BY MARGARET MAGNUS
If you spend anytime at Meher Mount, you discover there is an unseen pull of destiny that seems to draw visitors to Meher Mount by sheer happenstance. That pull of destiny also draws those who would choose to be Manager/Caretakers at Meher Mount.
THE BRIDGER FAMILY VACATION
In 2009, Leslie and Samantha Bridger were visiting the US from England to scout out a possible new home. After traveling in California, they were drawn to Ojai.
On their last day in the area, they returned to Meher Mount for a second visit. By coincidence they visited on a day when Board President Sam Ervin was a temporary caretaker.
While Sam was sharing stories, he noted that Meher Mount was recruiting for Manager/Caretakers. After he finished describing the volunteer job, they said, "We'll do it."
A few visits as temporary caretakers later, they arrived from the UK in July 2010 to assume the Manager/Caretaker position. In November, after three-plus years, they "retired" from duties at Meher Mount to their home in downtown Ojai.
After leaving Meher Mount, they were graciously on call to answer questions, provide orientation, and support the new Manager/Caretakers, Buzz and Ginger Glasky.
AN OFFER ON THE GLASKY HOUSE AFTER A YEAR ON THE MARKET
After the Bridgers announced their intention in August to leave Meher Mount in November 2013, the Board started recruiting for new Manager/Caretakers.
The day the Manager/Caretaker announcement was sent was coincidentally the same day that Buzz and Ginger Glasky received an offer on their house in Myrtle Beach, SC. They had been trying to sell their home for almost a year in their efforts to move back to California to be near their family.
As volunteers at Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, they were keen on continuing their service to an Avatar Meher Baba center. But, they had never actually been to Meher Mount.
They came for a temporary caretaking stint in October and fell in love. After driving across the country in three days, Buzz and Ginger arrived on November 15, 2013, to begin their volunteer duties as Manager/Caretakers at Meher Mount.
At the Meher Spiritual Center, Buzz and Ginger had been very active for nine years. Ginger worked full time at the Gateway for seven years doing reservations and secretarial work. They both gave tours, hosted, and trained volunteers for Baba's House on the Center.
With their administrative skills, their meet-and-greet experience at a Meher Baba Center, and their outdoor/maintenance background, Buzz & Ginger are a good fit for Meher Mount.
Thank You and Farewell to the Bridger Family
Over the years, each set of Manager/ Caretakers has brought a specific set of skills and experience that benefits Meher Mount at that particular point in time and leaves a legacy for the future.
The time of the Bridger family - Leslie and Samantha and their daughters Rebecca and Georgie - at Meher Mount was a time of projects.
During their tenure, the Workshop and Topa Topa Patio were completed. These two major construction projects had been on the drawing board for a number of years and came to fruition in 2012.
In addition, the Bridgers personally took on the work and some of the expense for upgrading and refurbishing the Visitor Center/Caretaker Quarters.
They also supervised other infrastructure improvements including the paved driveway and upgraded septic system.
The Bridger family cleared, planted, and managed the grounds while attacking the invasive Yellow Starthistle and helping to stop the spread of this plant at Meher Mount.
All of these projects were in addition to the day-to-day responsibilities of greeting and orienting a record-number of visitors and setting up and and doing clean-up for a record-number of events.
Then there is always weed abatement and fire prevention, Board meetings and reports, administrative work, maintaining the water system, overseeing and doing repair and maintenance, and generally being on call constantly for Meher Mount.