4397WESTERN SAHAVAS, 19581958
Peter Saul, Viola Farber, Jean Cebrun, Marie Adair, Joe Fabian, Tex Hightower, Skipper Damon, Bunty Kelley, Naomi Westervelt, Cynthia Mays and Zebra Nevins all performed for Baba. They danced several numbers for him, both solos and duets. It was as if the walls of the Barn faded away, and the space expanded. Another dancer, Donald Mahler, had come from Canada and served as stagehand. After one number set in the 1920s, Skipper Damon gave Baba her cloche hat, and he put it on. Baba embraced Margaret and each of the dancers, and also Don Stevens. He said, "I am pleased by this performance of my lovers, done with love for me." Margaret afterwards told them they had never danced as well as they danced that afternoon.
Baba had decided that he wanted to own nothing in America in his name, so that evening he called Ned Foote, who was an attorney, and asked him to draw up plans to make the Meher Center into a nonprofit corporation headed by Elizabeth. Don Stevens, Ivy and Charmian Duce were called at one point, and he gave instructions to them about their future work with Sufism Reoriented.
Hilda Thorpe of England was attending the sahavas with her son, Simon. On the 26th, she wrote her other son, Anthony, (in New Zealand) about the sahavas and her first impressions of meeting Baba.
The following is an extract from Hilda's letter:
... I don't know how to write of this momentous experience which 220 of us are having here. I dare say it is not possible to even try to convey to another something which is so much an experience of the heart — of things for which there are no words and even symbols fail.
Now, how can I tell of the man? If I had any doubts as to who he is before I came here, there is not one left. He is Perfection. He is the very Christ. This cannot be told — only felt.
Hilda first met Baba on the 19th with a few other people. Describing the meeting, she wrote:
We drove up to the Center. They were all in a dither. The moment had come and each one felt differently — scared or shaky. I just felt thrilled but calm ... Before we knew where we were, we were waiting outside his door, and my hand did begin to shake a little.