I was heading towards Trader Joe's to buy groceries for a friend who was coming home from the rehab hospital with a busted knee-cap, listening to the radio, when Bill Benica read the snippet of the news that a George Taylor had been arrested. I rather dumbly thought, "Hmm, that's odd. Must be another guy named George Taylor in the county," until Bill also noted that Gewynn Taylor, his wife, had been found dead out at Montana de Oro and George had been arrested and taken to jail.
At that, my only response was a stunned, blank, "Whaaattt?"
I had known the Taylors almost from the first day I moved here in 1984 and, like all Los Ososians, got involved in the many Sewer Wars. Right in the midst of almost anything having to do with Los Osos and/or any and all water, land, open space, good governance issues large and and small, there were the Taylors. They became a fixture at CSD meetings and BOS meetings, as well as being involved in many local community projects. To some they were "community activists," to others, "gadflies." Either way, they were fierce "Civic Warriors," a constant presence in public matters, a pair of citizens who were always present and involved and speaking out for years and years.
And, like all of us, while they were not getting any younger, they were still out and about. Indeed, I remember seeing them at the Christmas Vocal Arts performance only a week ago. While George was looking very frail (at 86, to be expected), both of them were smiling and looked like they were enjoying the evening.
And now Gewynn is dead and George is in jail, engulfed in a world of unimaginable pain, a nightmare of horror that I would never wish on anyone, accused of some sort of murder/suicide pact. The police are investigating, the neighbor's are puzzled, the community is filled with shock and speculation, and friends and family are stunned and confused and left to untangle this mystery.
And of this mystery, I can tell you that when the investigation is completed and a more comprehensive narrative unfolds, when this sad drama finally plays out, with no possible good ending in sight, when all will be said and done, those friends and family will be left with a permanent sorrow because, ultimately, there will be no good explanations. There will be understanding, perhaps, there may even be forgiveness and peace, but there will never be any real answers to a mystery that goes to the dark, irrational tangle of the human heart.