It’s not uncommon for people to not fully appreciate their hometown … and its people. Ed Taylor Jr. is not one of those people.
Taylor was one of two people honored recently by the Vandalia Chamber of Commerce for community service. As he accepted the award, Taylor explained why he has given a lifetime of service to the Vandalia area and its people.
I’ve seen firsthand how Ed is deserving of recognition for serving others, on the scene of a fire or rescue; leaving on a trip to help flood victims in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina; at a Relay for Life, singing a song he wrote to honor cancer survivors; or providing entertainment at a community event.
Probably most telling about his love for his hometown and its downtown business district is the song that Ed wrote about downtown Vandalia, what it was in his days of youth and how he wants to see it again present the feeling of vitality.
How fortunate does he feel to be a resident of Vandalia?
My first blessing came before I was even born, Taylor said as he accepted an Abe Award. That blessing? The fact that my parents were located in Vandalia.
As a youth, he explained, One of my fondest memories was roaming the streets of Vandalia. It was so vibrant, so alive, there was always something going on.
About a decade ago, when his family sold its concrete business, it was time to consider a career change. As he reached that decision, he took many other people into consideration.
Why would you want to open a store where you sell merchandise that you could buy anywhere? I had to tell myself that when I was a kid, what it was like going into a store, talking with a store owner, just being a part of downtown Vandalia.
It was just so overwhelming to me that I wanted to somehow bring that back, he said. I want my kids to see that, and perhaps your kids to be a part of that also.
Thus, Ed made the decision to open Noise Music & Sound, which serves as an outlet for his love of music and his love of our downtown.
You see, its all about attitude you can choose to overlook the numerous signs of growth that are occurring in Vandalia and complain, or we can appreciate what we have and what we are getting.