Index of Posts: Slices of Shona's Life
Memories of Shona

From Ruth Senturia

As a little kid, Shona loved all things British. Or so it seemed back then. Her favourite music: The Beatles.

Shona and Ruth: Woolsey St.We shared some very good years. Our three families lived just a couple houses apart—the Kellys, the Alexanders, and the Senturias. We three older girls—Shona, Leslye, and I—played and played. Our younger sisters Maggi, Megan, and Martha—played and played. Our parents parented us all and became friends in their own right. The day the Kellys moved away was a loss.

Back in those early years, Shona and I used to go to Sheila Keppel for pottery classes. At one point Shona decided an Egyptian Pharaoh was going to be her project with clay. Which was beyond me—young kids didn’t ordinarily take to ancient civilizations. Later in high school we shared four exceptional years of Latin classes with Mr Mulholland and Mrs Small. Shona’s love of modern dance was perhaps her antidote to all things old.

Shona knew what she liked. And there was always something that she was enthusiastic about. When we’d get together, sure enough, she’d be brimming with excitement about her latest new found passion. Shona never worried what anyone else thought. She had no need to impress. Or question herself. She was comfortable in her skin, and knew what made her happy. Early on she knew she wanted to be a professor. Academics were her love, but she was refreshingly unacademic in her enthusiasm for life beyond academia.

We kept in touch after high school, though only minimally since I wasn’t in the US much after that.. I visited her at UC Davis, and later passed through Denver enroute to India. I’d drop a line every so often, and she made sure I received a copy of her  annual letter.  These past couple years I tried to get to Red Hook and she tried to meet me in western NY—to no avail.

I first met Randy when Shona brought him to my Dad’s in Berkeley/Oakland. Randy was in my good books for figuring out that Shona was a good catch. I knew he was an economics professor in those years, but only of late have I come across his articles with Bill Black, and then come to appreciate that he’d studied under Hyman Minsky. (I was rather excited to stumble upon “Randall Wray’s” articles on the internet this past year, and was planning to write Shona about this.)

The quality in Shona that stood out for me over the years—even when she was a kid: she never could speak ill of anyone. When she didn’t like something, at most one might detect some frustration. But she could only get so far in expressing herself and then she’d stop, because she was simply unable to cross that line of actually criticizing a person or saying something bad of them. To this day I find this to be truly exceptional.

Over the years I’d hoped that my husband could meet her, and that I could meet her kids. And I became more determined that we should get together latest by next year when we’d turn 50.

Maggi, thank you for making this blog possible. My heart goes out to you, and Jim & Celia, and Randy and the kids.  In particular, I hope the kids will have had enough years with Shona to have inherited all that she wanted for them to be able to stand on their feet. And yes, Randy, you have big shoes to fill. To your credit.

Ruth Senturia

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