it?" Baba fingered the cross on Peto's chest. "It's a blessed medal," Peto murmured. Baba nodded. It certainly was now! But Baba said both boys were too frail.
Finally, as a last resort I called my cousin, Keith MacGaffey, in Schenectady. I said, "Keith, would you like to help take care of a sick man?" Baba said the boy was to be paid a modest fee. "But I'm painting the house for Dad," he said. My heart sank. Tomorrow was Baba 's deadline. "But He's so sick — He has a broken leg and arm." "Alright," said Keith, "But you have to leave at 5:00 a.m. tomorrow with Darwin Shaw! " Yet Keith did come and he fitted in perfectly. He could even read Baba's alphabet board. He was sitting in the corner at Ivy's when I saw him next. He had just asked Baba what was all this stuff about God-realization? "It 's like a headache," Baba's fingers flicked out on His board, "Until you have a headache, yourself, you can't understand what it is like!" (Some headache, I'll take it any time!)
Baba had asked him the first morning "on the job," "Will you obey me?" "Yes." "Even if I ask you to do something bad? " "Yes," said Keith. He wrote all this to my aunt, a strict Anglican. Upset, she decided she had to see whom Keith was working for, so the whole family piled into the car, and drove down to Scarsdale, and met Baba. Of course, all objections vanished. One day Baba asked Keith, who was a sophomore at Amherst, what he wanted to be. "I don't know." "A doctor?" queried Baba. Today, Keith is a doctor.
Keith was also very good at adapting to the extraordinary requests of Baba, including not "seeing" Mehera and the Eastern women mandali, who, even after the accident, were still partly in seclusion as they had been for so many years. This led to amusing experiences at the Bronx Zoo.
I think this trip was planned by Charmy, but she broke her sandal and had to limp far behind, so we had no guide and got lost several times. Also it was a showery day and Baba's two casts could not be allowed to get wet. So we had to rush Baba under cover — peanut stand or tree or whatever, as soon as rain fell. Plus Keith, who was wheeling Baba most of the time — also had to duck whenever Mehera and Mani and Mehera came into view. It was like a scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream — one group disappeared behind the trees and another appeared!
Darwin Shaw also had a chance to wheel Baba around on this Zoo trip. At one point we entered the Penguin House. I was ahead of Baba and facing Him. At the top of the rock, in the penguin pool, a large handsome penguin was poised in his Grover Whelan tux. The moment Baba entered, he "bowed," dove into the pool, and came up against the glass, waving his flippers at Baba, so it seemed. I know Darwin tells it differently. Anyway Baba's eyes twinkled, and He made His "circle" gesture of approval. Don 't forget, Baba had said the penguin is the "barzac" or last bird form, also the most intelligent of all birds.
Another day, during this visit to New York, Baba and the women visited the Winterfeldts at E. 66th Street, "Manhattan House," where the Monday night group used to meet. Baba had warned Ella she couldn't serve anything but tea. No men, including Fred Winterfeldt, were allowed. Fred had to "stand guard" outside the apartment. It was a lovely intimate moment with Baba. Ella served Him the tea. I passed the sugar; as Baba took a spoonful, He playfully sprinkled some on my hand. I sat up close to Him. I remember staring at the hairs on His bare leg and thinking, "He is a man, God is a man, and I'm sitting here next to Him." Someone said, when Baba