I have been surrounded by fighters. Those who served in battles long ago and far away, and those in new wars here at home. It started with retired...

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I have been surrounded by fighters. Those who served in battles long ago and far away, and those in new wars here at home.

It started with retired Col. Phil Smart Sr., who rallied his Rotary Club troops to the Westin last week for the presentation of the Distinguished Service Cross to the family of U.S. Army Sgt. Gerald M. Henderson, who died exactly 68 years before, on D-Day.

Smart had been in charge of the trucks that transported Henderson’s unit to the beach in France where he died. Henderson’s family asked him to help track down Henderson’s award, lost in government paperwork.

Smart called on Pat Waters, grandson of Gen. George Patton, as well as local brass, like retired U.S. Army Gen. Peter Chiarelli, and retired Brig. Gen. U.S. Air Force Reserve Marcia F. Clark, to help give Henderson his due.

“Mission accomplished,” Smart said after reading the citation.

Martha Waters, who came with her husband from South Carolina, keeps a pair of Patton’s boots in her living room when they’re not on loan to aircraft carriers and museums.

“They still walk around a good bit,” she said.

Attention, please

Hours later, and in another Westin ballroom, City Club celebrated its 30th anniversary by bringing in Gen. Colin Powell, who just published a memoir called “It Worked for Me.”

Bill Clapp, founder of the Seattle International Foundation and part of Powell’s Initiative for Global Development, told me something that you won’t read in the book.

“He loves to drive his gray Corvette,” Clapp said of Powell. “The former secretary of state. This guy has all the world’s secrets in his head, and he’s driving around Alexandria without security.”

Can you blame him?

What librarians read

In the audience was City Librarian Marcellus Turner, who admitted that he was a little behind on his reading; he’s just starting “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” published more than a year ago.

“I was on the waiting list like everybody else,” Turner said. “I don’t cut corners and I stand in line. It’s what libraries are about: The democratic process of sharing information and ideas.”

Whoever hired this guy, well done.

Who let the dog out?

At the same time that Powell was recounting his time in the War Room, Music for Marriage Equality was rallying the troops at Havana Social Club on Capitol Hill. Just that morning, a petition drive by Preserve Marriage Washington guaranteed that voters would have a chance to strike down same-sex marriage at the polls in November.

Not far from a huge display of rainbow-colored cupcakes was — surprise! — Jody Hall, owner of Cupcake Royale. She is giving 25 percent of sales of the so-called “Gay” cupcakes to the marriage-equality campaign.

But she also gave me a piece of her mind: “I employ 80 people, and I don’t get the same rights as other people do.”

Sub Pop Records’ Megan Jasper spoke for everyone at her label when she said, “We believe people should be able to love whomever they chose, and celebrate that.”

And by “people,” she also means her dog, Vito Pepperoni, who is gay. (That’s what she said.)

Worlds collide

They wouldn’t say exactly where, but Brandi Carlile and fiancée Catherine Shepherd plan to marry in September in “a falling-down barn.”

This was Saturday night at the Chihuly Boathouse, where Carlile was one of several artists to be part of Club Ludo, a musical fundraiser named for the Seattle Symphony Orchestra’s music director Ludovic “Ludo” Morlot.

The idea, powered by symphony chairwoman Leslie Chihuly, was to connect pop and symphonic music, and draw new people into the symphony’s sounds — and seats. The event raised $100,000 for symphony outreach programs.

Morlot played violin alongside Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready on a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “No Expectations,” and then performed solo on a piece from Christoph Gluck’s “Orpheus and Eurydice.”

“Whatever music you like, you should experience life’s symphonic sound,” Morlot said. “The war of the genres is over.”

That’s especially true at the Capitol Hill house that he and his wife, Ghizlane, bought earlier this year. (“You know when you feel like a house was just waiting for you?” she asked.)

Their two daughters have the maestro listening to Justin Bieber, but he plays his share of Radiohead, Bjork, Muse and French pop like Gainsbourg.

Carlile, who performed a sold-out show with the symphony in 2008 and will do that again later this year, looked at the mixed crowd and put it this way: “In these times, these two worlds need to come together in a big way. The symphony could use a little wildness and craziness and our band could use a little refinement.”

Names in Bold appears on Tuesdays. Nicole Brodeur: 206-464-2334 or nbrodeur@seattletimes.com.