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24 A Threatened Resignation

It was Wednesday evening, February 26, 1975—little more than three years after my first meeting with Fred. I was reading over material for the next day’s meeting of the board of directors. It was an uncommon pleasure to have an evening free of the social dinner and obligatory midnight hub tour for the steady stream of interested visitors and potential investors. The outside directors were doubtless already in town, perhaps having their traditional pre–board meeting discussions. There was, after all, much to discuss and for the board to be apprehensive about.

About 10:00 my phone rang. I was surprised to hear the abrupt voice of our leader: “Roger, this is Fred Smith.”

“Hi, Fred,” I responded. “What’s up?”

“I just ...

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