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Date of Issue: January 19, 2006

Heart attack claims Taylor

At press time, The Islander learned that Jim Taylor, owner of Taylor-Made Marine Construction and Taylor-Made Pyrotechnics of Holmes Beach, died in Orlando in the early morning hours Monday, Jan. 16.

We at The Islander deemed it fitting to share an anonymous passage that Taylor brought to us to explain his innermost feelings about his craft - fireworks.

"I often use the word 'joy' when describing fireworks. It is a considered work, deliberate in choice. Not just amusement, entertainment or astonishment, but joy.

"Our art makes us all into children again for awhile. We become one in our experience for the moment, lost in the sound and color and light. We see large forces, stronger than we can be, yet beautiful in their efforts. Sometimes violent, sometimes restrained. Deliberate beyond imagination at times, coarse and rude at others.

"Deadly force, dangerous, dirty stuff. Crafted with sweat. Controlled by the artist. Bringing joy to many. Bringing joy.

"To me, the art encompasses all of life. Pain and work, plan and mistake, joy and tragedy. For all the pain, injury and failure we suffer, our efforts bring the joy - the magic, to thousands. Not a bad return. Though very few ever recognize the effort, nearly all remember the result, and have for a few moments, the joy. The world is better for an instant.

"What more could one want?"

Jim leaves behind wife Pidge, children Courtney, Nick and Kelsey - and the joy shared by many who viewed his artistry.