14. Truth - it works.
I had purchased tickets to attend 'The Man of La Mancha' at the Crystal Cathedral. As if the timing was planned by someone, who knew my departure date, above performance took place on Fri 22/4/05, my last full day in the USA. Therefore I had relocated to the same motel in Orange Grove as a week earlier.
Looking back at some names that popped up on this trip, Santa Monica, Montana, Mandell, the key word undoubtedly had been Man. The title of the play 'The Man of La Mancha' added two more man to it, without having to swap an o to an a.
It there ever was a non-religious play with a message of faith and determination, the story of Don Quixote, the Man of La Mancha, would be the classic example.
Looking at the title I keep reading LA Man, the man of LA, See a man ... Don you love Don's name Don - like the God-father?
My flight back to Australia was not until very late on Saturday 23/4/05. I had all day to make my way to LAX, which allowed a leisurely pace. Looking back I should not have thought like that. Later in the day I would have loved an extra 2 hours at a very special function.
In the newspaper I happened to read about a book fair, held that weekend at the UCLA (University of California LA). Reading some famous names raised my interest level. I would have loved to listen what wisdom Madeleine Allright had to share, or Jason Alexander from Seinfeld.
(Hey, what interesting Da Ninci names - I had previously discovered Jason and Alexander. What a beauty was Seinfeld? N - field es. (Es is it in German). My story (N-is-it) in a TV show! (No laughing matter, really).
Another famous name was Maria H. Rivers. Those who haven't heard of her, she is married to Ahnald. Those who haven't heard of Ahnald, it's the name they give to Superman in Australia, or is it Austria? I knew time-wise these session were out of the question, plus they needed a booking. However, I still planned to take a look at the book-fair on my way to LAX. There were more than one or two distractions that day.
It started as I sat in a bus at a bus stop in Orange Grove that morning. (Earlier that morning I had bought the TOMMY top). A young lady was coaxing an old man, possibly a homeless person to catch our bus. As the driver waited impatiently, she pleaded with him, offering to pay for his fare. The driver was getting increasingly impatient. Within a minute or so, our bus left, leaving the man behind.
As I observed it all, I sensed that it was all acted out. Had there been anyone with a camera, I would have assumed it was real, real Hollywood that is. I got off at the next stop and paid one last visit to the Crystal Cathedral.
On the grounds, walking right near me in the otherwise empty carpark, I saw a teenage boy. I recognized his face and dark hair and said hello. The young man may have been surprised at being greeted by a stranger. He confirmed, after my brief questioning, that he had played Sancho Panza, the assistant of Don Quixote, the night before. (Hi Rob).
I kept wondering about the unusual interlude on the bus earlier. Since I had all day, plus an all day bus ticket to get to my Book Fair, I took a bus back one stop on Chapman Ave to see, if the old man had moved yet. Just as I got off my bus on the corner of Chapman and Manchester, he was boarding his bus. If all this meant something, I can only guess: An old man, a lack of finance, failed to board his bus initially, but successful on his second attempt? Why do I see so much and want to know, why?
The final bus, if I don't count the shuttle at the very end, was very crowded. It made the long track seem so much longer. I kept a good lookout for the bus stop, where I had to get off. Driving along Wiltshire Blvd a policeman re-directed all traffic, even our bus, onto a side road. As the bus turned slowly off Wiltshire Blvd I saw the problem ahead, a demonstration of some kind was in progress.
A huge sign revealed what the marching crowd was protesting against - the Armenian Genocide. I didn’t know anything about the Armenian genocide. To be honest, I would have had difficulty pin-pointing Armenia on a world map. However, and forgive me for side- tracking, I learned what the Armenian genocide was all about, and why there were some unhappy people, marching to make me late for the book fair.
(My information is from a website by the Armenian National Institute (ANI), a 501(c)3 (nice number that) non-profit organization, incorporated in the District of Columbia in February 1997).
During the First World War and long afterwards, a political Party of the Ottoman Empire, they called themselves Young Turks, committed mass-murder of immense proportions. Because the aim was to kill a whole people group, it is called genocide. Armenians had lived in Eastern Turkey for 3000 years. The plan was to drive them out of the country by force, thereby dispossessing them. Many were deliberately killed on the way or died in Camps from hunger or starvation. In all one-and-a half million people perished.
According to the ANI, April 24 is normally chosen to hold commemorations. On April 24th 1915 the 'Young Turks' first gave orders to arrest political opponents, who were not of their ideologies. I dare say the fact that these Armenians were Christians had a lot to do with it. (Looking at the world situation today, it appears, in some countries, attitudes toward Christians have not improved since).
This Saturday afternoon march was held obviously 1 day short of it's 90 years anniversary.
The detour took our bus via Rossmore, Murfield, McCadden and Highland Avenues. I noted the street names on a piece of scrap paper. I must have sensed something was going on. If the ANI wanted to draw people’s attention to their cause, they succeeded with me.
I picked up this (bookmark) while waiting for the shuttle bus to The Times Book Fair. This author not only describes how I feel about my writing, he also chose a title that would fit my autobiography perfectly.
Or maybe not? No N and no D! (Read on).
Eventually the bus reached the University District. It was already around 5 pm. I was the only passenger on the shuttle bus, taking me to the event, departing from Lot 1 (nice name that, but only for a public parking lot!).
If I still doubted that my story had spread to this part of the world, what happened next removed it. As I stepped out of the shuttle bus to cross the road, I spotted a vehicle driving out of a driveway. Out of habit, it all went like a flash, I scanned the car and my brain grasped the registration plate: Five letters only – DINCY (I only changed the order of letters for privacy). How dinky does that sound?
If this was not confirmation that I had arrived at the right place, it came only 60 seconds later. I crossed the road and entered the UCLA Campus grounds. Out of the corner of my eye I read a headline on one of the first stalls on my left – Letter to my son.
I had earlier in my autobiography written a letter to my son. (Mind, Chapter 46). Instinctively, I turned to have a closer look at that exhibitor's stand. Within a minute I was talking to the author of the ’Letter to my son’ book, Joe Rogers. A familiar feeling overcame me as I was thinking: You were meant to be here.
Joe was from far-away Colorado. He had been Lt. Governor of that state until 2003, the youngest person ever to be a Lt. Governor of any US state. According to his website, in 2001 Joe Rogers (nice name that, but not for a parking lot) was the recipient of the Trumpet Award, a high honour given to African Americans for outstanding contributions to enhance the life of all Americans.
His book was just what I needed – a present for my son Jon at home, one which he would appreciate. The book was only half written by the author. Let me explain: Joe's writing are 10 letters to his son, brief gems of wisdom, telling his son how to live. The back section is purposely left blank for the purchasers to write personal letters to their sons.
The wisdom Joe passed on to his son in his book, sounds like it is based on biblical principles. Printed by Dreamalive Publishers (nice name) the keyword in the first chapter of the small book is trust. I liked that. The second chapter encourages his son to be – good. I liked that too. Those themes sounded so familiar.
Walking away from Joe made me regret not having arrived earlier. I would have loved to talk more about his interesting life, politics and writing. I am sure a more personal conversation would have revealed an ardent follower of Jesus Christ.
At the LA Times Annual Book Fair, UCLA - I was only there for 1 hour. The fact that the date was 23/4/05 made up for it.
If you look very carefully, you'll notice number 303 on the back wall. A perfect match to the chap wearing No.15.
Following a guide from the LA Times I found the exhibition tents of various Christian organizations and exchanged a few words with attendants. At the Bibles for America stand I got talking to a young man. His name was Tommy. I remembered my one dollar souvenir-jumper I had purchased early that same morning.
Closing time for the show was 6 pm. Who knows how much more I would have discovered, had there been more time than one hour? I might even have bumped into Maria H. Rivers and Ahnald?
After another bus ride to Santa Monica I was walking for the last time through the busy Pedestrian Mall on Third Street. I got talking to a couple, who were handing out cards to people, if they wanted to receive prayer. The young man was a preacher named Joe - the second Joe I met in as many hours. He and his wife were in Santa Monica on vacation (or in mission) from Arizona.
MAY WE PRAY FOR YOU?
Joe and his wife, from Arizona, gave me this card. He didn't tell me, where the prayer meeting was held. I would have considered attending, no sweat.
If I add a minus to the S on above font, it makes a 5. Was there more to 'In times like t he se'? Read on!
The scripture on the rear - You will seek Me and find Me ... Jer. 29.13. Thinking again: Take away the 9 and all that remains is 1,2,3! I'm naughty again.
Can you believe it - I had an appointment after writing this. I parked near vehicle J 219 - Ah, yes, now I see some more - what's left over - my God ... er 3 ... somebody is watching.
Taking Becky, my dog, for a walk, I saw another clue in above picture. I had always thought the undressed lady looked out of place for a prayer card. The name of Joe's wife, Sherry, holds the clue: Why she?
Walking on I specifically kept a lookout for homeless Paul. I wondered, if he was still in Santa Monica. There he was, still holding out his hand to passers-by, hoping for a dime or two. Did I only imagine it or was he still sitting on the same seat and hadn’t moved in a week? In a strange way it felt good to having made a friend, while in the US.
And there was a positive spin to it. Had I visited anybody else in Santa Monica I would have had to phone and ask: Are you home this afternoon? Is it convenient to drop by and say hi? Who said homelessness was all bad?
Later that night at LA International airport I had much time to reflect before my late flight home. What an unusual journey it had been? What on earth was I there for?
The answer to this question was not a simple one. On the surface I could not see what I had achieved, apart from saying hi to my sister and finding out that not even in the US a road safety game sells by itself.
But please nobody try and tell me all the paths I took, the things I experienced in Tustin, Riverside, Orange County, Santa Monica, Hollywood, Huntington Beach and Seal Beach where the result of my vivid imagination. Much took place behind the scenes and this part I left up to God. I had nothing to prove, nothing to lose. The biblical theory that it was better to sit at the lowest place at a banquet table, in order to be invited to a more prominent position, obviously was not applicable on this journey.
God is not a God of confusion. It’s us who easily become confused. Just because something does not make sense to you, my wife or myself, does not change facts.
(If any readers find the odd mistake in my autobiography, forgive me. Sometimes events happened so fast, or I didn't consult my diary before writing. (Example: The Smart and Final Store, where I had seen one pallet lean against a wall, was No. 707, according to my diary, not 701, as I had written).
God is interested in the smallest detail of our lives. This trip was not a waste of time and money, just as the previous was not. God turns every situation to HIS advantage. God was again demonstrating that HE is all-knowing and all-powerful. Nothing is too hard for God. Those many people, whose path I crossed, face to face or indirectly, can testify that HE is true and authentic. To me no other explanation, as to what is taking place in my life, makes sense.
Even on the plane trip home, the magic and the mystery continued. Was it nothing that I came across another Jo, sitting in the plane next to me? Why did she wear ‘my’ colour pink and read a crime fiction novel set in Venice? Was it co-incident that the author of the book was Donna Leon? Either it was that or an intelligent mind was at work. Any scientist reading my account must agree, for all this to be happening per chance is impossible.
Before my writing turns back closer to home let me mention a TV show I watched while staying at Seal Beach. It was called the Mondel Show (Man again). The host was interviewing people, who had been to jail for (sex) offences they didn’t commit. This is why I took particular notice.
Later I emailed the show and told them about the man in Australia, who I believed didn’t have a fair go at his trial. I wasn't expecting any great assistance, just wanted to share thoughts and ideas, how to go about exposing injustice successfully. My email may not have arrived. Nothing came of it.
However, the email from a distance relative of Peter Liddy, the person I was referring to, refocused my attention in mid 2005. She had told me that at no stage did the family believe the man was guilty. After all appeals were dismissed there was nothing much they could do. She had read my website and agreed with what I had written.
But the most impacting piece of information came from a different source. This person was even more in the know. If his statement to me, face to face - I know Peter is innocent - is proven to be false, then I will stop saying it all makes sense.
The Melbourne AGE - Good Weekend, P. 13. 24th Sept. 2005
The free Beer Campaign:
I saw more than a joke in above cartoon. The week before writing this chapter I was again trying to make contact with Mr. Liddy in prison. I have a strong feeling corrupt authorities are blocking my attempts to see him.
Progress seems slow, but in the end the reward will be more than free beer - Champaign?
Following my return to Australia I became involved in a most interesting exercise, a Royal Commission. As I understand it, a RC is an enquiry, ordered by the Crown (the Queen) for her Government to investigate independently any matter, which she chooses to have investigated. Paradoxically, what is investigated is decided by her Government.
The timing was perfect, if you were hoping that the eradication of the curse (corruption, pedophilia, murder, drugs etc) would become a major election issue at the next state election in March 2006. I certainly was. The issue of an innocent man languishing in a boring jail cell is not important to society. However, if this one man's case is linked to a hidden culture of evil, deception and corruption, voters ought to demand truth and justice before voting for anyone.
How many more innocent, unfortunate people will get caught up in the web of lies to protect the guilty? Evil needs to be exposed and cleaned out once and for all. To achieve this will take the combined effort of willing politicians, a press, who tells it as it was, and an effective judiciary, interested in justice, not money or loopholes to get the rich off the hook. Any law that does not bring justice and freedom stinks.
Evil does not go away by itself. If left to run it's course, it snowballs and spread it's poison to all levels of government and society. The result is poverty and misery for the victims, while the evil, corrupt element lives in luxury with the wealth stolen from the poor. Poverty and injustice go hand in hand. If we eradicate injustice and lies - poverty will stop.
God wants justice, prosperity and freedom for all. An innocent prisoner released from jail makes HIS day.
My diary for Monday 25/4/05 says: I'm back to dishes and arguments with everyone. I'm home.