By Margaret Magnus
AVATAR MEHER BABA VISITS OJAI
Avatar Meher Baba arrived in Southern California at 5:50 a.m. on Tuesday, July 31, 1956. He and the men mandali (close disciples) traveling with Him were driven to the centrally located Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood where they stayed during their three-day visit.
On the morning of His third day, August 2, 1956, preparations were made to drive Meher Baba the 85 miles to Ojai, California, where Agnes Baron had established the lovely hilltop center for Meher Baba called Meher Mount.
Meher Baba Talking As if He Were a Real Estate Agent
Agnes Baron drove Meher Baba and the mandali from the hotel in her "Woody" station wagon. Along the way, Meher Baba admired the rich agricultural land and asked many questions. "What is being grown, how was the land irrigated, are there orchards?"
"Baba was talking as if He were a real estate agent," Agnes cracked.
Agriculture Is a Mainstay of the Area
For both the Ojai Valley and the Santa Clara River Valley (also known as the Heritage Valley), agriculture is a mainstay of the area.
From the strawberry fields of Oxnard and Ventura to the Ojai Pixie tangerines, this area has some of the most fertile land in the country.
There are also lavender, walnuts, olives, Gala apples, Howard Miracle plums, avocados, apricots, and assorted vegetables, including organic gardening.
The Heritage Valley is one of California's last pristine agricultural valleys. Santa Paula, one the valley's cities, calls itself the "Citrus Capital of the World."
Meher Baba Departs As the Sun Sets
As the sun set over the scenic hills of Ojai, Meher Baba started the trip back to Los Angeles.
He asked Agnes to drive him back the longer coast route and often mentioned on the way that he thoroughly enjoyed the sparkling blue Pacific Ocean.
Meher Prabhu: Lord Meher, The Biography of the Avatar of the Age, Meher Baba, by Bhau Kalchuri, "Manifestation, Inc.", 1986, pp. 5048, 5061-5068. Copyright (c) Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Trust.