much. I shouldn’t expect it and I gave it up. I felt that I wasn’t going to meet Him, but I just felt so lucky.
By the very next Monday night, a family letter had arrived from Mani. Fred Winterfeldt came in carrying the letter. (Fred had a marvelous poker face, and he never gave away anything. He should've been jumping up and down.) He stood up there, absolutely sober-faced and started to read this letter. Somewhere on page three, it said, "Baba had decided, because of the longing of His lovers, to open the door a crack in His seclusion. His lovers may come for one hour on any one day over a two week period then go right home." I was stunned. I mean, my immediate feeling was, "This is my chance, this is my only chance." It had never occurred to Mani, she said later, that anyone would come from the West; the time was too short. When we got the letter there were only 9 days left out of that two week period that He had set aside.
I had never been out of the United States, I had no passport, and I didn’t have a dime. Liz was at that meeting with me. (Liz would have run over anybody to get to Baba and she did. She had a hard time with her parents) She told me later that at that moment she had no feeling about going, but if she turned and looked at me and I looked like I wanted to go, she was going to give me the money. So she turned to me and looked, and obviously I wanted to go! The strangest part of that evening was that nobody else in that room, except Fred, had that feeling to get up and go. And I remember John Bass saying, "Well this isn't for us, it's just for Easterners." Well, Liz turned and she asked me, "If I give you the money, will you take it? It's a gift and will you go?" And I said yes, because I knew that there were no strings attached to it, that it was a gift that she was giving out of her love for me. She checked it out with her sister and between the two of them they had enough money in the bank for one person to go. So, actually what happened was that they both gave up their chance to go so that I could. Ginny said that there was no way that she could go on to India and leave me behind after all those years of telling me about Baba.
The next morning, Tuesday, I went into work and I thought, "I'm going to have to quit my job in order to do this." I was very gung-ho on my career; I was having a great time, it was just starting, and I was doing very well. But I thought, "If they don't let me go, I'm just going." So, I walked up to my editor, who had a wild temper --- he had fired somebody the week before for going off to Florida on a 24 hour notice. I walked up to him and I said, "Vic, I have a chance to go to India for the weekend." He stood up (I was waiting for the blast) and he said, "Well, of course, you have to go." And I said “In that case, I'll need somebody to work for me Thursday and Friday; I'll be back here Monday." (I had called Air India on Tuesday and asked about flights: they had a flight leaving for Bombay on Thursday night that would get me into Bombay Saturday morning; I would somehow get to Poona — wherever that was; see Baba for the hour which He had set day from 4:30 to 5:30; get back to Bombay; get the 1 A.M. flight back to New York Sunday and back to work Monday.) Vic sort of caught the spirit of it. He turned to one of the other editors and said, "Harry, Ann has to go to India for the weekend, and we're gonna help her out. We need to rearrange the schedule." So I said, "You know, I don't have a passport or anything and I need a visa, so I'd like to take some time now to go take care