MEHER MOUNT

9902 Sulphur Mountain Road
Ojai, CA 93023-9375

Phone: 805-640-0000
Email: info@mehermount.org

HOURS

Wednesday-Sunday: Noon to 5:00 p.m.
Monday & Tuesday: Closed

MANAGER/CARETAKERS

Buzz & Ginger Glasky

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Sam Ervin, Preident
Ron Holsey, Vice President
Ursula Reinhart, Treasurer
Jim Whitson, Director
Richard Mannis, Director

OFFICERS

Margaret Magnus, Secretary

9902 Sulphur Mountain Rd
Ojai, CA, 93023
United States

(805) 640-0000

Story Blog

Anecdotes, activities and stories about Meher Mount - past, present and future.

"Brown? Brown! You Got Me a Brown Car?"

Margaret Magnus

By Margaret Magnus

A 1973 Chevelle Malibu Station Wagon similar in appearance to the car given to Agnes Baron in the late 1970s/early 1980s. (Wikipedia.)

A 1973 Chevelle Malibu Station Wagon similar in appearance to the car given to Agnes Baron in the late 1970s/early 1980s. (Wikipedia.)

IN NEED OF A NEW CAR

Sometime in the late 1970s/early 1980s, Agnes Baron, who was living alone at Meher Mount and taking care of the place, needed a new car. A good working car is no minor matter at Meher Mount, given its remoteness.

At that time, Agnes was a substitute teacher and obviously needed transportation to the job. She also had to drive down the hill and another 15 minutes to get her drinking water, along with groceries (the other direction) and everything else.

A $3,000 WINDFALL

At about the same time, my husband Sam Ervin and I received a windfall of $3,000. I no longer remember how or why, but it seemed particularly opportune. We decided to use that windfall to get a car for Agnes.

Sam scanned the newspapers and found that Hertz, the car rental company, had an “auction” of low-mileage, used cars on a lot near our home in Long Beach.

He and our friend Ross Kaplan went that Saturday and found a station wagon within our price range. We knew that an important criterion for Agnes was a station wagon in order to haul things.

Sam and Ross got the car and spent several hours cleaning and polishing it to make it ready to give to Agnes.

A NEW CAR FOR AGNES BARON

The next weekend, Sam and I proudly drove the car to Meher Mount – about two hours from our home – to give Agnes her surprise which we thought would make her life a little easier in managing Meher Mount.

As we presented the car to her, she responded “Brown? Brown? You got me a brown car? I hate brown.”

Furthermore, she complained that we had gotten her a Chevrolet (or maybe it was a Ford) car. “Everyone,” she says, “knows that Japanese cars are better. How could you have gotten me an American car?”

A little deflated, but still thinking she would like it once she started using it, we left the car for her.

After several visits in which she continued to complain loudly and often the about car, we finally said, “Agnes, it’s your car. You can keep it. You can sell it. You can trade it in. It’s yours to do whatever you want.”

THE RIGHT NEW CAR

The next time we visited her, she greeted us smiling broadly. She pointed to her new car, a white Toyota station wagon. She was very pleased with the car and with herself.

At least we’d gotten the station wagon part right.

More importantly, Agnes had a car that could take her up and down the mountain. She drove that car until she could no longer drive.

THE WHITE TOYOTA station wagon that Agnes Baron (right) got for herself is in the background. Visiting Agnes are (left) Margaret Magnus and her daughter Stephanie Ervin. (Sam Ervin photo, 1985.)

THE WHITE TOYOTA station wagon that Agnes Baron (right) got for herself is in the background. Visiting Agnes are (left) Margaret Magnus and her daughter Stephanie Ervin. (Sam Ervin photo, 1985.)



SEARCH THE SITE