Having traveled through 45 of our 50 states and a half dozen foreign countries I have had the distinct opportunity of meeting a wide range of the world’s inhabitants, as diverse in thoughts, talents and eccentricities as in geographical locations.
During one particular outing in the early 1980’s I ended up spending a sunny cool afternoon in an in-depth conversation with a beatnik type person, who was a genuine anachronism, on the impact of organized religion in modern society. As we sat on the soft green grass of Peoples Park in Berkeley, California tracing religion through the ages our train of thought was interrupted by a disturbance across the lawn a short distance. We watched as a police officer seemed to be shaking down a young boy carrying a skateboard. Unless he had stolen the skateboard, it appeared that the boy had done nothing wrong. Soon the cops were escorting the young man to their cruiser.
My far out friend shook his head and exclaimed, “spinning man spinning!”
“What do you mean by that?” I asked.
“It means our forefathers would be spinning in their graves if they could see how our liberties they died for are being burglarized almost on a daily basis,” he answered sharply.
The interruption had switched our train of thought to a different track but it was just as interesting and of social importance. I can’t remember what the topic was because just as we were getting our conversation warmed up the same cop approached us and asked for our ID’s. I immediately produced mine, but my born at the wrong time in history buddy didn’t seem to have one. After a few choice words were exchanged my newly found friend was being cuffed and hauled off to the slammer. As they were taking him away he looked over his shoulder at me and said, “spinning man spinning.”
After encountering several other colorful characters, though none quite as unique as my beatnik pal, I returned to my motel room to relax. I turned the television on and a popular police show was playing. You know the one where the camera crew runs around with the cops so the picture is always shaking and bouncing. In this particular episode the police had taken an expensive bicycle from the evidence room and left it unlocked in a poor and crime infested neighborhood and waited for someone to steal it then they arrested them. I couldn’t believe it. At one time this type of thing was against the law and they were actually showing it on television like it was some kind of a big bust.
I just shook my head and said out loud, “spinning man spinning.”