In 1933, Captain S. Duff-Taylor, late of His Majesty's regimental forces, bequeathed to the World the secrets of his mastery of the noble art of ice skating .
His memorable volume, "The Elements of Skating", a 16 page pamphlet bound in stiff covers, is a model presentation of simple diagrams, lucid description, and striking photographs of the Captain himself demonstrating key concepts .
Curiously, all these artistic poses depict the Captain wearing no skates. He instructs the student in a preface that it is ". . .most advantagous to practise in front of the mirror in this manner."
Even so, the impression of lyrical gliding motion in these simulations is matched only by his lofty military bearing.
As an artist seeking to illuminate the mysteries of the Human experience, (Whatever that means,) I became intrigued with the Captain. I soon came to feel I knew the man behind the massive lapels and the dashing mustaches. I began to fill in the gaps in the only published record of his accomplishments.
The "S.", I decided, could only stand for Sydney. And although this may not quite square with the dates, I know that his service to the Crown must certainly have been spent shouldering the White Man's Burden in India. (In-- jah!)
How all this translated into ice skating, I can't
imagine, but one look at those ankles suggests it was Destiny.
From all this came two series of character studies:
You can go back to John Blair Moore's place if you want,
but the Captain is dying to meet you!