The Old Geezer: Upside Down

Walt Trandum

It is possible most of us can remember some things from our childhood. Some of what we can recall are things that brought us to be what we are today. It is too bad that much of what we see and hear these days is not very pleasant. I try to dwell something else and that brings me to write this article.
Can you remember what it was like when you were a little kid and discovered that if you whirled yourself in a circle you got dizzy and everything looked different.  Another way to get that feeling was doing something like riding on a roller coaster or standing on your head. I never did get that head thing and had to hang by my knees from the monkey bars on the playground to get my kicks.
As we grew older we found new ways to find the pleasure of changing the world with the way we controlled our bodies. From playing after school we had those early days of attending school dances. we learned to Jitterbug, that got us back into that whirling business. A good feeling, and some times with a person we would really like to know better. I remember dancing with some girls who were totally deaf and marveling at how they kept time with the music it was usually me who missed a beat and went upside down. Later in life I was involved with a large group of deaf people and after learning some of their sign language, got to discuss with them the dancing bit and how they conducted their lives with out going upside down in this hearing world. We went to a party with them one night and discovered we were the only hearing people there. They had the music turned as loud as possible and I am sure the vibrations were their clue of how they should dance.
I digressed from the subject I started to relate. It had to do with being upside down. Unfortunately during much of our lives we would find ourselves in situations where our world goes that way. Things we have learned to accept as normal go upside down. People we have known or even loved are suddenly taken from us or maimed for the rest of their lives. Many are stuck down with things like Alzheimer’s disease. Me and one of my best friends from way back in our Navy days found ourselves living in Portland where our lives became entwined and we shared our families as we became entrenched in helping others with our Lions Club activities. He was an accountant with a brilliant mind and a great career. All of that left him when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in his early 60’s and his world went upside down. Surely his wife and family lost part of their lives Another terrible thing is that along with her sister and my mother, that same disease is taking my wife. Our lives will never be the same. The world is upside down for all of us
One of my jobs in the corporate world was forecasting and planning for the future. I surely didn’t do it all by myself. I had a staff of very talented and dedicated people. Our job was to figure out what the needs and the profits would be in the future. I was also a member of national committee that dealt with those same things where many companies shared their ideas to improve our product. Computers were a new item and surely none of those people could imagine they would be a major factor that would turn our companies upside down and out of business.
I am filled with some amazement as I watch and hear of the struggle that is going on in our country and many others. They keep comparing the situation today with the past. Nothing is the same. The world is upside down and that dizzy feeling is the only thing that has survived.   Perhaps if some of the people involved would try standing on their heads or doing the jitterbug we could find the answer to some of these problems





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