In those days, Baba was travelling by ship, and he was coming in from London. We had received a cable from Princess Norina Matchabelli, who was then working very closely with Meher Baba and his Western people. She had arranged an appointment for us with Meher Baba, and we were all excited, enthused, filled with longing and great expectations. This was in the month of December, and it was quite cold. We were rather poor at the time - it was in depression days - I borrowed my father's automobile for the 170-mile trip to New York. The morning we were to go to meet Baba, we got up at four o'clock, opened the front door ready to go and there was a telegram hanging on the door knob. I opened it up. It said, “Your appointment has been cancelled. You may see Baba, however, at a reception on Thursday," the following day. Jeanne and I just stood there staring at each other for a moment, then I tore up the telegram, we went out and got into the car and away we went to New York City. We weren't going to barge in on Baba, but we thought we could just sit in the lobby of the hotel, and maybe we would get a chance to see him as he passed through on the way to his suite. It was worth it to us just to see him go by.
When we did get to the hotel, we weren't there very long before Princess Norina Matchabelli came in. She saw us and rushed over to us, "My dears, what are you doing here, didn't you get my cable?" We said, "Yes, Norina, we know our appointment has been cancelled, but we came along anyway just to be near where Baba is, and we thought perhaps we might catch a glimpse of him as he passes through the lobby." She looked at us and saw how we felt. "Well, she said, "maybe he will see you for just a moment when he comes in. He'll be here anytime now. He was in the taxi following me." Soon Baba did appear, coming in through the door, dressed in warm Western clothing. Norina quickly walked over to him and we could see her earnest conversation with him as she nodded her head in our direction. Baba looked over toward us, quickly agreed, and with Norina came directly over to us. This was our first physical meeting with the Avatar.
I couldn't begin to tell you how we felt when he looked into our eyes, when he clasped our hands. I felt that his hand clasp might have reached down through many centuries and many lifetimes. The first result of the impact of his love was a great sense of spiritual upliftment, joy and happiness. There probably other superlatives that I could use, but none of them would be adequate to describe how we felt. So, this was the first meeting.
As Baba and Norina walked over toward the elevator, we walked in the opposite direction toward a seat in the lobby. Jeanne, who was still wondering about Baba, not yet fully realizing who he was, began to cautiously look back to