Drove into Portland to meet Jack Welch yesterday afternoon and my small town habits had a minor run-in with the big city streets. Forgot that half of downtown Portland is one way streets,. A single wrong turn and I was headed in the direction of Beaverton. Which would be fine if I want to interview Phil Knight. Wanted to meet Jack Welch, so I got turned around and circled his hotel until I found some parking.
Everything after that got easier. Portland is hosting the 2016 Indoor Championships. The unveiling of the countdown clock was held in Pioneer Square. Jack and I walked down. A pretty good cast of athletes attended, including Bernard Lagat. I wanted an autograph but had a hard time catching up to Mr. Lagat. Jack rode to the rescue and snagged it for me while I got Silas Kiplagat to sign the little program the media tent handed me. A two-fer on that score.
I also had a chance to meet Ian Dobson, a coach now with Team Run Eugene. The Olympian looked fit and is an incredibly pleasant man to chat with. I also had a chance to talk to Bob Williams, who is a distance coach with Portland State, another cool dude.
Also met author Rod Schumacher, a Canadian who is visiting the region. The meeting was accidental as Rod and his wife were enjoying a cappuccino while Jack and I indulged in a beer. Jack and I were kvetching about marketing our books and Rod overheard. We chatted for thirty minutes comparing notes, and decided that writing was hard, regardless of genre.
Now, onto today. Planning on meeting Joe Henderson. (newbie tip - hang with a guy that knows everybody. That, in my case, means Jack, who's a character in his own right.)