By Billy Goodrum
My wife, Pamela, who I consider to be much more spiritual than me, recently mentioned that she was going to be on the lookout for CCCs. Clueless, I asked her what a “CCC” was. She explained that it was an expression Bal Natu had used to describe coincidences. Baba coincidences. Because the word coincidence has three Cs in it. Little things or big things that happened by chance, although I’m under the impression that Bal didn’t consider any of these CCCs to be trivial and found meaning and amusement in even the smallest incidents of synchronicity connected to Baba. Sometimes, too, it was “See, See, See” when Bal might be pointing out one of these amusing incidences.
A couple of days later I received an e-mail from a lawyer that was attempting to track down heirs to an estate and asked if Pamela Wolfe was my wife. I answered in the affirmative and he said he would be sending a check by registered mail. It wasn’t much, he warned, because the deceased had spread his money among hundreds of people. This prompted us to do a little research on this mysterious side of Pamela’s family, where we discovered, among other things, that her great, great, great-grandfather designed and built the Brooklyn Bridge and that she is a fairly recent (1919!) descendant of a European royal family. I began addressing her as “your majesty.” But this isn’t the CCC.
Around this time, Pamela started going through boxes of old journals. She’s always been a prolific writer. She has a lot of them from all stages of her life. Going through them she realized she wanted to have a different relationship with her writing, so she made a lunch date with her writing friend, Annie Fahy Lawn, to discuss it. Before she left to go to lunch, another friend, unaware of Pamela’s search for a new relationship with her writing, called out of the blue to tell her about a memoir writing workshop that she was going to take and was wondering if Pamela was interested.
I’ll digress here. We recently marveled how this particular friend, who is not a Baba lover, has had so many Baba contacts in her life. When she was in grad school in Seattle she knew John and Barbara Connor. In Asheville her daughter took piano lessons from Cathy Riley. We met through our kids’ school. Everywhere she goes she has Baba friends. She lives close by and has an uncanny knack for dropping in whenever our house is full of Baba lovers. Her life is filled with CCCs and she doesn’t even know it.
But back to the story. This friend called about the Memoir Workshop. Pamela went to lunch and she and Annie thought it was a great opportunity. She returned home and the inheritance check came in the mail for almost the exact amount ($535) of the workshop. I was out of town and she called, explained the sequence of events and said “all this happened on Amartithi, it feels like a CCC.” I agreed that I thought Bal Natu would put his CCC stamp of approval on this unfolding of events, with one more layer being that mysteriously learning you descended from royalty-in-decline is great material for a memoir.
I had a CCC a few weeks later. I went to Los Angeles for a quick 3-day trip for some meetings and booked an Airbnb. When you are searching on Airbnb they don’t give you the exact location but instead draw a circle on a map of the area that the Airbnb is in. The photos looked good and the location was near my meetings so I clicked and booked without looking too long or hard at it.
When I arrived in LA I looked at the address I was going to. Detroit Street. I remembered that Baba had payed a visit to an apartment on Detroit Street in 1956 but that the building had since been demolished and rebuilt. Still, I was excited that I was going to be staying on a street that Baba had visited. If you’ve read my previous articles you know I’m fascinated by the places Baba visited in the west and particularly in Los Angeles.
After settling in, I walked the half a block up the street to have a look at the spot Baba visited and to see what manner of postmodern monstrosity had been built on it. I had gotten the impression that it had been torn down and rebuilt when I did a Google Earth search on it a couple of years ago and it showed a relatively new building at that address, but as I approached, I realized it was old. Old enough to be the one. I Googled the real estate records and discovered it was built in 1954 and was the building Baba visited in 1956. 1401 N. Detroit St., Apt #1. The front apartment.
Baba visited that apartment at the invitation of Dante Leo Cardella. In Lord Meher, Baba’s visit is well documented. Here is an excerpt: “While he was there, Baba embraced Dante, and then, one by one, each person came to Baba, bearing a flower for him. To some, Baba handed rose petals to eat as prasad. Later, Baba commented, ‘Over half the group (of 50) loves me.’ Baba went through the apartment, sanctifying it before saying goodbye.”
I was extremely happy to learn that this building is still standing. I had, because of a Google Maps glitch, come to think the original building had been demolished, but Baba gave me a “See, See, See” and showed me that it was still there. A good thing since I maintain a list of the places Baba visited in LA and I occasionally get requests for it. So I got a “See, See, See’” and I also had a CCC by randomly booking an Airbnb that was half a block away from this apartment that Baba sanctified.
Now, if only THAT apartment was available as an Airbnb.
Published March, 2017