Taylor Hanes was born on March 28,1933, but to hear him tell the story, his life didn’t fully begin until he achieved sobriety on December 15, 1967. Taylor remained sober until his death in August of 2013.
Taylor had an amazing daughter named Michelle who grew up with a sober father, and his wife, Nancy, who was able to experience the “real” sober Taylor until he passed.
Taylor’s sobriety began in Huntington Beach, CA. His original sponsor, Dan, introduced him to Alcoholics Anonymous and to the importance of carrying the message of the 12 steps to others. Their home group was called the “Spiritual Mother F%*#ers” in order to celebrate the movement and to eradicate swearing in meetings. They may not have been conventional, but they helped a lot of people. They practiced the 4th Tradition—each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole.
Taylor had a unique style of working with men. He held up a mirror to those he was stewarding. He showed them how to see themselves in a new way, as they really were.. He taught them how to take responsibility for their lives, rather than being victims of circumstance. Having that spotlight shined on people wasn’t always comfortable, but the result was certainly worth it —lives were turned around, families were reunited, and new paths were forged. His efforts helped lift people off the scrap heap of life and onto the road to purposeful living.
Taylor called this method of working with his sponsees “womb to the tomb” because he walked people back through their lives from their earliest memories to the the present. Giving them skills to use for the rest of their lives. No matter what was going on in Taylor’s life, he intuitively knew what was needed to right the ship for the person he was working with. His impact was felt deeply. He housed people in his home. He gave people who were hopeless hope. He helped glue broken lives back together.
Taylor was deeply loved by many, especially by Taylor Made Retreat founder, Lowell MacGregor. Taylor was instrumental in Lowell’s recovery. Lowell spent years wondering how he could honor Taylor’s legacy. It is the hope of Lowell and all who support this project that the principles Taylor embodied will be carried on in the lives of those who come to the retreat to heal.