Bob Taylor: Veterans Day

Our Rotary Choir

After the traditional rendering of the songs of the branches of the U.S. military, led by the Rotary Choir, President Todd Taylor introduced today’s program, his brother Bob Taylor. 

 Bob was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, four years ago.   There were a few things they didn’t have in common, however.  Bob was no slugger and he is a diehard Red Sox fan.  

ALS has not stripped him of his spirit, grit or sense of humor.   His granddaughter once quipped “We can’t eat at that restaurant.  Peabod can’t get in. He has ASS.”  Well, ASS or not, Bob wasn’t going to be denied a good meal. 

Speaking of baseball, Bob does own a share of a professional baseball record. He played in an uninterrupted seven hour 29 inning game.  In thirteen at-bats, Bob belted out one single, not enough to prevent a 3-4 loss. 

Baseball remained a passion.  For fourteen years he was a sports broadcaster in Charlotte where, despite his efforts, baseball was not deified as much as other Tar Heel sports.  He had the honor of interviewing perhaps the greatest baseball player of all time, “Say Hay” Willy Mays, as well as the legendary African American track star Jesse Owens who gracefully dashed the myth of Aryan superiority in Hitler’s 1936 Olympics. 

Bob also pulled a tour as a Marine.  It was a case of like mother like son.  Bob’s mother was among the earliest professional Marines. 

For the past thirty years, Bob found a career as a world traveler who organizes and leads tours, and documents his journeys through poetic videos.  His media company has produced marketing videos for European and Asian countries—including Sweden, Switzerland and Japan. 

Bob concluded his program by playing a video he created three days after the horrible massacre of 9-11.  By chance, he was at the American Cemetery in Normandy where more than 9,000 white crosses and Stars of David mark the graves of American soldiers who lost their lives on D-Day and in subsequent operations.  The serenity and beauty of the cemetery stand in stark contrast to the many bloody battles fought on those shores over the centuries.  This moving video is available on You Tube at https://www.youtube.com/embed/kAvFhQOxJTU” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>

The awarding of three Paul Harris Fellows to brothers Bob and Skip Taylor and son Jason Taylor by President Todd and Foundation Chair and Past President Kay Gresham concluded the program. 

 

Submitted by Allen Cronenberg

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