Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5