PRESTONSBURG – Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) welcomed Kelley Ashby Paul, wife of United States Senator Rand Paul, to campus when she came to discuss her book “True and Constant Friends” on Wednesday.
Paul spoke to students, faculty and guests in the college’s student center atrium. As she took the stand, her presence radiated that of a confident, educated, influential and down to earth woman.
Paul talked about the relationships she has shared with special women in her life and how they made her who she is today. She recounted a group of women, who attended Rhodes College in Tennessee, and how they have remained close. The group continues to maintain its close relationship by going on a girls’ trip every year as a chance to reconnect and catch up with whatever life has thrown at them since the last time they were together.
After giving several speeches about her grandmother and the impact she had made on her life, Paul asked college friends to recount a special woman whom had made an impact on their life.
Paul spoke about the admiration she has for her grandmother, an Irish immigrant who sailed to New York City at the age of 19.
“I can’t imagine how she must have felt coming to the city,” Paul confided. “She came from a poor family and was forced to quit school at age 12 to get a job working as a maid to help make money for the family. When she spoke of these hardships she never complained. She simply recounted the experience with a fondness and a smile.”
Paul spoke of her grandmother’s eternal optimism and how she could always see the bright side of any situation. Growing up around her optimism and positive influence was a powerful influence and Paul credits her grandmother for having a positive impact on her life.
“Arriving in New York City with almost nothing, she got a job doing the only thing she knew,” Paul added. “She was a maid, however, this time it was for the wealthy founder of Saks Fifth Avenue Department Store. She was a poor Irish immigrant who moved to another country to pursue a better life and that is exactly what she did. She never allowed failure to be an option.”
Paul recalls her grandmother loved to get dressed up and meet whatever challenges life brought with a smile and a can do attitude.
As Paul’s talk came to an end she spoke of how blessed she was having true and constant friends, even living a life in politics.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for The Floyd County Times. She can be reached at (606) 886-8506.