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  • Writer's pictureGerald Tindal

Day 54: Negotiate

Dogg Man,

As we negotiate our way through your death and now your life with us in our souls, a different kind of negotiation occurs in our lives. The topic never was stated directly in the internship presentations from the second year students, but it was quietly sitting in the background. Your program on sports and athletes is all about negotiations, much like those described by Phil in Shoe Dog. He was the master of negotiation as he began Blue Ribbon, now Nike. Negotiations with the First National Bank of Oregon for loans to scale up. Negotiations with Onitsuka in Japan to supply the shoe. Negotiations with athletes to wear the shoe and make the brand.

Yesterday’s negotiation came in the middle of the night: a phone call at 12:16 AM. The voice directed by a message to call a cell number if this computer was found. What is this all about? I responded: It was a stolen computer. Mine. Taken during a violent break into our car while sitting listening to the internship presentations. The car, locked in the Hotel Rose parking lot, apparently prey for thieves. After our toast to you at Kell’s Irish Pub, we discovered the back window smashed and everything cleaned out: backpacks of clothes, a bag of supplies, and my computer bag with a life time of work stored in a half million files on a computer and tablet. The thieves left an expensive Hydro Flask of Hop Valley Alpahdelic IPA. No one said thieves were smart.

With the tablet activated in lost mode, the GPA pinged 9 hours later. It was at 19100 Burnside Station. I drove to Portland yesterday morning in the dim hope of finding it. Linda thought I was a bit foolish. I think you would have joined in the adventure. Anticipate seeing someone walking out of a car with a computer bag slung over the shoulder. Rock and roll. Game on. Time to get physical. Use surprise as the element much like we did in Hawaii when you were much younger.

But the bluff and bluster wore down to a different reality: an apartment complex with hundreds of very poor souls. Eking out an existence. A messy squalor with cars containing an equal measure of mess as the apartments they surrounded. Crowded apartments as I knocked on doors and they opened with kids looking out in curiosity while I looked in with equal curiosity. The kid: Who’s that guy mama? Me: How do you live like this? I narrowed the location of the tablet to a half dozen cars parked out of a half dozen apartments. I left my number and the story with many of the dwellers who sympathized, satisfied the thief had a reason but was a thief nevertheless.

Back to the story: So the call came in to ask about this computer. Yes, it was stolen. Yes, it was encrypted and backed up so I would lose nothing but time in getting it set up again. Yes, he was mad at his wife for paying $500 for a stolen computer. Yes, he had to get to work on the graveyard shift. This is where you come in. What would KT do? So, I heard your voice: Just buy it back and roll on. Let him move forward. He’s eking out an existence and needs an edge like anyone else. I offered him $500. He said he was late for work and his wife would call.

Dogg Man: I loved the way you wanted to always rock and roll at the moment but upon reflection would also do the right thing and move on. Negotiate. Satisfy both sides.

Dad Man

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