Monday, October 18, 2021

Colin Powell, 1937-2021

Some years ago - probably in the fall, winter, or early spring, because I had left work and it was dark - I was walking along Madison Avenue, past the former General Motors building, when I saw a man coming out of it and walking parallel to me. He looked to be maybe five-eight; I was five-ten at the time (age has reduced me to five-seven). I wondered if he might be a partner in a law firm for which I had done some work several years before and had its offices in that building. 

When we got to the corner of 59th Street and Madison, a young cop looked at him and said, "General! I was in the Gulf War." He went on to praise his leadership and say how proud he was to have been on his team. 

I mentally slapped myself for not having recognized Colin Powell in the flesh. As, it seems, often happens, I had expected him to be much taller.

I won't try to add to all that's been written about this son of Jamaican immigrants who became a transformational leader in the military as well as in civilian politics and diplomacy. We've lost a great one.