Local Resident Recalls Friendship With Vivian Taylor

To The Reader’s Forum:

The Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018, edition of The Post-Journal has laid on my desk this whole last week — I knew I needed to make a reply but was really not sure how to say it. The headline reads “City Officials Remember Longtime Councilman.” The article was about the passing of Vivian Taylor Jr. I tried to remember where and how I met Vivian Taylor, along with his wife, Lula, who passed away prior to this. I believe my first interaction with them was several years ago when I first started working for the Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation. I ran into them downtown and we introduced ourselves as we both worked for the community. We became good friends and it remained that way to this day.

They were both involved with city government as well as county government. They were extremely supportive of both Jamestown and Chautauqua County and all the people of our communities and could always be counted on to support all activities and things happening in Jamestown and the entire area. Both Vivian and Lula were multiple community award winners. They presented many programs on black history in both Jamestown and other areas of our country and to many local organizations.

I believe I first met them in downtown Jamestown and they had a project they were trying to complete and were having some “rough sledding.” Since we had just met and they realized I was with the Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation, they asked me if I could help them — I agreed and we were all friends from thereafter.

I would run into Vivian at The Newsroom many mornings and he always had a big smile on his face. Both Vivian and his wife were very gentle and sincere people. They were more than willing to help anyone who asked for it. A newspaper account by Dennis Phillips described them as gentle and kind people and he could not have been more correct.

I can tell everyone I truly value my relationship with both Vivian and his wife. People like the Taylors are few and far between. I feel very fortunate to have met these fine people and to have been friends with them — they will remain in my memory for many years.

Lee D. Harkness