The Jack Taylor Interviews

The Jack Taylor Interviews

Adapted from the Sonoma Historian, Journal of the Sonoma County Historical Society, Issue 2014 #3, page 22

Jack Taylor, a well-known investment broker, storyteller and interviewer, died in April at the age of 89. Taylor, born in San Francisco in 1924, attended Lowell High School, Santa Clara University and USF. He came to Santa Rosa in 1949 and had a successful career of more than 50 years in the financial business. He also served many years and met many people on the Santa Rosa Parks and Recreation Commission.

In the early 1990s, after returning from a trip to Europe, he decided to put his energies into a new hobby, video-interviewing many of the “Movers and Shakers” of Sonoma County’s postwar world. He ended up with well over 200 interviews. In some, there was plenty of background noise as he conducted his work in the lobby of Lena’s Restaurant, on a ship in the Panama Canal, and other noisy places. It was not unusual to see birds flying into an outdoor setting or dogs barking at a distance. Taylor seemed unfazed by the distractions.

Before his death, he made available copies of the videos to the Sonoma County Historical Society to organize and pass on to the Sonoma County Library. 

For his efforts, the SCHS gave him an award and also created a new award in his name. In one of his last social outings, he attended the SCHS banquet in Santa Rosa in March.

Taylor liked to travel, but only with his own unique touch. He became fond of eating in hospital cafeterias and eventually sent reports home to Press Democrat columnist Gaye LeBaron. He gave the facilities “bedpan ratings.” One bedpan was the lowest rating, 5 bedpans was the tops.

For his 70th birthday, his family gave him a party at, you guessed it, the cafeteria at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. He gave Memorial a “5” rating for their handling of the party.