Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tribute to recognize Largo band's volunteer of 40 years

Howard Taylor holds a picture of the Band of Gold taken during a competition five years ago. Taylor is retiring after more than 40 years of volunteer service with the band. “At 88, if I didn’t have that band, I’d be dead. … In the past eight years, they have been my life.”

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times

Howard Taylor holds a picture of the Band of Gold taken during a competition five years ago. Taylor is retiring after more than 40 years of volunteer service with the band. “At 88, if I didn’t have that band, I’d be dead. … In the past eight years, they have been my life.”

After more than 40 years of volunteering with Largo High School's Band of Gold, Howard Taylor, 88, is retiring. Band of Gold members and alumni are planning a tribute to Taylor, who spent decades working the concession stands, loading equipment, handing out Gatorade and encouraging the kids to keep on playing. We asked Howard to share some of his favorite songs and memories.

What are your favorite songs?

Battle Hymn of the Republic and Stars and Stripes Forever. They haven't had any good music since 1946. I used to dance to Begin the Beguine, when we went on a cruise, my wife and I.

How did you first get interested in music?

I was 10 or so, and my father took me to New York to watch the Oneida, N.Y., bugle band. It was an American Legion bugle band and we watched the parade and that band blew the socks off the city.

What's your musical background?

I played the drums in kindergarten. I took piano lessons from a blind woman during the Depression. My mother stopped the lessons. I wasn't doing so well and, in the Depression, you can't spend your money like that.

I sang soprano when I was 9 until I was 15. My 15th birthday, my voice cracked and I sing pretty bad now.

How did you get involved with the Band of Gold?

It was a new hobby for me. And then my daughter got into ninth grade, she played flute, and got to be first-chair flute in the band.

What made you stay a volunteer for so long?

I stayed for so long because I had never heard an unkind word from any of the kids in the band. And they always appreciated what I did. And right now, at 88, if I didn't have that band, I'd be dead. My wife has been gone for eight years. In the past eight years, they have been my life.

>>If you go

Tribute set Saturday

The tribute to Howard Taylor will be from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the courtyard of Largo High School, 410 Missouri Ave. Band members and former band members are asked to bring their instruments.

Tribute to recognize Largo band's volunteer of 40 years 08/05/08 [Last modified: Monday, August 11, 2008 4:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. The Daystarter: Gov. Scott vetoes 'Whiskey and Wheaties Bill'; Culpepper's fate in 'Survivor' finale; to catch a gator poacher; your 2017 Theme Park Guide

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    To catch a ring of poachers who targeted Florida's million-dollar alligator farming industry, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission set up an undercover operation. They created their own alligator farm, complete with plenty of real, live alligators, watched over by real, live undercover wildlife officers. It also had hidden video cameras to record everything that happened. That was two years ago, and on Wednesday wildlife officers announced that they arrested nine people on  44 felony charges alleging they broke wildlife laws governing alligator harvesting, transporting eggs and hatchlings across state lines, dealing in stolen property, falsifying records, racketeering and conspiracy. The wildlife commission released these photos of alligators, eggs and hatchlings taken during the undercover operation. [Courtesy of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission]
  2. Trigaux: Amid a record turnout, regional technology group spotlights successes, desire to do more

    Business

    ST. PETERSBURG — They came. They saw. They celebrated Tampa Bay's tech momentum.

    A record turnout event by the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, held May 24 at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, featured a panel of area tech executives talking about the challenges encountered during their respective mergers and acquisitions. Show, from left to right, are: Gerard Purcell, senior vice president of global IT integration at Tech Data Corp.; John Kuemmel, chief information officer at Triad Retail Media, and Chris Cate, chief operating officer at Valpak. [Robert Trigaux, Times]
  3. Take 2: Some fear Tampa Bay Next transportation plan is TBX redux

    Transportation

    TAMPA — For many, Wednesday's regional transportation meeting was a dose of deja vu.

    The Florida Department of Transportation on Monday announced that it was renaming its controversial Tampa Bay Express plan, also known as TBX. The plan will now be known as Tampa Bay Next, or TBN. But the plan remains the same: spend $60 billion to add 90 miles of toll roads to bay area interstates that are currently free of tolls. [Florida Department of Transportation]
  4. Hailed as 'pioneers,' students from St. Petersburg High's first IB class return 30 years later

    Education

    ST. PETERSBURG — The students came from all over Pinellas County, some enduring hot bus rides to a school far from home. At first, they barely knew what to call themselves. All they knew was that they were in for a challenge.

    Class of 1987 alumni Devin Brown, from left, and D.J. Wagner, world history teacher Samuel Davis and 1987 graduate Milford Chavous chat at their table.
  5. Flower boxes on Fort Harrison in Clearwater to go, traffic pattern to stay

    Roads

    I travel Fort Harrison Avenue in Clearwater often and I've noticed that the travel lanes have been rerouted to allow for what looks like flower boxes that have been painted by children. There are also a few spaces that push the travel lane to the center that have no boxes. Is this a permanent travel lane now? It …