My uncle Rudy is one of my heroes.
In his lifetime he’s taken stands for truth and faith that have led to some family and friends distancing themselves from him because he professed a more open view of the body of Christ outside the particular little church community in which he was raised. No reason for me to go further into that story, which I would only get wrong but it’s enough to say that I believe Uncle Rudy stood for what he believed Christ would do were he in his shoes.
And, I respect Uncle Rudy also for one of the same reasons I respect my dad (Rudy is my dad’s younger brother): they’ve both settled into small towns and made their mark not just on the political, social, religious, and physical landscape of the town but upon people’s lives. They’ve displayed for nine decades (between them) in two communities how to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and mind and to love their neighbors as themselves.
My dad is a builder. Rudy is a small town newspaper editor, a dying but important and respectable breed who bring the vital local angles on the news that really news is meant for: to actually do something about. News that we typically take in is not depressing only because it’s bad news but depressing because it’s information we can do nothing about, actively participate in little that we read. So the small town newspaper is important to the social and political well-being of a community, and I predict that these will make a great come back in another form, currently in the form of town web sites and blogs, and the same is true for church communities and other political groups.
Rudy is a good man and one of the best storytellers I know. He gets that from my grandma Grace (who we affecionately called, “Amazing”) and her father, Spike Walker. Rudy also married into a newspaper family, so he’s part of the continuation of a local newspaper for nearly 100 years.
Rudy has had a book percolating under his lid for years, and a whole town and friends and family have been coaxing him to write it, and it’s now in print
The book is called Light on Main Street. Uncle Rudy’s office light was often cast out his window upon Main Street these last several decades. He’s burned the candle on both ends, but he’s still remained a family, church, and community light.
To order books: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s a little more “official” bio that tells more about what Rudy Taylor does.
Rudy Taylor began his career as a publisher in 1970 when he bought his hometown newspaper, The Caney Chronicle. He is now publisher/owner of the Oswego Independent, Edna Sun, Altamont Journal, Chetopa Advance, Sedan Times-Star, Flint Hills Express,and Montgomery County Chronicle—all southeast Kansas weeklies—and publisher of The Coffeyville Journal. Taylor writes columns, editorials, and feature stories for all of them. His column “Off the Cuff” has won numerous state and national awards, and even one international award. But he does not write his columns to win awards—he simply writes from the heart. His articles are frequently nostalgic, reflecting back to his growing-up years in the 1950s. His commentary is often humorous, sometimes tearful, and even hilarious. Taylor’s first love was radio and television, and he still makes commercials for local broadcast stations and advertising agencies. He is in the process of publishing his first book, Light on Main Street. Taylor’s wife Kathy is a fourth-generation journalist, and they have three grown children and four grandchildren. The Taylors live in Caney.