How I Came to Baba
by Ann Conlon
(A talk given at the LA Sahavas, 1986)
I'm going to share with you this morning something I have always called my fairy tale. I first heard of Meher Baba in 1956. Right after Baba had been in the United States, I met two women in New York who had met Baba a few days before. One of them, Ginny Sadowski, came to work for the newspaper where I was working. She did her work at home, and it was part of one of my weekly runs, round my "beat", to stop at her house and pick up her work. So, of course, just having met Baba, she was full of it, and she would offer me a cup of coffee, and start telling me about Baba. She had a picture of Baba on the refrigerator door, it’s that picture of Baba wearing a garland — He’s three-quarter faced, and the eyes are very vibrant. I remember when I first saw the picture, I thought He had the kindest eyes I’d ever seen.
When Ginny first started talking about Baba, she was really careful; she knew I was a Catholic. (This was in the fifties, and she didn’t know what kind of reaction she was going to get.) She didn’t tell me who He was, she sort of beat around the bush. You know, with these long explanations like, "If you wanted to learn to be a master musician, you’d go to a master musician." So, somewhere in there, her younger sister, Liz Sacalis, started showing up for these coffee klatches. She did not have Ginny’s patience. One day, she just popped out and said, "He’s the Christ." I had had a sneaking suspicion that that’s what they were leading up to, but when Liz said the words, I accepted it immediately. It hit me so deep inside that I said, "That’s right, He is."
When I was a kid, I had always been very resentful that the Catholic Church told me that Christ only came once ― I thought it was a real gyp. You know, how come I didn’t live then? So I was primed to accept the fact that He had come again. Along with the acceptance of that fact did not come a strong desire to see Baba. I was content, knowing that He was in the world. So along came 1958, Baba was coming back to the United States, and Ginny and Liz asked if I wanted to come to Myrtle Beach with them. Baba said only those who loved Him and were willing to obey Him should come. This started something going on in my mind, and I realized that I didn’t know what love was ― whether I loved anybody, let alone Baba. I knew how Baba felt about obedience, and I thought if I couldn’t say I loved Him, I shouldn’t go. On one level that was the dumbest thing I ever did in my life; I didn’t go. But He made up for it later.
I’m not a person who remembers dreams, but the last day that Baba was in Myrtle Beach and I was home in New York, I suddenly woke up at about 4 o’clock in the morning, thought I was awake, and saw Baba standing at the foot of my bed. It scared the daylights out of me! He was wearing His blue coat, and He had one hand on His hip — and looking at me with His