Aug. 8, 2022

My friend, Paul McEneany

Tall Paul!

"Mac" meets Julie

Two Roads Diverged and Now Converged

August 8, 2002

Good Morning Folks,

In addition to trying to recover from the tremendous fall that I had on July 28th, I was also scheduled for minor surgery this past Thursday. It was an outpatient visit and we had to come into Rochester. I was prepped and anesthetized before I knew it. Everything went as planned, but it has made the recuperation from the fall all the more difficult. While I was in the recovery room I received a text on my phone. Barely aware of my surroundings I slowly read the text and realized it was from one of my very first friends from childhood who was in town for a family reunion. He wanted to get together, if it was at all possible. I hadn’t seen Paul McEneany since his mom’s funeral 22 years ago and really hadn’t sat down and had a chat with him in close to 50 years. That said, we were steadfast friends in grammar school, most of high school and college. Now I say most of high school because after grammar school Paul entered St. Andrews’s seminary and was studying for the priesthood. I like to think I was one of the people who convinced him that his time would be better spent at McQuaid than it would in seminary. It was certain to be a lot more fun. Paul would leave the seminary in the middle of junior year of high school and entered McQuaid like a bottle of champagne uncorked. His parents were very strict so we had to plan our every move whenever we went out and make sure our stories were straight. We went to parties, basketball games and overnight camping trips where we experienced alcohol, music and girls. Our friendship was cemented over cans of Jaguar Malt Liquor sipped in my backyard. We entered college together in the fall of 1965. We both declared ourselves as "pre-med" majors. It was Paul’s idea. He thought it would be a great way to introduce ourselves to people…especially girls. That we were "pre-med" was a joke… we were just taking biology together, that was about it. After freshman year our paths started to diverge. We certainly weren’t "pre-med" students anymore. Paul took the path of business and finance where as I chose the path of literature and the social sciences. As our course of study diverged so did our lifestyles. Paul had a new girlfriend. She gave him a briefcase for his birthday. I was not very much into briefcases but instead knapsacks were my style. I was starting to head down the hippie trail and Paul was heading to the line of future Xerox executive. We couldn’t have been more different at that point. He was married in 1969 and I was in his wedding but I had the feeling that we would never cross paths again. Paul went on to have very successful career in business with the Xerox corporation which moved him out to  Southern California where he flourished in the financial community.

As we spent Friday morning "catching up" I came to find out that Paul had been dedicating most of his time to a non profit health clinic serving the needy population of Southern California. He had been using the finance and business acumen he had acquired over the years to make the world a better place for his fellow humans…and I, the teacher and hippie, had become an business entrepreneur! That hot and steamy Friday morning we realized how our lives had come full circle and we were actually, still, the people we had always been. Two roads diverged and now converged….

Best regards,

John Bernunzio 

"Mac" and me….and Ike