His job is to hit the beach all day, every day. (Disclosure: Taylor is a former neighbor of this reporter, but that is not how we stumbled on this story.)
The 300 blue-and-yellow beach cabanas that line much of the northern half of Treasure Island are his, as are a number of standup paddle boards and umbrellas. He and a few employees — two of them his kids — rent these out to beachgoers along the shoreline stretching from the wide beachfront mid-island up to Sunshine Beach. Since chatting with tourists is part of the gig, it’s a job that suits his friendly nature.
His business, which he inherited from his father, turns 60 this year; Taylor has run it for 33 of those years.
He’s seen a lot in that time, and has become something of a surrogate lifeguard and maintenance man, picking up after untidy beachgoers and even saving lives of endangered swimmers.
“Over my years out here I’ve had five rescues,” he said. “My dad had nine and [so did] some of our operators and people who have worked for us in the past, we have a total of 24, now, rescues. So, lives saved.”
But fallout from a local contretemps that had nothing to do with Taylor is making life quite difficult for him at the moment.
Taylor’s ability to run his business efficiently has hinged on the large white pickup truck he has driven up and down the beachfront, hauling equipment and storing litter for later disposal.
But now, an ongoing legal battle between the city and three hoteliers has affected all motor vehicles on the beach, including Taylor’s.
As far as lots in life go, Greg Taylor has a pretty damned good one.