Simons and Taylors sing among sawdust and sawhorses

Simons and Taylors sing among sawdust and sawhorses

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From left: Ben, Carly, and Sally Taylor performed at Gannon & Benjamin on Friday, Aug. 24. — Photo by Steve Myrick

Usually, the only thing remotely musical in the Gannon & Benjamin Marine Railway boat shop is the F-sharp whine of a board planer, and the only thing rhythmic is the sing-song meter of a hand saw.

But Friday evening, Aug. 24, the sounds of Ben and Sally Taylor, along with their mom Carly Simon, rose over the sawdust and saw horses as part of a fund-raising event for Partners for Youth with Disabilities, Inc.

“This is the venue I’ve always most wanted to play,” Ben Taylor said.

Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) is a Boston-based organization that uses a model similar to Big Brothers Big Sisters. The organization matches a disabled adult as a mentor to a young man or woman with a similar disability. PYD also operates theater programs, entrepreneurship training, and health education programs.

Sally Taylor has worked as a mentor for the program, and her husband, Dean Bragonier, is PYD’s director of business development.

The brother-and-sister duo played guitar, sang, and told stories of growing up in a famous musical family, including their own struggles with dyslexia. Ms. Simon joined her children for a rollicking tune written by her daughter.

Local muralist Margot Datz donated her artistic skills to create a hand-painted guitar to raise funds for the group.

Oklahoma State University student Ray Grandoit, who operates his own tee shirt design and production company, Ray Grand Apparel, traveled to Martha’s Vineyard for the event. His mentor was the late U.S. District Court Judge Reginald Lindsay. Both men used wheelchairs because of spinal conditions.

“Once I saw him, I thought, ‘I can do this,'” Mr. Grandoit said. “I could do anything I wanted to, and I’m going to do it.”