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Shirley Seney memories

September 17, 2015
Lake Placid News

To the editor:

Every editor of the Lake Placid News has a Shirley Seney story. I count myself among the blessed number who have a great many stories and memories of Shirley, who was a giant in the life of my adopted hometown for a half-century. Her many years of service as a member of the school board, the Lake Placid Olympic Organizing Committee, as mayor of Lake Placid and finally as supervisor of North Elba have been well chronicled, and deservedly so.

I got to know Shirley very well during my membership in the Lake Placid Kiwanis Club, of which she was a stalwart. We spent a lot of time together while I was president of the club - organizing the Teddy Bear Picnic with Barbara Kelly, laughing over cocktails at our weekly dinners at the Hilton, marching behind Trish Forrest's car in the Memorial Day parade and talking politics. She'd call me at home - we were neighbors on Station Street - with any news of our village and its people.

When her daughter and grandchildren were displaced from their Metarie, Louisiana, home after Hurricane Katrina, Shirley was quick to connect me to them and to be sure the News had their refugee tale first. I was with Shirley when she lost her final race for supervisor and when the tension of that last race nearly ruined the Kiwanis Club. There are so many memories like that - and of course there would have to be with someone who was such a central figure in the village.

Were I only able to share one anecdote, Shirley would want it to be this one:

One morning in March 2007, I was roaring down Station Street on my way to the News offices on Mill Hill. I was running behind after a meeting in Saranac Lake, and I was in quite a hurry. A village police officer had been parked at the rise where the tracks cross the street and head to the station - just past Shirley's house. He nabbed me and pulled me over. As I was negotiating with the officer, Shirley drove by, waved, pointed her finger at me in a scolding way and stuck her tongue out at me with a devilish grin.

The last time I saw Shirley was a few summers ago. As we parted, she asked, "Ed, when are you going to come home where you belong?"

I still don't know the answer to that question for sure, but Shirley, I hope it's soon.

Ed Forbes

Mount Kisco

(Ed Forbes, editor of the Lake Placid News from 2003 to 2007, is managing editor at and The Journal News newspaper, based in White Plains.)



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