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Doctor/outdoorsman/philosopher/grandfather

Created date

August 23rd, 2010
PA_0910_doc1
PA_0910_doc1

Many people know Phil Taylor, M.D., as Maris Grove s medical director. You know, the guy educated at Temple University who has been a practicing geriatrician since 1985? You may even know that Taylor went the academic route in 1995 and missed interacting with his patients so much that in 2006, he joined Maris Grove, where he s been happily practicing ever since. But what about the man behind the credentials? Here s a more intimate look at what makes this doctor s heart tick.

Love of the past

Taylor is a true outdoorsman. He loves nature, bird-watching, hiking, and gardening, passions he attributes to his grandparents. His grandmother was a zoologist; his grandfather shared his love of birds; and his other grandmother was an eccentric intellectual he recalls whenever he looks at his library. He still has a number of books from his grandmother s personal library that he inherited as well as all the books she gave him. My own parents were too busy making a living and supporting us to really share interesting hobbies with us, says Taylor, so it was up to the previous generation to pass along their interests. Taylor s fondness for all four of his grandparents is reflected in the pictures that adorn not only his walls at home but those in his office too. Though he doesn t need objects or photos to ignite his love for his grandparents, memories are stored in objects they ve given him, likeTaylor s childhood fiberglass bow and arrow.

Love of the present

Taylor has always been drawn to philosophy and wildlife (he s a vegetarian for both health and ethical reasons). Now he gets to combine and pass on those interests, through an ancient art, to his seven grandchildren. From his childhood love of archery, he s developed an interest in Kyudo, also known as Japanese Zen archery. It s a form of meditation in action, he says. Four years ago, he bought a wooden hunting bow, arrows, and a target. Currently, he s teaching his grandchildren about the ritual of Kyudo not to hunt but rather to create a focus and practice almost as a meditation. I m glad I can pass along something I value, and that we actually share common interests, he says. Since Taylor was used to raising boys (he had three), his granddaughters are a whole different experience, he says. They re more talkative, and they fawn over Dingo, Taylor s dog. Dingo s our only daughter, he says. He found her on the streets in Germantown 14 years ago, right around the time when he and his wife, Merle, got married. He was prepared to take the dog to a shelter, but Dingo won them over and has since been embraced by a family whose pieces Taylor holds in his heart and honors each day.

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