James Taylor could have gone to his family home in Silver Creek or his sister's house in California to escape the wrath of Hurricane Katrina.
Instead, he chose to ride out the storm with friends at the Seashore Mission on Howard Avenue in Biloxi, the place he called home. The 54-year-old known as Duck and his friends were among the 231 Mississippi residents who died in Katrina. Taylor's older sister, Jeralene Taylor Stanford of San Diego, didn't talk to him about leaving town, but assumed he would go to the family home.
"I don't know why he stayed," said Stanford, one of Taylor's seven siblings.
The two were planning a visit in California in the near future. Stanford said they remained close even though thousands of miles separated them.
"He was a fun person," she said. "He didn't like trouble."
Three years his senior, Stanford said she often was in charge of him when their parents were away. She recalled times when she chased him out of the kitchen with a broom when he tried to enter just after she'd cleaned it.
Stanford decided against going to her brother's funeral, saying that's not how she wants to remember him.
"I want to remember the good times," she said.