His name was Irving Taylor and he was a friend of mine.
I always liked Irving, he was a unique individual and always had a bit of humor in just about everything he said.
He had been a part of my family as I grew up and after I got grown I lost contact with him.
He lived across the state line in Georgia.
I reconnected with him after my friend J.T. Akins and his wife Mildred were in a wreck.
J.T. had come home after a few days in the hospital and I was sitting with him when Irving came and paid a visit.
We talked for awhile that evening and before Irving and his wife left, he asked J.T. if he could say a prayer.
I believe to this day that Irving’s prayer was by far the best prayer I have ever heard.
It was so simple and to the point. He asked for God’s blessings and the whole prayer didn’t last two minutes.
I followed him and his wife outside and we talked some more.
Like I say, he was a part of my Spires’ side of the family while I was growing up and I learned why I had lost track of him.
He had married my father’s half-sister who was much younger than he was, and they had a daughter.
After they divorced (pretty unheard of in that day, by the way) he moved down to the Miami area where several brothers worked.
He had remarried and they had a son.
Irving then moved back to South Georgia where he retired.
While he was down in the Miami area he was fishing one day on one of the many canals and a reporter from the Miami Herald happened up.
Like I said, Irving could spin a yarn with the best of them and the reporter actually did a two-page spread in the Miami Herald on Irving.
Somewhere I have a copy of it and so did Jack Wingate.
I asked Irving the next time I saw him, which happened to be at Wingates’ Lodge, where he lived.
He commenced to explain to me how to get to his house.
“You know where the Booster Club is at?” he asked me.
“Yes I do,” I responded.
He then gave me step-by-step directions.
“You know where that big brick house is at with the three-car garage.”
I knew the house he was talking about and had no idea who actually lived there.
“Well, that’s not my house; I live in the little tiny house behind it,” he said laughing as he told me.That was Irving and that is how I remember him.
Three things about Irving that stand out.
First was his belief in God; he was certainly a person who made no excuses about his beliefs. Second was, of course, his wit and humor.
The third thing that I have not mentioned until now was his ability to live through his frail and wracked body. You see, Irving was disabled from childhood and always needed
help with a walker to get around.
Although he had his infirmities, he could see beyond his pain and draw something from the world around him.
I admired that in him and sometimes when I get a little down I think about Irving Taylor and something he told me all those years ago.
“Always try to find something good in people and never give up no matter the circumstances,” he said.
I believe Irving lived by that philosophy and it seemed to work well for him.