I am 55 year old, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, and combat-disabled veteran.
I followed you for many years on the West Coast swing (LA and San Diego Open, Tournament of Champions, etc) in the late 70s and early 80s. Because "Mr. Nicklaus" was so accessible, friendly, and warm, you became known to me simply as "Jack". Please excuse my familiarity and casual tone, but after having spent decades of weekends together, on the course or on TV, you are like family.
You were always personable, treating me like an equal as you made your way to your next shot, sometimes smiling and other times chatting, even when the stakes were high and pressure from Trevino, Crenshaw, Kite, Watson and others intense.
Because of who you are as a man and legend, I took the liberty of naming my second son after you, Nicklaus A. Sorrentino, who will turn 25 on July 1st. I may be just a bit biased and believe both my boys have embraced the honor, integrity, and strength of character, which you possess and I have tried to emulate, on and off the golf course.
Others, who do not deserve to be mentioned in the same paragraph as you, may surpasses your feats on the golf course, but none will be known as the Greatest Golfer of All Time because YOU, Jack, have earned that title as a result of your outstanding golf acumen and victories, and your indisputable and immaculate character, which all golfers and non-golfers would do well to emulate.
These days, I occupy my time counseling military and veterans coming back from combat with PTSD as well as starting a non-profit called Help4VetsPTSD, Inc., an outreach, education, research, transition and residential treatment program for military, Veterans, and their families affected by PTSD.
Thank you for taking the time to read my note. I hope that I may have the opportunity to meet you again in the future and wish you and your family the very best in life.
Chris Sorrentino, LtCol, USAF (Ret)
http://www.CombatCounselor.com and http://www.Help4VetsPTSD.org
Twitter: @CombatCounselor and @Help4VetsPTSD
YouTube and Blogger: CombatCounselor and Help4VetsPTSD