Andy Taylor grew up in the village of Barton-under-Needwood, which is a village of about 3,000 in Staffordshire, England. He describes his childhood in the village as an idyllic one, one where he father was the local doctor, where all the schooling happened in the village, where there was a cricket club and soccer, where the children walked to school and came home for lunch every day, and where his father would always join the family at 3:45 for tea as well as make them a proper English breakfast most Sundays.
Andy is the middle of three brothers.
Growing up in Barton-under-Needwood, Andy vividly recalls the hours of rugby, cricket and soccer he would play with his friends in his parents' garden. Sport, it seems, is an important piece of Andy’s memories of home. So when we asked who his childhood heroes where, he told us:
Andy was taught to value family, and fairness and has rich memories of cramming all the friends into the Triumph Herald for a birthday party as well as the many family trips to Scotland and Wales. In fact, his parents where keen on seeing as much of their country as possible, which led to many rainy picnics in the car, but also gave Andy a greater experience of his country.
Andy has lived mostly in the Portland, Oregon since 1994 and goes back to visit his family in England every year.
Do you consider yourself to be an immigrant?
Even though Portland has become his new home, Andy doesn’t have any trouble going back to his village. In fact, he says it feels quite comfortable and he still has many friends there and might bump into the occasional teacher while out for a walk. And really, if he was told he couldn’t stay in the United States anymore, he would be fine to return to England, but he recognizes that his children are in school here and have friends here, which would make that hard.
But the kids have lived in England for a few years too, so they know what to expect. Andy and Sarah rented out their house in Portland and went back to the England for 3 years so that the children could get to know their grandparents:
On Being English
As we do in the United States, Andy grew up learning about the things that made/make his country great.
He remembered learning about the great battles in British history--learning how the English defeated the Spanish and the French, learning about Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar, and learning about the Duke of Wellington and the Battle of Waterloo.
But being English is something more than that too, something that lingers after our conversations end. Many feel that it an infectious politeness — and that is the stereotype, right? That the British as incredibly polite and self-sacrificing? But Andy says they are just more reserved and simply do not want to impose or appear rude. But not being rude really is the largest part of being polite.