A few weeks ago I spotted an item in the Los Angeles Times about Jerome Oxman planning his 96th birthday celebration amidst the wartime castoffs at his surplus store in Santa Fe Springs. Oxman was scheduled to personally guide visitors through his collection. Collector? Nonagenarian? Unusual shop? I had to be there. I arrived late in the afternoon and poked around the small but packed WWII museum inside Oxman’s Surplus: bombs, medals, an entire cockpit from a B-17 and space shuttle parts only my NASA-fixated wife could understand/love. Enjoy the slideshow to your right. Some of the rough stuff challenged my peacenik demeanor, but I am grateful for veterans like Mr. Oxman and celebrate them with hot dogs and watermelon around this time every year. Incidentally, his first words to me were “I want you for my football team!” and we were instant friends. “Mr. O” said he had a rough night and excused himself from the birthday cake and the well-wishers and disappeared back into his labyrinth of military memories.