Arizona’s Heart & Sol: Retired carpenter gives time and talent

Updated: Jan. 7, 2021 at 9:15 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Every Thursday, we team up with Casino Del Sol to highlight those who do amazing work in Southern Arizona.

In the peaceful community of Picture Rocks, one man is always on the move. Well known to neighbors and nearby critters, Frank Taylor is the kind of person who always carries dog food with him… even though he doesn’t have a dog.

“I feed the doggies in my neighborhood,” Taylor said.

Taylor can often be found at Sky Rider Coffee Shop, next to the Marana Airport, grabbing a 6 a.m. coffee or meeting someone for lunch.

“I met him about three years ago sitting right there at the end of the counter,” said Kay Konesky.

A conversation between two strangers led to a fast friendship. Konesky can’t think of a better example of someone who goes out of his way to help those around him. So, she nominated Taylor for KOLD News 13′s Heart & Sol.

At the age of 74, it seems the retired carpenter never really hangs up his toolbelt. From building a ramp for a neighbor in a wheelchair, to constructing a deck for another, to repairing churches; Taylor has a hand in just about everything.

“I would do two a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon,” Taylor said as he inspected a chair at Sky Rider.

He recently reupholstered the chairs at Sky Rider. All 60 of them.

Taylor also helped house struggling families through Habitat for Humanity, and he’s taken up a new skill: sewing. He now quilts blankets for kids.

All this work is done with a smile and a sense of humor. Taylor never takes a dime and shies away from thanks.

“I tell him, ‘I’m so tired’, and then I think, ‘Oh my goodness, you’re ten years older than me!’” Konesky said. “He just… from 4:30 in the morning until whenever, whatever he is asked of, he is there.”

Perhaps a better question is not ‘How’ Taylor does it all. It’s ‘Why?’.

“His name was Thomas, his last name was Grix,” Taylor said. “I remember that he was looking forward to going to Hawaii to see his wife.”

Taylor is a Vietnam veteran. While serving overseas as a Green Barret, he was supposed to go out on a routine patrol one day when his friend, Thomas Grix, snagged his spot. Grix never made it home.

“I think of Thomas every day,” said Taylor. “When somebody saves your life and it causes their death, how much is that worth? So, when you look at yourself in the mirror and you say, ‘Am I a good man? Am I worthy?’ The answer is ‘Nope’.”

So, he walks in faith.

“I know I will see Thomas again and everything will be, as he said, ‘Okay’,” said Taylor. “I try to pay forward what God has given me as a talent. You’ve heard the term ‘If you don’t use your talent you lose it’. Before they put me in the ground, I hope to have used it every day.”

Taylor now gives one more thing: wisdom.

“If we meet the needs of our brothers and sisters then it’s a better place to live,” he said.

Taylor was presented with a $300 dollar gift card courtesy Casino Del Sol. If you would like to nominate someone, click [HERE].

Copyright 2021 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.