Sunday, March 19, 2017

Appreciation: Bryan Taylor

By Craig Bettenhausen, Editor

When I took over the Newsletter, I had a problem to solve. It was printed for years with a major financial subsidy from the Episcopal Housing Corporation, but that help wasn't continuing. Then, in conversation over dinner, my close friend Bryan Taylor said he could print it. Bryan was retired from the printing business and still had some equipment that could handle the job. We'd just need to pay for paper and ink.

That began a long saga where behind the scenes, Bryan and I, along with his husband Vaughn Vigil, worked to assemble the equipment we have now, which allows us to print and fold the Newsletter efficiently and completely in-house. In their foyer, to be specific. Nothing worked right at first and we've had to fix a lot of problems. But with his expertise and tenacity, we've been able to cut the production costs of the Newsletter in half, making it financially sustainable with only six reasonably priced ads.

Bryan's expert attention made the Newsletter better in other ways. His critique of the layout led to improvements I'm very happy with, his comments on the content sharpened my editing of subsequent articles, and he found more than a few typos before we printed them 1,500 times.

It was also a fun project to do with a friend.

Bryan died unexpectedly in an accident on Jan. 17 at the age of 57. Vaughn and I will keep printing the Newsletter in their home, but we'll miss him, and it will be harder. Though he never lived here, Bryan kept a close eye on Remington and was rooting for us. Our newsletter and our neighborhood have lost an ally.

I don't find comfort in ascribing cosmic significance to a person's death. I'm not looking for a silver lining. It sucks; I want my friend back and it isn't happening. But he knew how much his work meant to the Newsletter, and he knew that my wife and I loved and appreciated him for that and for all the other pieces of who he was. That is a comfort—and one of many lessons I'll carry forward from my time with Bryan.

In addition to his husband, he is survived by his mother, Judy; brother, Thomas; and his dogs Charlie #8 and Lola.