My opinion of the man himself is that he was a genius and that his rifle was what was needed to help the U.S. win over the Axis powers; I have nothing but the highest regard for him, though I only met him one time for a few minutes.
That's impressive and a rare privilege.
I dealt with a man in the 70s who worked with Garand, and, apparently knew him well enough to be invited to his home to watch his ice skating. The particular gentleman I knew ended up working as a consultant to Savage in the production of Thompsons, and came up with a brilliantly simple idea to bore barrels concentrically. (Apparently, Savage had problems with barrels being bored off center in the early days.)
Meeting THE MAN himself, though, is a real feather in your cap, Jim.