Meher Baba copyright 1987 Charlie Mills

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39831956 TRIP TO THE WEST1956

Anita, Mary and Delia rode with Baba and Eruch in the car. Anita's sharp wit enlivened the journey, and Baba entered into the jokes with her with the same zest. Baba assured Mary, "You will be with me forever when you pass on."

Delia told Baba of how sad she was that she was not going with him to America. Baba replied, "Had I known you could afford to pay for your fare, I would have suggested it." But, of course, Delia knew that if he had really meant for her to go, it would have somehow happened.

At the airport the other lovers gathered around Baba in the lounge. Baba told Mrs. Gillingham, "You will be with me soon." (She died three months later.)

Max brought a chair from a nearby restaurant for Baba to sit on. Baba motioned to Delia to try to find a seat too, and pointed to a small wastepaper can. Delia turned it upside down and sat on it. Baba asked where Charles Purdom was, but he hadn't yet arrived.

Two strangers stopped to gaze at Baba, and one asked, "Is that man a prophet?"

Will replied, "His name is Meher Baba, and his work is to promote brotherhood and understanding the world over through mutual love and service."

Some kept back their tears, the eyes of others were overflowing, and some wept within. Baba's two days with them had passed as if they were just two minutes!

It was time to leave the waiting room, and Baba informed them not to wait at the airport once he had gone through customs. As his lovers' hearts were calling after him, Baba and the mandali boarded Pan Am Flight 71 and left London at 9:30 P.M. seated in the tourist/economy section (known as the "Rainbow" class) for the nonstop flight to New York City.

This was the tenth time Meher Baba had journeyed to England. Since 1931, the Ancient One had spent nearly 100 days there. And, as he stated, this visit proved to be his last.

A group of about 60 lovers from the New York area, California, Texas and South Carolina had gathered at Idlewild Airport on the early morning of Friday, 20 July 1956, to await the arrival of the Avatar and to welcome him once again to the shores of America after a gap of four years.  At exactly 7:05 A.M., Baba's plane, a Douglas DC 7B landed. Baba stepped down, waving to his lovers; he was wearing a pink coat and white sadra.

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