11. Planet cross walk - the US way
From feedback I received almost daily, I sensed that there were many people, even groups of people, who had read my writing and agreed with my thinking. Was I indeed on the right track, uncovering against all odds, that an innocent man is languishing in jail innocently? The latest piece of information, obtained from a very reliable source encouraged me to further pursue my search for truth and justice. (More in a later chapter, God willing).
Before finishing my report of USA Trip II, let me describe some examples of the kind of reaction I get, after I uploaded the latest chapters (9 & 10, on 9/11). It only took a few days to surface. To anyone who had read those chapters, it would not take the brain of Einstein to see a link in the following email newsletter. It came from the same Travel Agency, which used to spell my name Dietar.
Email Newsletter from Travel Agency, received 14/9/05:
(Keywords - escape and Singapore).
Less than a week later I saw a person on TV, one I had written about in Chapter 10, who I had jokingly considered showing our road safety game to. It was Californian Senator Dianne Feinstein. She was asking questions to nominee John Roberts, who was to become a US Federal Court judge. I felt like saying: Hi, haven’t we met before?
It was pointless trying to point out these similarities to my wife. As far as she, and my family, were concerned I was still a 51/50. And it is true to a point: Observing theses little snippets of information and linking them to my writing is called referencing, something that only a certain number of people (No. 51/50) do.
When I showed my wife above email and pointed out the words escape and Singapore, all she saw was a husband justifying his strange thinking. If she had become even a little more engaging, she could have asked me: Are you thinking of escaping to Singapore? Every tangible piece of evidence I showed her she treated the same way. She looked - but did not see or wanted to see. What will it take to wake her up, to loosen the chain that bind her?
My confidence grew daily, the assurance that God was in control. The clearer it all became to me, the more I could conceptualize a parallel between us and the story of God. He had tried for 2000 years to open the eyes of a stubborn world. They have eyes, but cannot see and ears but cannot hear. Many do not want to see or hear. They don't even know they are blind and deaf.
I have often prayed and thought - what will it take? A Katrina or a Rita just for her?
(As I write the Texan coastlands are bracing themselves for Hurricane Rita).
A challenging question: What dream would you dream if you knew you could not fail? I discovered this banner outside the Crystal Cathedral, near the corner Dawn Ave. Right opposite is the 'Sunkist gate', which took on real significance on the first day of my previous USA Trip in 2003.
My dream was slowly, but surely coming to pass.
Let me pick up my USA journey Trip 2 on Saturday April 16th 05, when I took a bus from Santa Monica back to Orange Grove to attend the weekend services at the Crystal Cathedral.
Just before boarding the 720 Express to downtown LA I crossed an intersection. In the middle of it lay a large piece of cardboard. As a visitor I had no intention to start any street cleaning act. However, as I walked past I read what was printed in big letters on the box - F 050. Since it had my address on it, my conscience didn't rest, until I walked back and pick up my ‘mail’. I did my humble act in full view of passing motorists and a few bus passengers, waiting at the bus stop.
One of the reasons I acted so quickly was what had happened just before the CHER concert. (it was exactly one month earlier on 16/3//05). Within seconds of my street cleaning job, even before disposing of the debris into a bin, I noticed a Merc Sports car passing by, registration JUST BOB.
From an earlier visit in 1988 I remembered a district with a Mexican flavour. How fortunate was this? My 2005 visit to famous Olivera Street coincided with the 75-years-Mexican-Quarters' celebrations.
Everyone be reassured – the lady’s husband was nearby - he took the photo.
Ah, oh, it just came to me! Minus the r Olivera St. could mean something interesting!
After a long bus/train ride, with stops in LA Central and the Mexican Quarters, I was fortunate to find a reasonably priced Motel within 20 minutes walk from the Crystal Cathedral. The next morning I first attended a Christian businessmen's meeting, followed by the late worship service.
I sat down towards the back of the bright, airy auditorium. Beside me was an elderly couple, who were also visitors. If what happened next was caught on one of the cameras in the place, it would win a price in any Hidden Camera Competition. The collection plate was passed around. The gentleman next to me had two 1 Dollar bills ready to put into the collection. But there was a slight dilemma in landing. Before both notes made it to home-base, the lady snatched one back in a move, faster than a hungry rattlesnake could bite. (Forgive my exaggeration).
It was amusing to be watching this rescue drama, right beside me. There was no question, who holds the purse strings in their relationship (and most likely all other strings, too). Perhaps the lady had calculated how much money they needed toward the cab fare back to their cruise-liner? They may have been on a round-the-world-cruise? I forgot to ask.
During the same church service I heard of an example of the opposite – extreme generosity. Dr. Schuler announced the completion of a new theatre within their premises. The project was funded by a donation of three million Dollars. He announced that the building was was open for inspection after the service, and encouraged people to take a look. So I did.
The theatre in question was actually in the basement of the large, new building next to the cathedral. From what I saw in the small theatre, I found it hard to grasp that it could have swallowed 3 million Dollars.
In the last row of seats (the total capacity was given as 300, from memory) I discerned four seats, which were completely different to the rest. It looked odd, as if they had been short of seats and had to fill the gap with anything available. (To be honest, going on a world cruise does sound more attractive than donating towards chairs in an auditorium).
While people were looking and walking around, a piano player put music into my ears: Just as I am, without one plea, a popular song, which ends in Oh, lamb of God - I come. Christians everywhere know this tune. During countless Billy Graham crusades thousands of enquirers had walked forward to follow the call of God. Some of you reading this may have started your spiritual journey, walking forward while this song was sung.
Another hymn was music to my ears and brain - Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine, oh what a foretaste of glory divine. Heir of salvation ... just to write those words brings tears to my eyes to think that ... this is my story, this is my song ... praising my Saviour ... I could have sat and listened for hours. Instead I went upstairs and took a few photos on the grounds of this inspiring place.
Around three pm I was lying on the bed in my motel room, half-sleeping and half searching the labyrinth of TV Channels for something interesting. I couldn't find anything I wanted to concentrate on, and started thinking: I didn't come here to be lying on the bed in the middle of the day sleeping or watching TV! I decided to go for a walk. What a walk it was going to be!
Heading east on W Chapman Avenue I crossed a river and continued along the multi-lane, straight road in Orange Grove. To my right I noticed two large signs on top separate office buildings - one read CMC, the other in the distance LMONY. I found it interesting enough to enter it into my diary.
I was not bored or was looking for codes or excitement. It was the opposite. In a way I was getting tired of playing this game. I would have been happy to just be going for some exercise, not picking up codes, visiting garage sales or picking up debris off the road. That afternoon I did all three. Deep inside I followed a soft, reassuring, guiding force, who I knew would lead me.
Wherever I was going, whatever I was doing, HE stayed always in control. Switching off, saying, I don't want to do this any more, would be more than spitting the dummy, it would be betrayal.
On a pole, at a set of traffic lights, was a notice for a Garage Sale. The sign hung upside down. I sensed they expected an upside down brain like mine to follow it. The location of the garage sale was given as Devon Street, No… (the number consisted of my numbers 1,5,3 - not in that order). My brain woke to another level of awareness.
Devon was the name of a singer, who I had heard sing on TV during two Hour of Power broadcasts. It was long ago, when I first started watching the program (Sand Ch. 57). Devon, 15 at the time, had been wearing a green dress the first time I heard her sing. The following month she sang in a green dress. I had noticed this and emailed the program. (I emailed a lot in those days).
Walking in the direction on the sign, I silently prayed (I prayed most times, anyway) that if God wanted me to have a look at that address, he must lead me there. I walked to the T-junction at the end and turned right. A moment later there was the sign Devon St. The place was only a few houses away.
By this time, late Sunday afternoon, most garage sales were well and truly over. There was not much left for sale; a ride-on toy car, a bicycle, suitable for a small child etc. Nobody was attending; and I didn't bother knocking on the door. (I have a faint recollection that I did knock, but there was no answer?)
Having become aware that this was, undeniably, one of those tests, I naturally looked around. Confirmation that I was spot on came in the form of a car registration plate. A white automobile was parked right out the front Rego 4 P V V 0 7 1. (Order of letters changed for privacy). My dairy says: Now I know this was all staged - 4/17 was that day’s date.
My diary Sunday, April 17th, 05.
I am still unsure how much detail I should reveal of the people involved in my story. To try and ask permission would be an enourmous task. Without those names or car registration numbers, which started the whole mystery, my story just wouldn't be the magic it is..
That's why God wanted my name to be Dieter and made me migrate to an English speaking country.
I continued my walk in the same super-sensitive mindset. In Palmyra Street I picked up a piece of yellow tape (yellow ribbon) and a 1cent coin from off the road. My diary doesn’t say, but remembering Riverside the previous Sunday, I may have scanned the ground for a second 1 cent coin, unsuccessfully.
In Flower St, only a few minute’s walk further on, somebody had spilled some French Fries on the grass between the road and the footpath. In Australia we call them chips, which in DN language is Hi, see Ps? I just couldn’t help myself – I stooped down and formed the letter J, just to leave my mark.
I would have loved to know, if anybody had been watching from inside a parked vehicle or behind the curtains of a residence. But nobody was visible in the neighbourhood.
Sitting back in my motel room a little later, I kept thinking about my strange life, this unusual holiday I was having, and the weird souvenirs I kept picking up off the street. At least they were neither expensive, nor made in China.
Taking a shortcut through a small supermarket parking lot, I picked up this pencil near W. Chapman Ave. Can you see three or more codes a la Da Ninci?
Let's start with Le Pro do, Go ...? I had moments earlier been to the garage sale at No. 153. Hey, now I see in the centre 177...)
Almost one week later I again stayed for one night in the same motel. It was my last night in the US, my last chance for an early morning walk to start the day invigorated. I again crossed over the bridge along W. Chapman Ave. On the opposite side, in a small parking lot, a person was trying to push a vehicle. He was struggling on his own, so I ran over and helped push the car into the side road.
This brief interlude turned my attention to a house, just a little further in the side road, where there was - you guessed it - another Garage Sale. It was Saturday 23/4/05, the day of my departure, a good time to snatch a cheap souvenir, one that had not fallen off the back off a truck or neatly placed for a mad German - Aussie to collect and put somewhere amongst the web pages in his blog.
How about a wall clock? The hands showed 12 noon, or was is 5 to 12, neither was a good enough reason to buy it. Then there was a coffee machine; brand new and still in the box. I politely declined to make an offer. And second-hand baby clothes was not something to surprise my wife with, either. (I would later pick some up for free - read on).
I walked on and turned right at the next corner. It was called Maple Ave. Only one block or so further, on the corner Fir St, a busy group of people was unloading boxes of clothes and household goods. There was even a complete set of dining table and chairs. It would have looked a very classy one, were it not parked on the grass beside the road.
Stop Press: Now I get it. Did I not write about the biblical wisdom of sitting at the lowest place at a banquet table and to be asked to come up higher? Was this table and chair a symbol of the table?
(Uploading chapters is sometimes delayed through discovering new possible links like the one above. Plus, while writing these chapters I am suffering from the worst bout of influenza in years. I'm sure God has the timing under control. This morning 28/9/05 loud thunder and lightning at 4 am started the day).
For a moment I wondered, if the people were moving into a new house. But no, they were setting up a garage sale - without a garage, on a street corner.
This was odd. Suddenly, a lady unpacked a warm, impressive looking, bright red top – TOMMY Sport USA. It looked new. Red is the colour our the Adelaide United Soccer Team, which I supported. Plus I was returning to the start of winter in Australia. I asked how much they wanted for it. One dollar. For that price even Isobel couldn’t criticize me for wasting money.
Back at the Motel a short time later I had a free coffee in the foyer. As I left to go to my room, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a lady, walking into the foyer. She was wearing a sports top. It was the same label - Tommy Sport USA. How Tommy cool was that?
Over five months later, while preparing this chapter, I did it for the first time. Take the two letters M as 1's ( after all I had paid 1 Dollar for this top) and read backwards: Why (No) 1 won on cross! Even the last word cross is a perfect match. Read on!
A thought struck me later about this and the garage sale the previous weekend. They were the only two I had visited while in the US. (Actually, there was one I stopped at very briefly, close to Cal-Baptist University, Riverside the week before). Last week's location was on one side of Chapman Ave, this one was on the opposite side.
As I pondered I saw a distinct parallel. One Sunday afternoon in Adelaide Isobel and I happened to visit two garage sales. One was on one side of Cross Roads, the other on the other side. Visiting these two places formed the shape a huge cross - on Cross Road. (Mind Chapter 14).
So did these two locations. But more than that, the street names Maple (add n to arrive at PeL man) and Fir (who fir) fitted to make sense of it all. Friends, this is God's doing, it is marvelous in our eyes.
In America, as well as back home, this outside the box, square peg/round hole type brain heard news stories on radio, TV or in the press differently to others. On Tuesday 19/4 on NBC4 TV I saw a report on the TV News that a violin had been stolen from a motorcar. It had been on loan to a young musician, who left it unattended in the backseat. The driver went into a shop for only a few minutes. When she returned the case with her instrument inside had vanished.
This would not have been newsworthy, except the ancient instrument was made in 1742, and was allegedly worth a million dollars. (Actually I heard conflicting reports, the value of the instrument ranging from 1/2 million to 1 million Dollars). The bow alone was reported to be worth a cool $ 350 000. When I read the name of the person involved - Lindsay (say lie nd) - I smelled a touch of Da Ninci and a possible hoax. I sent a brief email to NBC4 TV from one of the libraries, querying the value of the instrument.
Sometime later, I had already returned to Australia, I received a short reply. The message from the TV station confirmed what I had suspected. They rely on police reports and convert these into news stories. The email didn't say, if the information provided is checked or to what extent, before going to air.
True or not true, everyone is happy in this case – the owner of the violin, especially, if it was never stolen or doesn't exist; the TV stations for an entertaining story between commercials, the originator of the story, for a (lucrative?) outlet for his imaginations. There is one positive - All motorists learned a lesson: Don’t leave valuables on display in a motor car, especially if they are borrowed, uninsured and worth a million dollars.
My diary 19/4/05
God is not pleased, if a colourful, fabricated story goes to air as true. If untrue, there may not be any victims in this little scheme, but lies are lies and God hates lies and deception, especially when they are the basis for money-making ventures.
I could be mistaken, allowing my suspicion to take over. However, a few details need clarifying. Researching for this chapter I did some googling. Here is the same story from the Internet, as reported in the Times Newspaper in Taipei (nice name that - with a T and a P, plus ae - it must be OK).
Stolen violin returned
A rare violin and its bow worth around US$850,000 dollars that a musician reported stolen from her car earlier this week has been returned. The precious 263-year-old musical instrument was in police custody after a man who said he found it turned it in near the supermarket parking lot where it was stolen. Lindsay D. told police the instrument was stolen from her car after she left it in the vehicle when she slipped into the supermarket to shop for groceries. The owner of the 1742 violin, Peter Mandell, said the instrument was insured, but that a clause in the policy did not cover thefts from motor vehicles.
(A 263 years old musical instrument in police custody? Did they use hand-cuffs? Good one. Hey, it just came to me - adding a 7 to the first digit equals 963 !)
It was very simple to locate Lindsay D. online. (I typed in her full name). She supposedly is shown as a talented, twenty-year old violinist, making a name for herself in Los Angeles and beyond. I asked her in an email, if the story was all true. I emphasized that it was quite important that I find out.
To my surprise I received an email almost immediately:
Dated: 23/9/05 - Subject: Re: Is the story really true?
Yes, it's really true. My violin was stolen from the back-seat of my car in April. Luckily, 3 days later it was turned in to the police. Besides being out 10, 000 dollars, (reward money) everything is back to normal. The violin sounds better than ever!
It was refreshing to receive a quick, serious reply. But it opened more questions: How could she call it 'my violin', when it was on loan? Was it true that it was not covered by insurance, if stolen from a motor car? Would anyone drive around with an uninsured million dollar treasure, let alone leaving it alone to go shopping? And why use a 263-year old instrument to do concerts? Shouldn't such treasure be preserved? Lastly, did they check that it was not the thief, who claimed the reword (sic) money?
The name Mandell, the alleged owner of the instrument, starts with Man. There is an actor by that name, plus I found out that there is a Peter Mandell Collection of Southern California. The latter, according to online reports, supposedly loaned Lindsay the instrument. Despite much googling I could not locate this organisation or the collection (of ancient violins?) in Southern California.
But the thinking trail goes on. Mandell starts in Man, a key word on this US trip. If this is so, and I am not totally off the planet, the second part of the name Man-dell came to me as I prepared for this chapter. It fitted in perfectly and made sense.
Dell read backwards - L - Led. I had claimed to be led by God. God is L - Love.
Am I from off the planet? Nice word - planet.