Easily the best thing that ever happened to me is my family. Three very good, very strong men, made me what I am today. It is not the politically correct thing to say, and it certainly isn’t the norm in 2011, but the men and women who are my parents and my aunts and uncles were committed to their marriages. They took it upon themselves to help each other’s children. The men set a very high standard. Two of them have passed away, and the hole in my heart cannot be mended.
For all my faults, my shortcomings, my poor decisions and my mistakes, I am still married to the woman I love for a quarter-of-a-century now. We have made sacrifices and we worked through our problems because I was shown how by my heroes. My wife and I have raised two sons of whom I am very proud. We have come through difficulties. We’ve overcome choices that might not have been for the best at the time. AGAIN: THIS IS NOT THE POLITICALLY CORRECT THING TO SAY, BUT THEIR GUIDANCE AND THEIR WILL HAVE MADE ME A BETTER PERSON.
What an honor to be brought up by people who did not cheat! who did not abuse alcohol or drugs or other people; who valued their family above all else. Who worked very hard, but did not let their jobs affect their relationships. Who knew how to make good decisions and who could lead by example.
My Uncle Gene Baroni was, perhaps, the most influential accountant at Coopers and Lybrand (now Price-Waterhouse-Coopers) firm in Chicago. An icon in his time, his funeral drew busloads of co-workers, clients and business people from all over the Chicago area. He was truly a man in full, who affected everyone he came in contact with, who had an incredible sense of humor and is the most honest person I have ever known. I was his nephew, but he treated me as one of his own children, and the life lessons I learned have proven to be the kind of thing I pass on to my kids.
My Uncle Arthur Mason is a true American agri-business man. Well into his 70’s he runs a family farm in Grand Ridge, Illinois. He doesn’t waste words, so that when he speaks you listen. As with my father and my Uncle Gene he is quick with a smile and a laugh. He can be gentle and he can put you in your place. Like my Uncle Gene he has always treated me as something more than a nephew. He had married his high school sweetheart, and she was tragically killed just a couple of miles from their home in the country a few years ago. He lives for her, and his influence and his presence in my life are part of my every day prayers.
My father was my hero, and to a great extent he still is. I speak to him every day, though he left this earth more than 12 years ago. I can’t say that I have memories, because he is so powerfully part of my daily life that it’s hard to acknowledge he isn’t really here. He is the first person I knew that defined the term “bigger than life.” He worked in radio for some 50 years, and he told me from the time I can remember talking with him: “You can do whatever you want to do, as long as you want to do it badly enough.”
He was married to my mother for some 47 years before his passing. I wish him Happy Father’s Day every year.
Taylor Mason is a comedian, a musician, a ventriloquist and entertainer. He has headlined every major comedy club in the United States, and has played Carnegie Hall and The Sydney Opera House in Australia. He has been part of two Emmy-winning television programs, including his children’s TV show, “Children Talk.” He is featured in comedy DVDs “Thou Shalt Laugh,” “Thou Shalt Laugh 2” , “Thou Shalt Laugh 3,” , “Thou Shalt Laugh 4“ and “Thou Shalt Laugh 5“ plus two episodes of the hit comedy series “Bananas.” Taylor works a mind-boggling 200 nights a year, in front of every kind of audience, and has managed to stay married for the past 22 years to his wife, Marsia. They have two teen-aged sons and live in New Jersey (the only state in America that uses air freshener … outdoors).
To book Comedian and Entertainer Taylor Mason for your next event Tim Grable at 615-283-0039 or visit The Grable Group or email [email protected]