I would like to share with you a piece composed by the very talented Greg Thompson, Medtrade Media Relations, and author of many of the articles found in the Medtrade Monday emails. He eloquently tells some of my story, much of which my readers may already know. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy it!
Shelly Prial Will Make 2015 His Final Medtrade
ATLANTA, July 7, 2015 – Sheldon (Shelly) Prial has been to all but one Medtrade, and the 88-year-old HME legend has decided to make this year’s show his last. As Medtrade Ambassador for many years, Prial and his wife Thelma have come to represent the sense of community that Medtrade is all about.
“Shelly knows the HME and pharmacy worlds better than anyone,” says Kevin Gaffney, group show director, Medtrade. “Shelly knows everyone and everyone knows him. He is the best Medtrade ambassador we will ever have, and he can’t be replaced. All that said, he’s not done yet, and we look forward to seeing him and Thelma at Medtrade this year.”
For those who don’t know a lot about Shelly, he is a WW II veteran who was initially turned down by the the Army because he could only see out of one eye. He eventually volunteered again and took the test with his right eye twice.
Almost 70 years later, Shelly still talks of the eye test deception with a measure of guilt. The fib eventually led him overseas where he was assigned to be a demolition man in the 252 Combat Engineers. “This required me to work with sticks of dynamite,” he remembers, “and I am by nature rather clumsy.”
Just 20 years old when he got out of the Army, he went back to school, eventually earning his Bachelor of Science degree and becoming a Registered Pharmacist in 1950. A year before graduation (1949), Shelly reluctantly agreed to go to a party that would change his life.
“My best friend invited me and I said, ‘No, I’m working tomorrow and Sunday,’” muses Shelly. “One of the reasons he invited me was because I had a green 1940 Buick Convertible with red leather seats. I finally said yes, so we went in my vehicle to this party. That’s when I met Thelma, who’s sorority was there.
“I said, ‘Let’s stay a little later and help clean up,” continues Shelly. “When we got back, I said, ‘Stanley, I’m marrying Thelma.’ He told me I was out of my mind, and I said, ‘No, I’m serious.’ We got married eight months later.”
On July 2, 2015, Shelly and Thelma (both New York natives) will celebrate 65 years of marriage. “Nobody in this whole world has ever had a better spouse than I,” says Shelly. “She and I have been one person for all of these years. With our children, we always worked together. When I built my pharmacies, she was there all the time. It was never me alone, or her alone.”
Say hello to Shelly at this year’s Medtrade, scheduled for Oct 26-29, 2015. Click the link below to register for Medtrade 2015.
Medtrade Media Relations
(970) 206-0071 (office); (970) 227-1002 (cell);