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This has nothing to do with retailing … but the piece touched me, and I wanted to share it with you.

It ran in the New York Times this week, and it was written by Scott Kelly, the retired NASA astronaut following the passing of Tom Wolfe, the acclaimed fiction and non-fiction writer who authored, among other modern classics, “The Right Stuff.”

The story begins in 2016, when Kelly decided to write a letter to Wolfe as a way of explaining how much “The Right Stuff” had affected his life; when Kelly wrote the letter, he was in his quarters on the International Space Station.

An excerpt:

“I had decided to reach out to the author of a book that had meant a lot to me, something I had never done before. I was writing to Tom Wolfe, and I wanted to tell him that the reason I was spending a year in space, the reason I had flown three earlier missions to space and had flown high-performance aircraft in the Navy before that, was all because I had come across ‘The Right Stuff’ as an 18-year-old college freshman.

“In 1982, I was on my way to flunking out of school, with no particular ambition but to party with my friends. I was in line at the campus store one day when a book cover caught my eye — I picked up the book while I was waited in line, and by the time I reached the cash register I was so engrossed I bought the book and took it back to my dorm. By the next day, I had finished it and had found my life’s ambition: I was going to fly military jets off an aircraft carrier, become a test pilot, and maybe even become an astronaut.”

Which he did. But that’s just the beginning of the story, and I recommend you read it here.
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