What's in a Name? For Father and Son, a Reunion

--Jack B. Miller, a Coral Springs, Fla., insurance claims investigator, telephoned a North Miami security company on business last month and got the owner, Jack R. Miller. The men joked about the coincidence of names, but after they compared middle initials and background, they fell silent. "You're my father," Jack B., 33, finally said. Jack R., 53, recalled that he answered: "Yeah, I know." A month later the Millers are still catching up on the years apart and how they both moved from Brooklyn to Florida. "The last time I saw him," said Jack R., who also learned he is a grandfather, "he was sitting in a stroller and I tearfully turned away from him and realized it would be the last time in a long time, if ever." That was after the father returned to Brooklyn from two years of fighting in Korea and decided his marriage was not working out. "It was a shock, a pleasant shock, but shock nonetheless," the father said. "If you consider the odds of this happening, it must be 1 in 300 million. It's the third most common name in the country."

--Conveying the appreciation of an entire nation, President Reagan bestowed the United States' highest civilian honor at a White House luncheon on Hollywood pals Frank Sinatra and Jimmy Stewart and 10 other pioneers in their respective fields. "For your achievements in diplomacy, entertainment, government, politics, learning, culture and science, the American people honor you today," Reagan told the honorees. Following a tradition set by President Harry S. Truman more than three decades ago, Reagan awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to an array of figures from the arts, politics, the humanities and science. Among others receiving the medal were the late jazz pianist Count Basie, French undersea explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, former U.N. Ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick and the late TV news anchorman Frank Reynolds.

--Child-restraint seats in cars are an excellent idea, but Vivian Boettcher thinks police went too far this time. An officer approached her in a parking lot in Lincoln, Neb., while she was loading groceries in her car. "He was very polite," she said. "He said, 'Ma'am, there is a child-restraint law in this state. That baby must be in a car seat.' " The officer was referring to the figure in the back seat wearing a baby suit. "I said, 'Well, it's just a doll, but if it will make you happy I'll put the seat belt on,' " Boettcher said she told the officer. "I reached over to put on the belt, but when I looked up he was gone. It was exit stage left. I guess he was embarrassed."

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