Introduction and Early Life
I enjoy knowing a little about the various authors and bloggers I follow on the Internet, and I offer that opportunity now to you. That’s me up there in the Old West style photo. My name is David Taylor, and I grew up in Arizona surrounded by extended family on both sides. I was active in the Boy Scouts where I developed a love for the outdoors. Most of our outings involved the desert regions of the Superstition Mountains or Four Peaks in the Mazatzals.
Although the desert is hot and unforgiving it is also enchanting and beautiful. To a young boy there was a certain magic just in the names of the places we visited: Weavers Needle, The Lost Dutchman’s Mine, the Mogollon Rim, the Superstition Mountains, and more. My dad owned every single book ever written by the great Louis L’Amour, and I read most of them. I lived vicariously through the characters in these frontier novels and felt a sense of belonging in the American Southwest.
Vanilla or Cinammon?
I enjoyed the beauty of the desert, but my favorite place was the cool Ponderosa Pine forests of the White Mountains in eastern Arizona. Those not familiar with Arizona are often surprised to learn that Arizona is home to the largest Ponderosa Pine forest in the continental United States. (Ponderosas are the tallest variety of pine tree, and you may find visitors with their nose to the bark trying to determine if it smells like vanilla or cinnamon!) My grandparents had a cabin in Lakeside, Arizona that my grandpa built with his own hands. I loved to spend my summer vacations there.
As I write this I am flooded with memories – images, feelings, even smells – of these magical places of my childhood. Places have a way of doing that. They will always be home to me.
After I graduated from high school I headed off to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah where I learned how to cope with snow for the first time in my life! I interrupted my studies to serve a 2-year mission for the LDS Church in the jungles of Southern Mexico where I learned first-hand the meaning of the term “tropical climate.” (All the jokes about Arizona being bearable because it is a “dry heat” are absolutely true.) I returned from my mission, met and married the girl of my dreams, and finished my undergraduate degree. We then moved to Indiana where I attended IU for graduate school. Indiana taught me to appreciate four wonderful seasons every year, not to mention magical creatures called fireflies.
All of these disparate and unique places have a special place in my heart. I found beauty in each one of them.
Education and Career
I earned a Bachelors in Latin American Studies from BYU. At Indiana University I attended the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) and earned my Master of Public Affairs degree with emphases in 1) Comparative and International Studies and 2) Information Systems. Concurrent with that I also earned a Master of Information Science from the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS).
After teaching at IU and consulting for the State of Indiana I joined up with DoxTek and became an expert in document imaging and business process automation solutions. I have had the pleasure of working with a lot of different people in many different industries. I am grateful for what I learned from each of them.
The Family Nexus
Present day. I have launched a new endeavor called The Family Nexus. This site and the various projects associated with it will focus on the Power of Place and how it relates to Family History. One of my first projects will be a mobile app that will allow you to explore the places significant in the lives of your ancestors. I will develop other ideas over time.
The site is also a place to share some of my thoughts and ideas. I sincerely hope you will share your thoughts in the form of comments as well. My name is David Taylor and I look forward to getting to know you!