Paul used to tell me I was present at the creation of NELA, and I still don’t think he was right. If I was there, it was just as a bystander as Paul sketched out what might be. NELA was all his own creation, as far as I can recall. I had a special feeling of kinship with Paul for two reasons – he did the kind of employment law that I did, and he worked in the Mercantile Library Building on Walnut Street in Cincinnati OH. It was the Mercantile Library Building where both my father and grandfather had their insurance agency office. As a result, I somehow regarded him as family, albeit a very distant relative. He also had the same decency of character as my father and grandfather – maybe it came with working in that building.
Here is one great lesson of Paul’s life – you can stay in your hometown, and still end up changing the world. Or it was a lesson to me. Never sour or bitter, he had what they used to call a “generous heart,” to his clients, to younger lawyers like me, to everyone. Both as a lawyer and as a citizen, he left a model for us to follow.