The gentleman sitting next to me on the plane remarked that he had just finished visiting the New York legislature. "What is your business?" I queried. "I retired in 1995 as a major general of the marines."

Working in New York for so long, perhaps, made me "too cool" to react openly. And I tend not to push military people too hard unless they see to want to talk about the military, so I didn't ask his name. "I'll find it on Google when I get home," I thought, while taking the time to jot down the initials showing on the monogram on his shirt cuff--"JEL."

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