Early 20th Century Boardwalk - Beaufort, North Carolina

My Best Friend in Beaufort - Taylor O'Bryan

305 Ann Street - Beaufort, NC
Home of  Taylors and O'Bryans
"My best friend growing up in Beaufort was Taylor O'Bryan. He was the grandson of "Ma and Pa" Taylor, easily the matriarch and patriarch of our village. In 1935, Taylor and I made the front page of The Beaufort News with our newsstand on wheels, "You name it—we have it." As Beaufort's youngest businessmen, we would push our stand to the sidewalk in front of every place that sold papers or magazines, until we had a monopoly in town and took orders for shipment Down East! We even had an office with one desk and two chairs. 

"Taylor and I rode our bikes to Core Creek and also camped on Ocracoke Island. We spent some summers with his mother in Rutherford, New Jersey. Money was short, so we limited our bus trips into New York City to twice a week. We took the first bus and paid a quarter each at the Paramount Theater for a 9am film followed by, say, Frank Sinatra with Tommy Dorsey's Band as a stage show. At 2:30, we would sit in Seventh Heaven's second-balcony seats with our heads hitting the ceiling to see Julie Harris, Ethel Waters and Brandon deWilde in Carson McCuller’s Member of the Wedding. At 8pm we might see Laurette Taylor in Tennessee William's The Glass Menagerie! Little did I know that years later I would meet Tennessee Williams and help produce his film version of The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone with Vivien Leigh and Warren Beatty.

World War II Draft Card
"During WWII, on his very first war-time mission flying in the Pacific, Taylor O'Bryan was listed as "missing in action." I lost my best friend. A marker in St. Paul's Episcopal Church Cemetery in Beaufort memorizes him."  - Borden Mace

Nelson Taylor O'Bryan (1921-1946) was son of Elizabeth S. Taylor (1887-1972) and Allen O'Bryan, and grandson of Mary Catherine Buckman (1860-1965) and Nelson Whitford Taylor (1856-1948).