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Taylor Fitzpatrick's Background (written by him sometime in the 1970's)

Scottish-Irish, Scotland born, Father - Hugh Fitzpatrick, Jr. - at about age three moved with his family to Boston. After the eighth grade he went to work at various jobs and places including lumbering and gold prospecting in Colorado. In his early twenties he perceived that God had called him for His ministry, so he boned up in the libraries - never attended high school - passed the college entrance exam, earned his B.A. in pre-ministerial at Austen College in Texas, then entered Union Theological Seminary in Virginia to earn his B.A. in Theology. The rest of his life (except for a W.W.I stint at the front in Europe with the Y.M.C.A.) was spent as a Presbyterian minister to small not-so-affluent churches, both urban and rural. A "home missionary". Though short - about five foot six - he was strong, tough, knock-about, self-reliant, and he was kind and just. Though not broadly educated he was refreshingly broadminded. He lived his profession.

Hunting and roaming through fields and forests and swimming in the creeks of the Virginia countryside were prime delights of my childhood. Mother guided my soul and applauded my reachings for the things of the heart. She was, in this way, my first and perhaps my best teacher in art. The appreciation of small personal delights was her forte.

Mother - Ruby Amorette Gilliam - was born and raised in Virginia and except for a short time during her teens spent in North Carolina, never lived outside the state. She said she was French and Portugese; Gilliams and Greens were her ancestors. As I look back now to some of her positions and reactions - she was a W.A.S.P., in the exclusive sense.

I know little about her youth. It was not happy. Happiness as a general condition was not hers. Her happiness had to be generated a little at a time with the available delights of each moment; at this she was expert. She loved the arts - all of them, in a limited but genuine way. She taught kindergarten as a young adult before marriage, and this part of her life remained one of her rare happy memories.

As a mother, whenever things and achievements weren't what she wanted or expected relative to any of her five children - one girl the oldest, I am next to the youngest - she suffered: failure! Dear, dear Mother.

Copyright © 2006 Taylor Fitzpatrick Art Preservation Trust. All Rights Reserved.