Get that man an umbrella drink!
I have never met Paul before. I am sure we may have crossed paths at an INFORMS conference (or two), but I don’t believe we have actually met in person (and that must be rectified!). I came to know of Paul through his Twitter tweets and his comments on OR/MS blogs. This is different than normal because I usually come to know many of my OR colleagues through reading their papers, listening to their presentations, or talking shop at conferences.
Getting to know Paul first as the witty and smart person instead of the intimidating full-OR-professor-at-whose-feet-I-must-bow makes Paul a lot more “human.” It is this humanity that impresses me most about him, and places him in the group of people in this world that I would like to meet because spending a little time with them will make my life that little bit richer.
Paul, I am sure that your many accomplishments have been and will be celebrated at many retirement gatherings. However, I hope that your humanity will be celebrated with at least the same (if not more) amount of gusto for that is what makes a great person; nay, a legen-(wait for it)-dary person!
Congratulations on your retirement, Paul! I raise a glass to you: a mensch and an OR legend in your own right!