Growing up, Mary Ann’s interests consisted of playing with other children, and cutting out and playing with paper dolls. She loved to read, especially the Bobbsey Twins series, and she often played gin rummy and other card games with her father.
Gardening has been Mary Ann’s biggest and longest-lasting hobby of her lifetime. She became interested in gardening because her first house in Charlotte, NC, shared a small plot of land with a neighbor’s house, and she and her neighbor began to share the space and develop a small flower garden together. When Mary Ann and her husband moved their family to the lake, they had a large yard where they could plant lots of flowers and vegetables.
Her husband had an interest in gardening as well, so this spurred her own interest even further. She enjoyed the experience because it was a hobby that could be maintained without spending much money, and it enabled her to make connections with neighbors, friends, and family members. She often received and shared flower bulbs and vegetables with friends or her grandmother.
Mary Ann and Lin planted vegetables, including tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers. Mary Ann even worked out a deal with a local pizza place owner that she could bring in a batch of green peppers and get a pizza for her family in return.
Click below to hear an audio clip of Mary Ann discussing her interest in gardening.
Mary Ann has maintained an interest in playing cards; she now plays bridge and poker regularly with friends and at The Pines. In addition, she loves listening to all types of music, watching movies, reading, and viewing art. Some of her favorite movies include classics like the Sound of Music and Dirty Dancing, and her love of movies comes from her husband’s movie obsession. When they lived in Chapel Hill, NC, there was a small theater that played four different movies each week, and if you arrived before 5:00 PM you could view them at a discounted rate. She and her husband saw all the movies offered almost every week, and all of the money they spent went towards seeing movies.
Click below to hear an audio clip of Mary Ann describing her husband’s love of the movies.
All three of Mary Ann’s children swam competitively, and Mary Ann served as a high school swim coach at North Mecklenburg high school for many years while her children were in school there. When her eldest daughter reached high school, she discovered that no women’s swim team existed, and the principal claimed this was because they had no women’s swim team coach. Her daughter convinced Mary Ann to coach the women’s swim team, and she ended up coaching both the women’s and men’s team through all her children’s time in high school. She had no experience in this area besides the fact that she had attended a multitude of swim meets and had helped out by timing at these events. But she was good friends with her children’s swim coach from outside of school, and she bought books on the subject so she could quickly learn how to go about coaching a team. Becoming a swim coach was a spontaneous and unexpected decision, but it was an experience that she enjoyed greatly. Mary Ann’s husband and children were also huge fans of following the swimming portion of the Olympics, so every time they came around the Taylors always watched the Olympic swimming events as a family activity.
Click below to hear an audio clip of Mary Ann speaking about her time as a swim coach.
Mary Ann served as a driver for the Red Cross from 2003 to 2006, where she gave people with no means of transportation rides to their doctor’s appointments.
She often volunteers for service work through her church, Davidson College Presbyterian Church.
Mary Ann has served as Chair of the Activity Committee on the residents council at The Pines from 2009 to 2011, which almost served like another job! Her responsibilities included planning and organizing trips for members to take, as well as parties for holidays.