By Billy Goodrum, Manager/Caretaker (2000-2002)
As Manager/Caretakers at Meher Mount, my wife Pamela and I encountered a number of people who happened to visit seemingly for “no reason” at all.
Maybe they were inexplicably drawn up Sulphur Mountain Road or were just out for a drive in the mountains. Regardless, they were unknowingly led to Meher Mount, and ultimately, Baba's Tree.
These unintentional visitors came in all shapes and sizes, from students to seekers to tourists to long-time Ojai residents who seemed baffled that they “never knew this place was here.”
A BIKER FROM CENTRAL CASTING
One Sunday afternoon, a biker pulled up on his Harley Davidson. He had long hair, long beard, black leather motorcycle jacket and boots and plenty of tattoos.
It was as if I had called central casting and requested they send over a Hell's Angel. He got off his bike, looked around and asked, “What is this place?”
Instead of doing an explanation, I decided to let Meher Mount speak for itself. I suggested he park his bike and go down to visit Baba’s Tree – the Coast Live Oak at the brow of the property that overlooks the Pacific Ocean and the valleys below.
Avatar Meher Baba sat alone under that tree, which then caretaker Agnes Baron called Baba’s Tree, during His visit in 1956. Many people comment on the great feeling of energy and peace they feel when under the tree.
The biker went out to the tree and spent a little time there, came back to say goodbye, cranked up his Harley, and thundered off. That was that. Or at least at the time I thought that was that.
A RETURN VISIT TO THAT CATHEDRAL TREE
To my surprise he returned the next Sunday. This time he had his girlfriend on the back of his bike and there was a second Harley with another biker that looked just like the first one – hair, leather, tattoos and all.
Although it was obvious, he announced “I'm back.” Then in an almost reverential tone he asked if he could take his friends down to “that Cathedral Tree.”
I said of course. He seemed very happy and proud that he was going to treat his friends to something very special. We never saw him again after that.