Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mr. T.

Memories from Steve...

I have known Jeff for many years. We have been friends for part of that time and really good friends for part of that time. You don’t have to be around Jeff very long to know how important his dad is. And you didn’t have to be around Mr. Taylor very long to understand why.

During the time of my friendship with Jeff I have had opportunities to interact with Mr. Taylor. Church events, holiday and music events -- I have spent some time at chez Taylor, and I have had the good fortune to play in some of the same golf events as Mr. Taylor. To take that a step further along, not only have I been at the event with him but I have had the privilege of being in his foursome and on some days sharing a cart. Now Jeff was probably thinking, “Steve is going to have to listen to Dad’s stories > I wonder what is going to be told.” I do have some Jeff stories – but that’s for later. The stories were all new to me. And through them I feel as though I have already met Janice, Joyce and Joel.

As a salesman, something that has always impressed me is someone’s ability to remember names, faces, places, events, and the like. Mr. Taylor did not disappoint. He knew every – I mean EVERY course he had played and the shots on each hole. He would say, “Remember Steve, two years ago you hit that shot over close to that tree and had to use a ??? iron to hit low into the middle of the fairway…” I kind of remembered that it was the same golf course. I do remember the year he got his new driver. It was a shoebox on a stick. Time after time, shot after shot he would be right down the middle and as such would keep the foursome in the game and away from an embarrassing score. He let me hit it a time or two. It was incredible. With the wide face and flexible shaft I could hit my deeper into the woods than ever before. He liked it, and it was fun to watch him hit an exceptionally great shot.

Mr. Taylor was a deep thinker and remembered not only golf. He was a very active contributor to the devotional ministry at Johnson Memorial United Methodist. I suppose he can’t scold me now for outing him but some of his devotionals were penned under the Anonymous tag. As we would ride along he would share the thought process that led him to write what he did. He would cite writings far back in time and recount them almost verbatim. When it was an “Anonymous” devotional he would say something like, “Did you know I wrote that?” Well, yes I did but it was cool to watch him reveal it.

I always came away from my time with Mr. T. – better. Better for having gleaned a new nugget of information. Better for having been able to absorb some of his positive energy. Better for watching and learning from a man who loved his family, loved his life and loved his Lord. Better because he Walked the Walk.

He now gets to play where the fairways are always wide, the greens are always smooth and the cup is ALWAYS in the right place. Godspeed Mr. Taylor. Hit ‘em straight and far.

Steve Matthews



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