The Heartland Center, Prague OK

July 5, 2009 No Comment

The Center is located in Dr. Burleson’s house right behind the hospital where Baba was cared for. It’s been carefully restored and is a delightful place to spend some time. We stayed in an upstairs bedroom that was tasefully furnished and very quiet.

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There is another bedroom with twin beds for pilgrims as well. The rest of the house is just as nice.

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The caretakers, Ron & Miriam, were very gracious hosts and very proud of their role in maintaining a Center for Meher Baba. We felt like honored guests. All of us posed outside.

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Trail of Tears, day five

July 4, 2009 No Comment

Since the accident happened at 10:15 in the morning and Altus/Ozark AR was some 400+ miles away, they must have started out in the early morning around 4 am. Some accounts have Baba urging Elizabeth to drive at high speeds. Regardless, they approached the hill going pretty fast and encountered the other car in their lane.

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The accident site at the top of the hill. Baba was thrown out of the car near the flowers in the foreground.

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It is still a two lane road that’s traveled at high speeds to this day.

The injured were taken in an ambulance and a hearse from the local funeral home to the hospital right behind Dr. Burleson’s home>

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This section of the hospital looks remarkably that same as it did then. Dr. Burleson and others used a back entrance to the hospital that was accessible for his home. Brigitte and Miriam Rose are walking to that entrance.

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The room that Baba was cared for in is now used as an administrative office. A large photo of Baba hangs in the entranceway.

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Trail of Tears, day four

June 30, 2009 No Comment

Baba’s party left Waynesboro and headed west through Tennessee and into Arkansas. about 3/4 of the way across that state, they spent the night at the Pond Creek Motor Lodge outside of Altus OK. The building(s) no longer exist but they were located on old highway 64 (now known as Pond Creek Road). The site is occupied now by a electric cable installation company.

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Altus and it’s neighbor Ozark are Arkansas’ “Wine Country” now and in general, the area looks prosperous. Pond Creek Road however has seen better times for sure.

Trail of Tears, day three

The group left Murphy, NC and headed into Tennessee. Near Chattanooga, they stopped to visit Ruby Falls, a tourist attraction on Lookout Mountain. Ruby Falls is in an underground cavern inside Lookout Mountain.

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They finished the day in Waynesboro TN at the Stonebrook Lodge (or Sim’s Motel). The structure still stands but hasn’t been in use for some time judging by the current condition.

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You can still make out the swimming pool and parking areas, but the rest of the site isn’t in very good condition.

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Trail of Tears, day two

June 26, 2009 No Comment

On the second day of the journey, the group headed north towards North Carolina and stopped in Caesar’s Head State Park to admire the view. The park is named for a rock outcropping at about 3300′ that resembles Julius Caesar in profile.

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To tell the truth, we thought we could see a profile of a Roman nose but it wasn’t all that clear that the Roman Emperor was in attendance. Be that as it may, the view is indeed spectacular. With a 2000′ dropoff in front of the bluff, one can see for a long way.

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Table Rock Mountain can be seen in the distance. The young man next to Brigitte said that in the spring, the skys are very clear and the colors are vibrant and very alive from this view. He comes often.

Heading north, the group stopped in Brevard North Carolina at Varner’s Drugstore.

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Now called Rocky & Bullwinkles the soda fountain is still there and we enjoyed some great ice cream.

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The group motored on to Murphy NC where they stayed overnight at the Moorland Heights Motel. The Murphy post office now sits on the site.

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Trail of Tears, day one

On Tuesday, 20 May 1952, Meher Baba and nine close companions set out on a journey to the west coast. They left the Myrtle Beach Center and headed across South Carolina. They spent the night in Columbia at a hotel called the “Forest Court Hotel”. The building has since been turned into apartments and is known as “Forest Oaks Apartments”.

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What’s interesting about this place is that it’s very clean and well-maintained. It obviously is cared for by someone. However, it lies in the middle of a rundown neighborhood with trash and abandoned houses/businesses. We got there too late to talk to anyone but felt it was in good hands.