Tuesday, June 5

Turquoise Taylor Grant 10/4/66 - 5/29/12

Turquoise Taylor Grant (via)

What will survive of us is love. (Philip Larkin)

In which Turquoise dreams that God turns out to be the lion Aslan and Heaven a nice trailer park filled with friends...

Turquoise (via)

Turquoise Taylor Grant, also known as Violet Veronica White, whose names were colors and whose favorite color was Emerald green, with robin's egg blue and sea glass hues not far behind; whose magical eyes changed colors from blue to green to grey depending on what she wore…

"Your Words Are Colors" - 5/29/12, by Emily Yates (via)

I wrote this song to honor the amazingness of Turquoise Taylor Grant, whose acquaintance I had the pleasure of making through her online writings in 2005. I was in the middle of my first deployment to Iraq, and had begun an online diary (before they were called by the unattractive name of "blogs") to combat anger, depression and loneliness during my year-long deployment. I spent my non-writing time reading other people's journals. Turquoise, or Violet, as I knew her, was one of those writers whose words were addictive. I read through all her old entries, with sore cheeks from laughing so very hard, and we began to correspond. She sent me at least one spectacular care package, probably more, and sent things like a blue foam wig and wallpaper samples with caricatures of her co-workers drawn on them with snarky captions. I dubbed her "Miss Vermont" due to her signing an email "V/T" for Violet/Turquoise. When I came home from Iraq and got out of the military, we stayed in touch, and actually hung out "in person" a few times. It was fabulous every time, of course. As was she. (Emily Yates)

Faithful friend of Jojoblog from times before it was conceived; vibrant woman-grrrl, lovely, lively, sweet, and kind; effusive, smart as a whip; glamorous sailboat-racer, even when (especially when) dressed in a sailor's anorak…

Singer/songwriter/strange bird of the band Strange Bird, and writer of witty greeting card captions; maker and mailer of mix cds and delightful mail art packages; brandisher of chic manicures and pedicures; fancy shoe and sticker hoarder; Gump's devotee and thrift store shopper…

Author/essayist/humorist of poignant truths, human foibles, snark, and confessional peccadilloes; ponderer of Big Questions; list-writer, artist, actress, office worker, extraordinary blogger

Heartbreakingly vulnerable and unflinchingly down to earth, light and life of parties, funny and fun-loving and brave with a strength beyond her tender reckoning…

Born in Boston, Massachusetts on 4 October 1966 with a lineage that may or may not have come over on the Mayflower, gone from this life in Ventura, California at daybreak on 29 May 2012 surrounded by love, surrounded by family…

She loved her beautiful Bengal cat, the splendid Kong, both for his luxurious spotted fur and for his ardor. They understood each other's wild roots and they shared mutual devotion...

She loved drinking Absolut Greyhounds. She loved fine china and crystal and sterling silver flatware and designer fabrics and gemstones and furs, not because she was a snob but because she loved exquisite things, because she herself was exquisite...

She loved watching Murder, She Wrote and Martha Stewart on television...

She loved her friends, she loved her angels, she was fascinated by ghosts…

Turquoise (via)

She lived on a boat in a marina for years with her longtime former companion the Keelhauler aka the Captain with whom she raced in regattas, some of them metaphorical. It was complicated…

I don't know what to say. I'm typing this through tears...

I've been struggling, faltering, barely keeping pace with my own challenges these past couple of years and had been unable to keep up with hers…

Turquoise is gone…

She loved Jonathan Richman's music, dreamed about him, and was a regular at his shows in the San Francisco area (and elsewhere, like in Paris for example, where she partied with our Jacques). It's likely many Jojoblog readers saw her dancing at those shows. She was old friends with Tommy Larkins from her days living in Tucson, where he's from…

For Turquoise: "They're Not Tryin' On The Dance Floor" by Jonathan Richman, by Emily Yates (via)

During the last couple weeks of her struggle with cancer, I told Turquoise I'd learn any Jonathan Richman songs she wanted me to, and would video myself playing them to send her. I was a day too late on this one, but here's my best effort. I owe Turquoise an ocean of thank-yous for asking me to learn this song, which she said was "under-appreciated." Luckily, she will never wear that label. Rest in peace, friend. (Emily Yates)

There's a chance (why not?) that she still dances at Jonathan and Tommy's shows. Look for her graceful presence tonight in Detroit at the Magic Stick. Her mystery's not of high heels or eye shadow- but most likely she will have the most perfect shoes and the most elegant eye makeup anyway. And the most delicate painted nails. Because she's like that. Because she is fabulous. Because she is foxy. Because she remains with us in our heart of hearts…

In which she will stay with us.

Turquoise (via)

Turquoise (Violet, Emerald) kept the most recent incarnation of her blog trilogy here, where her good friend will update news for memorial services and related information: still life with idiots

Some tributes/reminiscences:
becky haycox
leftyforjesus (has an image of Turquoise with her friend, and a wonderful painting she made of her mother)
Life in Scribbletown also here
spynotes – brian westbye
anne taintor

Be sure to view the slideshow images on anne taintor's site so you can see Turquoise's captions


  1. Anonymous11:12 AM

    <3. I added another, final, tribute to my blog this morning. She was so many things - all of them wonderful - that there are more things unsaid than said.

  2. Thanks for that. A lovely tribute and a great great version of the song. Lots of love, Becky

  3. Thank you RB for the beautiful tribute to Turquoise, I will never forget her. My sorrow is overwhelming my desire to write about her but the time will come.

  4. Those touching words seem to have been written directly from your heart, RB

  5. thanks all

    freshhell, i enjoyed reading the post and rummaging in violet's drawer/ your drawer

    becky, you are a very good friend indeed

    jacques, i'm so very sorry. i will never forget her either. take your time.

    patrick, from my heart to yours

  6. Thank you for posting this Emily, and thank you for more than just the music Jonathan. She is watching us all now, so let's dance. -Patrick Keilen (aka "theKeelhauler")