Dad Update

Several years back, my Dad wrote what has become one of the definitive books on hostage negotiation and crisis management. He and Wayman Mullins, his co-author, have been sponsoring an annual hostage negotiation conference and competition for several years now, which has been hosted at the University at which Wayman teaches and where I now work.

Yesterday, I had the singularly enjoyable opportunity to sit in on one of my Dad’s sessions, where he was teaching on specific issues a negotiator faces when dealing with adolescents, the elderly, gang members, and policemen. He did a great job making the subject accessible and interesting, even to someone like me who is not trained in that field. Further, it was a treat for me to be able to be involved in and supportive of the work that he’s spent so much of the last several decades doing and to see what kind of respect he has earned in that community. I consider the visit a small measure of payback for all the times he has come to see me play music!

Further, Dad retired from the police department at the end of last year. We were all glad to see that chapter come to a close; though he’s been able to do a lot of good work there, it has often been only by doing continuous battle with various frustrating political factions. Now he’s starting in earnest on pursuing some independent work, and has a number of very interesting leads, among them a five-day contract monitoring the stability of contestants on a reality television show in the northeast. He’s under nondisclosure on this, so details are few right now, but I think it’s safe to say that his career is going to make even better cocktail party conversation a year from now.