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Patriotic volunteer

Wayne Taylor helps organize military concerts at HCC's Alumni Amphitheater

Wayne Taylor helps organize military concerts at HCC's Alumni Amphitheater

June 12, 2007|by JANET HEIM

Editor's note - There are a lot of people you see around town that you recognize, but don't know anything about. People like...

Ronald Wayne Taylor



Age - 74.

Occupation - Retired U.S. Air Force colonel; retired Director of Audit for CSX Corp.

Hometown - Hagerstown area.

Where would you see Taylor? - When he retired more than 12 years ago, Taylor, who goes by "Wayne," decided it was time to "pay back" the community organizations he had been a member of.

Prior to that, the frequent travel required for his job with the railroad prevented him from participating as he would have liked.

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Taylor was in the service 39 years - four years as active Air Force and 35 years in the West Virginia National Guard and Air Force. That led to his involvement as vice president with the Joint Veterans Council of Washington County, as department and post service officer for AMVETS, service officer at American Legion Post 42 and volunteer coordinator at the Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic in Hagerstown.

He's also on the Washington County Gaming Commission, is president of the S.A.L.T. (Seniors and Law Enforcement Together) Council, has been a member of Otterbein Methodist Church for 60 years and is on the budget committee of the Hagerstown Area Religious Council.

"I like what I do or I wouldn't do it. I haven't done anything for pay for 12 1/2 years and I don't intend to start now," Taylor said. He adds that while he enjoys his volunteer work, he thinks it's time to "back off some."

Taylor married his wife, Nancie, almost 52 years ago. The couple, who live in Spring Valley, have one grown son.

The 1959 graduate of what was then Hagerstown Junior College is deeply committed to the college.

"If it weren't for HJC, I probably never would have gotten a college education. It paid off in my Air Force and railroad careers," Taylor said.

After graduating from Hagers-town High School in 1949, Taylor worked at the A&P several years, then joined the Air Force. His next job was with Western Maryland Railroad, which was eventually taken over by CSX, where he worked full-time nights and went full-time to HJC for two years during the day.

Taylor continued his education at Shepherd College and two years later graduated with a degree in business administration. He was then chosen by the railroad to attend Yale University Graduate School for two years where he received a certificate in transportation, which led to a job investigating corporate fraud for the railroad.

His commitment to HCC shines through in his work with the Alumni Association, where he was president in 1962 and 2005. He volunteers with the annual Flower and Garden Show and arranges volunteers to staff the Alumni Amphitheater snack bar.

For the past three years, Taylor has been organizing the "Red, White & Blue" Concert Series at the college. He arranges for a variety of military musical groups to perform at the free public concerts.

Taylor, who is recognizable for the red, white and blue shirts he wears to the concerts, announces the groups at the beginning.

This year's series, which is free to the public, began on Sunday, June 10. The remaining four concerts continue through Sept. 9, with the next one - featuring The United States Air Force Brass Quintet - on Sunday, June 17, at 3:30 p.m.

"They're all top-notch bands. We've had very good feedback about the quality of the musicians. I'll expect to see a lot of people back," Taylor said.

Taylor said his biggest fear is that weather will interfere with the outdoor concerts, but added that only one of the nine previous concerts was affected. Fortunately, it was a small group of musicians, so they were able to move into the Kepler Theater for their performance.

HCC's amphitheater seats 680 and there is additional lawn seating. Taylor said the smallest crowd, due to rain, was 300 and the largest was 800.

"If we keep getting the crowds, hopefully we can keep getting the bands," Taylor said.

For more information on the concert series or the alumni association, call Lisa Stewart, alumni coordinator, at 301-790-2800 ext. 346.

Hobbies - Taylor said he and his wife used to travel a lot, but don't have time anymore. Instead, working around the yard and house keeps him busy.

"Community work is my hobby. I spend more time on that than any hobby," Taylor said.

He enjoys watching police shows and baseball and football on TV, but admits he doesn't like the Orioles or the Redskins and roots for the other team.

What does Taylor like best about Washington County? - "There are very friendly people in Washington County. It's a great place to live. We have everything we need here," Taylor said.

Taylor said he likes the climate, although he likes hot weather better than cold.




If you know anyone in the community who might make an interesting Our Town feature, contact Janet Heim at 301-733-5131, ext. 2024 or e-mail janeth@herald-mail.com.

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