many stories like this. In all the years, only one parent, that of Brigit Saviskas, even thanked me for helping get her child off drugs. That was a special moment.
What were the meetings like at the old Venice bookstore with the flower-painted windows? Guitar music. Om and Baba name chanting, Baba readings, occasional Baba movies; we even experimented for a while together with Allan Hill with some group therapy and games. Many times someone came in, stoned, off the street and we had to deal gently with them. We made up plays about Baba's life, new Baba songs, and discussed the Discourses (on sex, God-Realization, what Baba wants, who am I?) Romance bloomed and here and there there was a Baba wedding. Merwan Scott was our first baby. Baba lovers then and now cannot afford babysitters, so we had to get used to these screaming participants.
Strangers knocked on my door, too, at any hour. Wandering Baba lovers were common and expected instant food and shelter. I got used to that, too. I was earning my title as "Mother of the Hippies" and "Cosmic Mother." But, on the whole, the "nouveau vague" were great kids and I enjoyed their company. They weren't actually street people; most were college dropouts and very intelligent and well-mannered, underneath!
Here are a few highlights from John Page, one of the earliest LA. Baba lovers: "It was March, 1969, when the scent of Beloved Baba's Divine Love first wafted out of a small storefront at 31 West Union St. in Pasadena, California. In those halcyon days of hippies and "flower power" a small group of Baba's lovers began meeting in a part of Pasadena's "Olde Towne" area. We all thought our street address was significant: "31" was the year Baba first came to the West. And "Union" street was about as close to "Love Street" as one could get! Plus, Union St. was a one-way street!
"In this section of west Pasadena there were many "new age" businesses and store fronts, just one block from Pasadena's skid row. In fact, not long after we opened, the landlord rented the store next to us to a motorcycle club, which turned out to be a gang (the "Chosen Few")! The landlord was so afraid of them, that when they got behind in their rent, he was scared to go to them to demand payment! Sometimes we would have a meeting, and Baba's lovers would have a hard time finding a place to park because there were customized "choppers" lining both sides of the streets! Actually the gang members were nice enough. They left us alone and we left them alone. But we did have to pick up their littered beer cans occasionally.
"The building itself was quite old. Our storefront was approximately 900 square feet, with a skylight in the ceiling. We painted the walls a Baba-pink, and covered them with posters and photographs. We even had flowers painted on the front window! Our storefront was one long room which we partitioned into four areas. The front two were devoted to books and posters for sale. With an occasional exception, only books by or about Baba or Perfect Masters were offered for sale. The third section of the bookstore was a meeting room with enough space for 50 people. The last section was for storage although it had been the residence of the early caretakers.
"This was the era of the "flower children" and Baba's lovers were no exception. They were an interesting mixture of all types, from many backgrounds. Some were conservative, some liberal, some rich and some poor, but all shared a common focus - Baba! Many had been taking drugs until they heard of Baba's warnings. We all knew Who Baba was, which led to a close feeling of family.
"Our meetings ranged from studying Baba's discourses, to singing songs devoted to Baba, to having a special guest speaker. We were fortunate to have talks by: Adi K. Irani, Meherjee Karkaria, Sarosh Irani, Murshida Duce, Lud Dimpfl, Filis Frederick, Rick Chapman, Max Häfliger, Allan Cohen, Darwin and Jeanne Shaw, Virginia Rudd, Rano