Sunday, June 17, 2012

My Daddy's Day

Note: This post was in draft form backstage at my sister Cissy Taylor's blog "Write Away the Day." I have added some pictures of our father, Dub Taylor as well as a few memories of my own. Richard Taylor

My daddy, E.W. Taylor Jr., served in the Army Air Corps in World War II, mostly as a radio operator for a weather squadron in Europe. He didn't talk much about the war as his children were growing up. But there were a few stories he shared, and some things we found out later.

He was at the Bridge at Remagen, although I don't believe he was there when it was blown.

He was near Buchenwald when the Jewish prisoners there were liberated, but he made the decision to not see for himself the carnage that mankind had wrought on itself.

When he was serving in England, the U.S. censors monitored all letters going home to keep critical information from the enemies, so many wives received letters with gaping holes in them where the censors thought the information would point out locations to the Germans.

But the censors weren't always knowledgeable about literature, so my mother knew my father was in Sherwood Forest in England when he wrote, "I spent last night with Robin and Little John."

As I noted above, this was just a partial post that Cissy had in draft form but I would like to add a few words and pictures. First off is this picture of Dad and his parents and siblings from circa 1935:

Front row: Edwin Wiley Taylor, Sr and Anna Remington Howard Taylor
Back row right to left: Lena Elizabeth Taylor King, Fred Davis ("Zeke") Taylor, Howard Graves Taylor, Lindsey Clay ("Bus") Taylor, Sara Newton Taylor VanDeren, Edwin Wiley ("Dub") Taylor, Jr

Dub Taylor helped tremendously to make me the man I am today. When I was seven years old, my mother returned to college to complete her degree and become an English teacher and a Librarian. Although Dub had only completed the ninth grade of formal education, he was fully supportive of Mom's return to school and it was his example that allowed me to learn easily that there was no such thing as "man's" work or "woman's" work but that it was all work necessary for a home to run and I needed to get busy and do the chores assigned to me.

Even though he only had the ninth grade education, as Cissy noted above, he still had the literary knowledge that allowed him to tell Mom where he had been. I gained my love of Kipling from him. In the picture above you might be able to see the book case next to his chair. He did like to have the books handy.

There were times when Mom was in school when there wasn't an available baby sitter so Dub would take me to work with him. I would get parked in the seat of a state highway department truck with a couple of road maps and a pencil to keep me occupied "taking trips." Dub was active in the local VFW. My athletic skills were not real good so I wasn't quite able to make any of the local Little League teams. Dub wound up as my coach on a "minor league" team sponsored by the VFW.

Bus Taylor, Howard Taylor, and Dub Taylor at the wedding of Howard's granddaughter, Lyna in 1972. Photo by C. Michael Taylor.

I learned most of my cooking skills watching Dub in the kitchen which is why my Sunday dinner today will be fried chicken just like Dub made. I love you. R.I.P.