Letters

Letters 08-03-2015

Real Brownfields Deserve Dollars I read with interest the story on Brownfield development dollars in the July 20 issue. I applaud Dan Lathrop and other county commissioners who voted “No” on the Randolph Street project...

Hopping Mad Carlin Smith is hopping mad (“Will You Get Mad With Me?” 7-20-15). Somebody filed a fraudulent return using his identity, and he’s not alone. The AP estimates the government “pays more than $5 billion annually in fraudulent tax refunds.” Well, many of us have been hopping mad for years. This is because the number one tool Congress has used to fix this problem has been to cut the IRS budget –by $1.2 billion in the last 5 years...

Just Grumbling, No Solutions Mark Pontoni’s grumblings [recent Northern Express column] tell us much about him and virtually nothing about those he chooses to denigrate. We do learn that Pontoni may be the perfect political candidate. He’s arrogant, opinionated and obviously dimwitted...

A Racist Symbol I have to respond to Gordon Lee Dean’s letter claiming that the confederate battle flag is just a symbol of southern heritage and should not be banned from state displays. The heritage it represents was the treasonous effort to continue slavery by seceding from a democratic nation unwilling to maintain such a consummate evil...

Not So Thanks I would like to thank the individual who ran into and knocked over my Triumph motorcycle while it was parked at Lowe’s in TC on Friday the 24th. The $3,000 worth of damage was greatly appreciated. The big dent in the gas tank under the completely destroyed chrome badge was an especially nice touch...

Home · Articles · News · Other Opinions · Roy Taghon
. . . .

Roy Taghon

Ross Boissoneau - January 28th, 2008
We all know we’re going to die, we just don’t want to believe it. Nor do we want to believe that others are.
It doesn’t matter. It still happens every day, far too often. It’s just that some are so unexpected, and leave gaping holes far beyond their family.
That is what Empire is going through right now. If you ever stopped for gas at the station at the corner of M-72 and M-22, the one owned for years by his parents and by his grandparents before them, you probably saw Roy Taghon. He was the skinny guy at the counter, the one with the sparkling eyes dancing behind those big glasses. Forty-two years young, his hair heading south, his legs heading somewhere. Roy was never still for more than about a minute. Too much caffeine, you might think, but the strongest thing I ever saw him drink was milk.
That was just one facet of Roy. If you ever attended Mass, or a wedding or funeral at St. Philip Neri in Empire, you saw another part of Roy. And heard it. As music director there and at St. Rita/St. Joseph and most recently Holy Rosary, he played week in and week out. You could hear the joy and faith as he sang and played, not just playing the music but making it come to life. And while he loved the organ, I loved it when he played piano. He was an excellent organist, but a truly gifted pianist.
If you liked snowmobile riding, you might have seen Roy on his snow machine. That’s what he loved more than anything other than his music. And that’s what he was doing when he died on Sunday, Jan. 20.
The details of his death aren’t important. It’s the depth of his life that stands out. Roy was a gifted musician, true, but more than that, he was a gift. A gift to his family, a gift to his church, a gift to his community. He was the most thoroughly decent person I’ve ever known. In all the years I’ve been a part of this area, I never saw him angry, never heard him utter a cross word about anyone. We should all strive to be more like Roy, one of the purest examples of humanity I will ever know.
Roy is gone now. And I still can’t believe it. None of us can. That death can come for someone so vital, so loved, so full of life, is neither fair nor comprehensible. He played at Mass Sunday morning as usual, and then by afternoon was gone.
We grieve with his parents, Dave and Diane. With his brother and sisters and their families, with his aunts, uncles, cousins. With all the hundreds of people whose lives he touched, with his humor, his music, his great energy for life.
What will I remember? I still hear his voice talking to my wife: “Mary B, Roy T.” Or “Roy Taghon here.” His playing organ while my buddy Bob and I labored to play our trumpets, and then him picking up his to show us how he wanted it done. Not with any impatience or temper -- just this is how it should go. Picking up ice cream from Kilwin’s or Moomers on a hot summer day and dropping it off at his home or the station.
I’ll remember him taking me to see jazz trumpet great Maynard Ferguson in Elk Rapids a few years ago. We were just getting back from a trip to Cedar Point (another of Roy’s favorite places), and met Roy in Traverse City for the trip to Elk Rapids. Maynard was a gas, and we met some of the band following the show. Roy was geeked in the extreme. And it was Roy who called me to give me the sad news of Maynard’s death.
Now it’s Roy who’s gone. There’s a lot less sunshine in the world, that’s for sure. But despite the incredible sadness we all feel in our little hamlet – or here in Mayberry, as Fr. Bill would put it – there’s some joy too. Joy that we knew Roy, as well as his wonderful family. Joy that he brought into our lives for so many years. Joy that, as he always put it at the many funerals he did, “Well, they’re in a better place now.”
We know that, Roy. But we still miss you and we always will. We love you.

Empire resident Ross Boissoneau is a frequent contributor to the Express.


 
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