- Ray Murphy, Author and Journalist
Why I wanted to write GET BACK UP: THE BILLY TAYLOR STORY
Everyday life and everyone’s life is a story, including Dr. Billy Taylor’s. My story is one that I have been wanting to share ever since the day (October 19, 1977) I walked out of the maximum security prison located in Milan, Michigan a free man. It was then that I realized that, as in football, you get knocked down, but then…..you GET BACK UP!
But little did I know at that time there were to be other devastating events that knocked me down and knocked me down farther than I ever thought it was possible to go. My life has been filled with a series of opportunities, obstacles, achievements, bad choices, wins, losses, mistakes, blessings, disappointments, friends, enemies, family members, nay-sayers and well- wishers. And, at one time or another all of them knocked me down and I had to get back up. But, leading by example, my mother, Mariah Marie Taylor, instilled in me the spiritual foundation that I lived by, lost sight of and returned to through God’s grace and redemption.
Some wanted me to tell my story because it is a great human interest story that inspires hope, possibilities and the realities of the human spirit. Some asked me to tell the story of a sports star, his fall from grace and subsequent return to a productive life and career. Others wanted a tale of heartache, a tale of jubilation. But, I wanted to tell the truth about how and why one so gifted, talented, loved and respected by many could fall so far and so hard but moreover…GET BACK UP!
What makes this book important to me is its spirit, humanness and eventual ascension. I see my life replayed in others everyday. I hope that with this book, I can share my experiences and instill life lessons that will influence the lives of others. I believe that both the painful and joyful events in my life can inspire, motivate, offer solace, and provide the courage, confidence and faith for everyone who reads my story to GET BACK UP!
"Billy Taylor's story is about a young man who never gave up, and never stopped fighting to regain his good name. He didn't let a mistake define him, rather, he used the mistake as motivation to redefine his life...(his) story is an inspiration to anyone who thinks they don't have a chance. It's the story of triumph against the odds...of perseverance in the face of fear and self-doubt. It's the story of never giving up...(one) we can all learn from and take with us as we continue with our own lives."
- Jim Brandstatter, Sportscaster, WXYT & Author