« Her 95th Birthday Party | Main

August 24, 2012


Gail Hulbert

I have goose bumps. What a rich and beautiful life. Oh the places college degrees colliding with interests and passions can take you! I love the Kindle remark and I love what Billy wrote. I sure hope this blog stays up so we can dip in from time to time. Rest in Peace, Florence.

Lauren Shay

Michael Lewis sent this eulogy for Florence:

Like so many others, I loved and adored Florence. It was so easy to do. How could you not love someone who when asked where she is from replies, “Brooklyn, where else?” Or, when describing what happens in her bookstore, states, “People tell me their problems and I tell them what to do about them.” Or, when people ask, “Are you really married to Art Shay?’ coolly replies, “He’s married to Florence Shay."

What do these Florenceisms tell us about her? First, she was so comfortable in her own skin. She had no pretense. She told it like it was. You know you were getting the unvarnished truth, but with diplomacy. She had the remarkable quality of telling you how to get it right while at the same time making you feel good about yourself. Since BS was not in her nature, when you did get a compliment, it made you feel on top of the world.

Sitting before the queen at her desk in the bookstore was like being in a holy shrine. When she would look at you with those bright eyes, nodding head, and infectious smile, she would cast a magic spell on you.

She had such an adventurous spirit and an ability to roll with the punches. One can hear her saying the following Florenceisms: Running a bookstore while raising a bevy of children and keeping Art out of trouble, I can do it. Lost our lease, no problem, we will find another location. Diagnosed with cancer, let’s start the treatment. What an amazing lady!

What a character she was! She had a unique perspective. A literal example of seeing things from a different point of view occurred recently at a party that my wife and I gave. Instead of complaining about her limitations because she was confined to a wheelchair, she wrote a blog about the event on how women looked, from the waist down, in their fancy dresses.

And what a sense of humor! She had a remarkable ability to laugh at herself. When she lost her hair while receiving chemotherapy, she found, by her own acknowledgement, an ugly wig. She put it on and laughed at herself, and damned if she didn’t look beautiful in it.

What a zest for life she had! What an inspiration she is. Valerie and Melanie and I feel so grateful to have known her. Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of Florence Shay.

-- Michael Lewis


I am saddened to read of Florence's passing here, her blog, where I came to appreciate her wit, her style, her zest of life and books. My condolences to her family and friends.
Penny O'Neill


I've just found out about Florence... I didn't know her that much, just enough to love her a lot in a very little time.
I am feeling a big sadness now but i feel so honored to have known her.
Beautiful angel.
I am sending all my love for the family and friends. God bless you all.

The comments to this entry are closed.