Paul Badome Jr was born on February 21 1957 in Queens NY. He was born with a hyperactive pituitary gland which led to his hyper growth as well as a cleft palette which was common for his condition, a form of Giantism. He had a slew of other problems that led to many surgeries, so things were not easy for him from the get go. He was always much taller than the other kids and grew to be 6 feet 11 inches! He was picked on many times when he was younger because he looked a little different than the other kids and was much taller than them too. I think that might have shaped him into being the person he became.
Paul graduated Jamaica High School and started college at Sullivan County Community College which is where I met him. I first noticed Paul playing basketball at the college gym and couldn't help but notice right away that he was not a very good basketball player for his size (he had problems dunking the ball even at 6' 11"!) He was, however, an amazing kind, warm and personable soul. We immediately hit it off and I had the pleasure of living with him in a house that was off campus, that friendship started in 1977.
College wasn't for Paul so he went into his family's business which was owning Pepsi distribution routes in Upper Manhattan. It was a lot of hard work but he was great at it. His personality was such that all of the store owners on his route and their staff, loved "the big guy". It amazed me how he got up so early when he and I were out "partying" so late. He enjoyed playing the piano which he learned at a very young age and he had a passion for boating too.
He was a sharp dresser, a very good dancer and loved Barry White!
On August 24th, 2004, Paul married Ellen Reilly in a beautiful setting on a warm summer day at the City Island Yacht club. Ellen and Paul lived in a small but adorable house on Pilot Street on City Island for 7 years. Paul's passion for sailing rubbed off on Ellen as they enjoyed many adventures on Paul's sailboat.
On May 20, 2011, Paul left to go sleep on his sailboat by himself. This was not uncommon for him as his house was a 2 minute walk away and he enjoyed simply being on the water by himself. He said good night to Ellen and went to the berth of the boat to relax, read and sleep. Without getting into too many details, Paul died that night due to carbon monoxide leaking from a pipe on his boat. It was a freak accident that happened to someone who had been a very good sailor for over 20 years.
The idea of others doing a random act of kindness without expecting anything in return is what will carry his name and legacy the best. Here was a guy who had every reason to be angry at the world but decided to go the opposite way. Everyone loved Paul! He was the guy who you introduced someone to and you would here the same thing over and over again from everyone he came in contact with, "what a great guy".
I still miss him but I am both happy and grateful that he was a very important part of my life for so many years.
I know there are so many others who feel the same as I do.
With Warm Memories,
Davey S (as Paul used to call me)
AKA David Schlamm