Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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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