Saturday, August 1, 2020

Dreams of Old Men?

   I have lived over 85 years and accumulated a lot of memories.   Many of them come forth during my waking hours and sometimes I like to relate them to anyone who is close by.  Especially if it relates to an ongoing conversation.  My wife is often the recipient of my musings and often suggests I heard that one before.
    In the wee hours this morning a memory intruded into my sleep in the form of a dream.   In summary I dreamt of interviewing for a job with Deere and Company for an engineering job.   Hey, I am long retired and in reality I have no interest in going to work again.  Also I had a long stint as an academic doing teaching and research in agricultural engineering.  Not an industrial person.
    Here is my interpretation of the dream.   It relates to an experience that dates back to 1956.   The summer before my senior year at Cornell I was looking for a summer job in the agricultural equipment industry.  There were two leads on jobs.  One with Avco-New Idea in Ohio via a Cornell alum and the the other with Deere  and Company in Moline, Illinois.     I interviewed for both jobs and was immediately offered a position with the first.  Deere was late in getting back to me with an offer so in I decided to go ahead and grab the first opportunity.   However, shortly after accepting the first offer, Deere came through with a much better offer.  What a dilemma!   Being honorable won out and I declined the Deere offer.   (Here is another irony in this story.   My son Colin during his time at Cornell University spent two summers working for Deere in Moline, Illinois!  And if the equipment business has not gone in the tank in the 1980's he would likely have spent a career there.   More irony.  He has ended a 30 year career with IBM with early retirement. )
         Now returning to the dream story.   The experience at Avco-New Idea was less than satisfactory.   The upshot is that I left behind any thoughts of going into industry and so pursued academia.  Perhaps the dream today is returning to a this question.  What if I had taken the Deere job?  Would I have been a career engineer designing agricultural machinery?  Would it have been satisfying?    I guess dreams do arise from unresolved understanding of twists of fate.