Remembering Marta Taylor of Operation Sweet Tooth in Montrose, Colorado
Sweet Tooth for many is the saying one uses if they have a regular or consistent craving for sweets or a fondness for something that tastes sweet. Some think it is a Netflix 2021 TV series.
The dictionary defines sweet tooth (noun) as a great liking for sweet-tasting foods, especially sweets and chocolates. The definition of sweet, when referring to a person, can mean pleasant, kind, gentle, charming, or endearing.
When I think of Sweet Tooth, I think of Marta Taylor. Marta was Sweet Tooth in Montrose.
What Was Operation Sweet Tooth?
Operation Sweet Tooth was started in 2003 by Marta and her late husband Landy. They heard some local National Guard members were getting ready to be deployed and wanted to do something nice. They delivered pizzas, paid for out of their own pockets, to these local military kids, and thus Operation Sweet Tooth was born.
They sent care packages to the service men and women from our area, to remind them their service was appreciated, and that someone back home cared about them.
A Partnership Made in Heaven
Landy and Marta’s mission was relayed to Jim Kerschner, former owner of the Red Barn, and a radio personality at KUBC. Jim helped Landy and Marta, by hosting fundraisers on the air. Throughout the Operation Sweet Tooth Radio Marathons, our local communities pledged and donated more than $750,000 for their cause. The money raised was used to purchase supplies and pay for postage, so boxes to our local troops overseas could still be shipped. Marta packed each box that was shipped. The boxes included socks, jerky, candy, coffee, shampoo, cooling bandanas, Bibles, and wet wipes. Marta was the only woman I ever knew who, as her son said, could fit 50 pounds of stuff into a 30-pound box.
After Landy passed, Marta continued to send boxes each week to units overseas. She continued to do so until a few years ago, probably about the time she turned 81. She packed and shipped nearly 12,000 boxes.
More About Marta Taylor
Marta Taylor was born and raised in Poland and moved to the United States at the age of 35. She became a naturalized citizen in December 2010.
The dictionary describes Marta as a lady. My definition and meaning of Marta – and Operation Sweet Tooth – is one of many blessings, dedication, perseverance, unconditional love, laughs, smiles, friendship, and of course, fond memories. She was like a grandmother to my kids. She was a tiny, feisty woman who dedicated many years of her life to making sure our local troops were not forgotten. Marta touched so many lives, even of people she didn’t know personally.
Marta Taylor passed away on September 8, 2023. I saw her just a few days before that. She told me to take care of myself. Fly High Little Lady. I will miss you.