Gene Paleno, the son of Italian immigrants, was raised in the early 1930's on a farm near Detroit, Michigan. Gene learned to drive in an old Model T Ford as he worked on his family's rural farm. He served in the US Navy during WWII, then taught school after graduating from Michigan State University in 1946. In the early 1950's during the aerospace industry boom, the entire Paleno Family (parents, sisters, brothers, spouses, and children) packed up and moved to California.
Gene raised his family in Southern California where he began his career in art, then sales and marketing. Later in life, Paleno fell in love and married a second time to a beautiful Dixieland musical entertainer. They established a small farm in northern California and enjoyed life together for many decades until he became a widow at the age of 84. Losing his life-partner caused a cataclysmic change to his lifestyle. As a survivor, he knew he would have to reinvent himself. He adopted Cleo the cat and plunged forward to pursue his passion for storytelling.
Gene embraces every day since then. He began to write stories more than thirty years ago and at the age of 87 become a syndicated columnist and publisher. His popularity as a writer grew after the release of "Lake County History - A Mystical Adventure in Time". Paleno’s second historical non-fiction novel, "The Porter Conspiracy," is a compelling saga of the Civil War. At the young age of age 92, Gene Paleno writes and works everyday as an independent author and business owner in Lake County, California. If you stand by the road in Upper Lake, you are sure to see him heading into town on errands.
• Columnist: Witter Springs Chronicles
• Regular Guest Speaker: Lake County Public Radio
• Guest Historian: Lake County Historical Society, Civil War Round Tables
• Storyteller: Anecdotal Stories from life in Witter Springs
• Founding Board Member: Lake County Silver Foundation
• Chairperson to 2020: WRTH Advisory - 3rd District, Lake County
• Nonagenarian, WWII Veteran
• Recipient of Lake County Outstanding Senior Award 2018