The Old Geezer: Good people make the difference

This very windy and nasty day kind of mirrors the talk on the television. Like most folks I will be very relieved when it is all over. I am sure there are enough of us who have served and love for our country to get us back on track.

By Walt Trandum
The Old Geezer

The Old Geezer, Walt Trandum
Walt Trandum

There are a lot of things happen that bring some of my own memories from times that I was volunteering to help run a small part of our country back to mind. A couple of examples might prove that much of what we are hearing isn’t really new.

At one time I was a member of the Portland Area Boundary Commission. Having some experience in zoning matters it was felt that I could contribute to the goals of the Commission. Our job was to mediate any disputes over boundary lines between municipalities and or service districts. With the assistance of a very well schooled staff we gathered all the information and then in a public meeting deliberated and decided the best course of action.

For the most part the procedures were conducted in a calm and cool manner with the exceptions of a few who hired attorneys who sometimes took their time to tell the world that everyone of us on the panel were political blood sucking hacks and being paid by the perpetrators of the scam to deny their client their rights. That was followed with a plea for us to help them attain their goal. I can only you tell what that kind of nonsense made to me and it wasn’t positive. I don’t remember any of our decisions being overturned, but maybe old age is driving me to look anywhere I can for some positive information or hope for the future.

Those people who serve their communities by working on various governing or service capacities in small towns or rural areas are seldom paid for their efforts. They represent the ultimate principals of the country where we live. Once in awhile there is some kind of change or a proposal that some people don’t like and there are arguments that are not always pleasant, but mostly they attack the problem not the character of their opponents. Often I have been amazed at the talent and experience that showed up to help with problems.

Many years ago I attended a meeting of the King City Lions club. Most of the members were a bit advanced in age but took time from their daily golf matches to attend club meetings. One day there was an expert of some kind explaining something when he was interrupted and challenged his facts. He assured the interloper that he had read the book and what he was saying was true. The other fellow then told him that he was the person who wrote the book.

One of the uplifting things I just heard was the details of a new program called “Aspire” at the high school, to bring members of the community to work with the students in a mentoring program that really gives the young people some positive support during that very important part of their lives. Our Lions Club members have been providing scholarships every year and they have been much appreciated. This new program goes into making decisions that will help will them choose their path for life. It is beyond the financial considerations and does help them find all kinds of support. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact the High School.

I am pretty sure that all of us can think back about those people who helped us along the way. One of the things I found as I worked in the business world was that a majority of those college educated people I worked with were not in the discipline that they had studied. Many told me that the college experience taught them how to learn and apply their ability to solve problems and plan for the future.

The next time you see one of your neighbors who is volunteering to help kids or any other worthwhile project, give them a pat on the back and maybe jump in there yourself to help us preserve this wonderful country and the good people we have known and loved all these years.






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