According to Chuck, Cave Junction is the place to be

Optimistic, humble and kind are a few words that describe this year’s Lions Club Labor Day Parade Grand Marshal Chuck Taylor, the founder of Taylor’s Sausage in Cave Junction.
The Illinois Valley had a very lucky year in 1970 when the Taylor family came to Cave Junction. Chuck brought his family from Oakland, California in January of the year, which included his wife Marilyn and their four children Scott, Terry, Holly and Kristen (all two years apart). The Taylor’s Sausage Manufacturing Plant, located off Watkins Street, is now a large and thriving business, but was once a tiny locker plant that processed “game and farm animals.”
Chuck credits Marilyn for the success of the family-owned business. “She saved our bacon,” Chuck said with a grin. He described how when times were tough after being in Cave Junction for two years, Marilyn went back to work as a teacher and saved the meat business. She is the “glue in the family” for spiritual and financial matters.
Chuck said Marilyn was a teacher at Evergreen for 20 plus years, teaching primarily second grade. “And she was a good teacher; she did all the cooking and then graded papers at night.” The two have been married now for 67 years and first met in LA when Chuck was in the U.S. Air Force after being introduced by each of their sisters. Chuck is a Korean Veteran, and was mostly stationed in Germany.
When he was asked, “Why do you think you were selected as grand marshal?” He jokingly said, “I don’t know; they probably couldn’t find anyone better.”
Chuck says there are way better people who should be marshals out there such as the Seventh-day Adventist volunteers that run the food pantry.
But don’t let his modesty fool you. Chuck, Marilyn and the whole Taylor family donate regularly to the Boys and Girls Club. Chuck also donates to the local food pantry and he likes to pick up trash left around town, similar to the previous Grand Marshal Chuck – Mr. Rigby.
One thing that stands out about Chuck is he likes to help the homeless get back on their feet. He described how he helped an older woman, living on Walters Drive under a tarp, get a job at the plant and now he rents a home to her. He even went out and chopped wood for her a couple of years ago. He is disgruntled with the justice system that fines those that are homeless so steep that it is hard to get out of their situation. “The laws are stacked against them!”
With the spring in his step, you would never know that Chuck is now 90 years old (“and three months”).
Chuck’s parents lived to 81 and now he feels it is his time to just watch his family run the business. Although he still works six days a week, getting to his office at the plant at 7:30 a.m., and then makes his rounds. He checks on inventory and still does a lot of “buying and banking.”
One credit he gives to his successful business is that he was blessed by good spices from his grandfather that came from England and then started the meat business in Canada.
Chuck said his good health was from “doing things in moderation.” He eats in moderation, stays active and attends church.
Chuck is an avid gardener and especially loves his roses. His favorite is the “double delight” because of the nice fragrance and color, and sure enough there was a double delight in a vase on his desk. He also swims for exercise most days in his pool. His only complaint is that Marilyn keeps the pool too warm.
“Although I am in the meat business, I eat a variety of food, such as fish and chicken,” said Chuck. But he did say his favorite breakfast food is the sausage link and at dinner he really enjoys a “good ribeye steak.”
When it comes to spiritual matters he said he considers himself a steward of the Lord, and credits Marilyn, whose dad was a pastor, with his regular attendance at Good Shepherd Lutheran. “I just follow the spirit; where he tells me to go, I go.”
On his office wall he had a photo of Jerry Miller of Wild River Brewing and Pizza, who also attended Good Shepherd before he died, and Chuck talked of the deep friendship he had with him.
Chuck says he is very optimistic about the future of Cave Junction, saying, “It’s not going anywhere,” and adding, “I’m very pleased about the new houses being built. I couldn’t believe all the new houses down by the river (Pomeroy Estates). There may not be enough jobs here for everyone, but there are so many people traveling through.
“There are great people in our area; very talented people. If the rest of the world was blown away, we have enough talent here to start over.”
He described how the traffic by his house has really increased and feels the area has become a bedroom community. Now there is a steady stream of traffic.
What keeps Chuck in Cave Junction? “I love the climate, with the four seasons and you can jump to the coast or go to Crater Lake.”
Which brings us to the current remodel of Taylor’s Sausage Country Store: Chuck proudly brought out a map of the plans for the store. With excitement he described how the basement being built will have fine dining, with a wine shop, similar to Jacksonville Inn. The main floor will be expanded with an entrance change and a separate section just for the deli. The kitchen will also be expanded and there will be larger hot cases and room for more salads and a long soda line.
With these improvements, they will be able to have an extended breakfast time. And Chuck was happy to report, in the future there will be many more restrooms built, so that when sports teams and tourists come through there would be more stalls available. He mentioned there would be about four to five stalls each for women and men and also a family bathroom.
“It will be a destination stop!”
Chuck leads the parade Monday, Sept. 5 in downtown Cave Junction starting at 10 a.m., so be sure to give Chuck a thumbs up or a big wave.