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Bill Taylor’s A-15

This is not about a rocket ship,
flight low under radar dropping
bombs on innocent and guilty alike.

It’s about waking up in the morning,
deciding the beach is nice;

Drop volleyballs down on the sand,
kiss them goodnight.

It’s about a blonde sandy mop, two
boys dreaming to be great, too far
from the sun and sand to be too great.

Taylor and I shook it up, got lessons
in beach volleyball by its best lesson-

Indoors we dealt out some pain, depended
on the level, we always ruled the
small schools.

Then one foggy Christmas Eve, Taylor
came to Bruinville. He sizzled many
pits on his way to fifteen kills!!

That’s a volleyballer’s way to say:

The kid did allright!!

In the face of names like Sealy and
Landry all over six feet six, six feet
Taylor from Pasadena had his way,
passing nails and tooling blocks
like best craftsmen at your house
pulverizing concrete against a deadline.

Meanwhile, Watkins took to the sand
Smith left (Taylor’s other name was Smith).
Watkins’ other name was Bill.

On the sand he trained and failed,
trained and failed. Then won, then won,
then won, then won the next morning
putting him into the Winner’s bracket finals.

Then Won!

A-rated from nothing, inlander finding
a way with friends watching grunting too
loud but it’s forgivable at 5-4 to make it
6-4 on the switch, you dig moving left,
keep going that way getting the set to your

Thing is your beach “off” side is your indoor
ON-side, you revel in the movement, love
the dig then hit in a way that only Taylor
himself (Bill’s former setter) knows.


That grunt resonated to the strand where
family friends watched.

Something there is that doesn’t like to lose.
That once you find a way to win, you rinse
and repeat it for as long as you can.

No more wading in the sand;
No more waiting for the band—

Smith and I like playing a harmonica
at the USC Trojan band—we’re on top!

We all deserve it once, Taylor and I got
it twice, once is his, once is mine, but when
I add the moments up in my head I always
get “sublime.”