All posts for the month May, 2017


Published May 14, 2017 by paulandpaulasbooks

She married young
Lived life to the fullest
A pearl surrounded by sand*

I am from sturdy stock, an American with roots homegrown and from places once considered far away. My sons consider me strong, stubborn, and steadfast.

My maternal grandmother and my mother’s eldest sister were my models as I grew to be the person my mother in law met the night her oldest son asked her to take a drive to get to know me without family around to comment.

We drove to the entrance of the beach access in East Quogue, out on Dune road in the Hamptons on Long Island in New York. We were far enough from houses or condos, so traffic intrusion was unlikely to disturb.

It was a chilly starlit night in mid-May of ‘65. Paul and I had been dating nine weeks. Early on in our relationship, we determined we wanted to have a life together. We never seemed to run out of topics to discuss, nor an end to wit or laughter. We thought we would marry in the Fall because we didn’t want to preempt the marriage of a cousin.

Paul felt that his mother could handle our news and convey to his dad that we were to marry and sooner than anticipated because I was pregnant. We had decided on a Justice of the Peace because, thou Christian, we were from different sects. Neither of us wanted a large wedding or wanted to insist on our own church Our first compromise.

Jeanette aka Mom was not shocked. We had spent every evening together in night college and into the wee hours of the morning from the night we first dated with one night off to do taxes. Her reaction was, “The first child arrives at any time. The rest take nine months.” She welcomed me to the family. The only thing she insisted on was that we marry in church. Our second compromise.

I wore my mother in law’s veil, my borrowed and old, my suit was new, white and powder blue. Never to me, in the start or throughout our marriage, did a cross word ever pass her lips towards me.  I have attempted and at times failed to follow in her footsteps.

She arranged to call their Pastor for our meeting to marry. She arranged inviting local family and she opened her home and provided our reception. Graciousness personified.

Everyone called her Mom, so I followed likewise. Several years later she handed us the key to their home upstate so Paul could return to college at Plattsburgh. During our marriage, she and I wrote a letter to each other once a week, a void never filled after her abrupt passing back to God, twenty-four years ago.

She bore seven children and always loved her children around her. We were her gypsies and not only followed in her and Dad’s tire tracks, we traveled the US and lived in six states.

She already has one daughter, and this year, two sons, one being my husband, back with her in eternity.



Paul Harold Shene Jr.

Published May 1, 2017 by paulandpaulasbooks

Living long doesn’t mean existing for many years.

Living is not just existing . Living is actively doing things.

Paul Harold Shene Jr., son of the late Paul Harold Shene Sr. and Jeanette Ballard Shene, died April 6, 2017 at 10:11 p.m. with his wife and son, Prescott at his side.

Paul was born in Kings County, Brooklyn, New York on June 2, 1943. At the age of two he moved to the Saranac Lake area, in the Adirondacks of upstate New York. He attended Bloomingdale Grammar and Saranac Lake High School where he excelled in Arts, Sports, and Academia.

He met his wife Paula Reardon (Currin) Shene at Southampton College, a center of Long Island University.  Their first son, Paul Harold Shene III was born in Southampton, New York.

Paul, with his family relocated to Bloomingdale in upstate New York.  He graduated from Plattsburgh College with a Bachelor of Science in History.  He taught at Saranac Central and Saranac Lake Central School Districts. His second son, Patrick Howard Shene was born in Saranac Lake.

Paul entered the United States Navy during the Vietnam War era with the enticement of Officer Training. He trained in Cryptography. His career was derailed when he was injured performing his duty as an MP. He served his remaining years as an E-4 while answering only to the Commanding Officer of Mare Island, Vallejo, California. His third son, Prescott Hugh Shene was born in Fairfield, California.

Upon discharge, he entered Sonoma State College, Rohnert Park, California where he studied under Bjorn Karlsen, one of the original writers of the SAT. Paul graduated with a Remedial Reading Degree. Turning down an offer for a position in Silicon Valley, he instead headed for North Dakota where he taught Reading, and was the Track Coach with the distinction of being the first coach at Turtle Mt High School to lead his runners to first place in the State Meet.  

Returning to New York he taught Reading in the Higher Education Opportunity Program at Southampton College where he helped his mentor, Dan Dramer produce the T-Square method of reading for the H.E.O.P.

He also taught at Arthur Kill Prison System in Staten Island, New York, and ESL at John Jay College in Brooklyn, New York.

Heading to Florida to help his parents, he was hired to teach for the Eckhard Foundation at the privately owned prison for adolescent murderers, in Okeechobee.

On his final relocation with his family, he traveled to Portland, Oregon where he and his wife worked for a season in real estate management until opening their joint tutoring business.  Upon closure after ten years because of a family death, their Home School Students all placed two to four grades higher and of the sixteen students expelled from local high schools, one returned to high school, and fifteen opted for college.

In addition to his wife and three sons, he leaves behind two granddaughters, Brittany Nicole Shene SteinKellner and Samantha Lena Shene; two grandsons, Austin Bailey Shene and Prescott Hugh Shene Jr., two sisters, Joan Shene Schaefer and Virginia Shene Whitelaw, two brothers, Michael David Shene and Steven Gregory Shene; and, many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

He was predeceased by his sister Ruth ‘Tootie’ Shene Harrigan and his brother, Jerry Vaughn Shene.

Condolences to:

My father said he wasn’t afraid of making mistakes.

He was afraid of not making a difference.-

Paul H. Shene III