was an eager assistant. Diana, having previously tasted some of the uncertain outcomes of famous Arnon concoctions, was a bit more reticent. After letting the mixture ferment, Jack was first in line for a taste. As Diana describes it, “Dad poured it out and he and Jack enjoyed a large and masculine slug. Dad smiled a bit and set his glass down. Jack . . . well, Jack turned several different colors, then spit and gagged. It smelled horrid and I hear it tasted worse.” Despite that experience, Jack stayed on for a few more months and, Diana says, he packed a lot of energy and practical jokes into a very short period of time.

That sounds like Jack. And that’s why it was incomprehensible to me when I heard that he had been found slumped over at work, dead of a heart attack just shy of 46.

5 comments:

Pat said...

okay, enough of these scammers! Not QUITE appropriate for this topic.

Jack was ten years older than I am, so I just remember the group of older, cooler Taylor cousins at get togethers; I cannot pick Jack out in my head.

I AM sorry I did not get to know him better as we grew older, and I DO want to do better with you, my other cousins.

Am up in Acadia National Park right now, so near wireless.

Great hiking to all, and a Great Fourth!

Anonymous said...

You wonder sometimes when you meet people that pack so much living and energy in such a short period of time - maybe somehow they know they don't have long.

I just came accross the Beer Stein that we had engraved to commemorate 'Dad's Home Brew' that is discussed in this little story.
Diana

Judy said...

I agree with Patty, I can not remember Jack at all. We were very
close to Bob (his bro) He spent alot of time at our house. He was
like my big brother, it is sad to
know he is also gone.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Jack was a treasure!! Like all his siblings, he was marked by his parents divorce. He did continue his harum scarum ways tho, he sort of danced thru life as I knew him. He put in a stint in Saudi Arabia as an oil person. married several times , but my favorite memory of him is when he was about 6-7 or so . Still living in Waterloo, I had stopped to see them. Had a cold so asked for a kleenex. Jack scurried over to a drawer in the kitchen and handed me a rag. " here , Aunt CB, this is what we use!" To be honest, I did not have a cold but it was a sad time and i was tearing up!! Sweet kid, he was trying to make it better!!!

Julie Riber said...

I remember thinking of Jackie as the most handsome of Arnon's sons. He reminded me of one of the Beach Boys at the time. I was shocked to learn of his death at such an early age.