Journey to Ukazoo
Slide Seven: How to Spin a Top
It was evening when I pulled into Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Found a restaurant to get a bite to eat and at the next table over I met a couple, Jack and Kelly. After getting to know them, I was cordially invited to their son’s debut the next day of trying to spin a top for the first time, in front of family and friends, since reading a recently acquired instruction book.
To his family the act of top spinning was as important as learning to read and write, and for several generations they had won various trophies at Top Spinning competitions. Yet their son, Kirk, could not master top spinning-not even with the help of relatives, friends, How to Books, after school programs or even “In Your Sleep” instructional tapes.
His repeated failures to master the art of top spinning had effected him personally and I was told there was a period several years back in ‘01 to ‘03, after a very close friend had moved away, that his depression became so bad that even all the different types of tops he purchased were predominantly blue in color. Family and friends helped him through those rough years but outwardly you could still see the lingering effects of that period.
The instruction book he received was from a long lost cousin in Spain was based on some rather abstract ideas. The book took standard Top spinning instructions and illustrations and rearranged them in ways he had never seen before but to his mind they breathed an air of clarity where all other straight forward instructional techniques had failed.
I took this picture of Kirk, as a set up shot. He had just finished spinning his top for the first time but he wanted the picture to represent the reading of the book as the true reason he was finally able to spin the top successfully.
Afterwards, Kirk told me he felt like a weight had been lifted and he was walking on a bed of roses after being so down and blue for so long. He also decided that he was now intent on mastering Chapter 12, “Seven Steps to Spin a Top on a 3”x 3” Cube”. The cube is to him one of the more challenging tricks but after considering all the steps, if he took away “Two” the method became even clearer.
Great family, will miss them. After breakfast tomorrow its onward to Ukazoo.
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