TAT FOUNDATION

The TAT Forum: a spiritual magazine of essays, poems and humor.


TAT Forum

May 2017


June gathering details

A New Home for TAT Moves Closer to Reality

... A spot on earth where people can do retreats and hold
meetings; where the emphasis is on friendship and the search.

A big push is happening from now till the June TAT meeting to raise the last of the funds to reach our goal and begin construction of TAT's retreat center. Located an hour north of Raleigh, NC, this will be an amazing resource for spiritual seekers, not only as a new home for TAT events, but as a place for individuals to go on solitary retreats. Over 120 people have donated to this project, but many of you who are regular readers of the Forum have not.

Richard Rose spoke of the ladder of spiritual seekers, each reaching down to help someone below them and reaching up to be helped by another. For over 40 years the TAT Foundation has nurtured this chain by serving as a homing ground for sincere seekers.

TAT's new home is a manifestation of this commitment to be of service. Your contributions will be key to success of this project and greatly appreciated. With over 1,000 subscribers to the TAT Forum, if each reader contributed just $50 we'd reach our goal. One reader put a few items that were laying in his closet on eBay and raised $133 in ten days. It can be done, but first you have to take action—which is the greatest barrier to all achievements.

Use PayPal button above to donate now. TAT is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational organization and qualifies to receive tax-deductible contributions.

Alternatively, you can mail a check made out to the TAT Foundation (for instructions on mailing a check, please the TAT treasurer).

If you want to try eBay, use this eBay link: http://charity.ebay.com/charity-auctions/charity/tat-foundation/73911/. If you use the link and donate 100% of the proceeds to TAT, you won't pay any seller fees when an item sells, and eBay will transfer the funds to TAT for you.

For additional background, see the Homing Ground page.

In friendship,

Shawn Nevins
on behalf of the TAT Trustees

Contents


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Convictions & Concerns

TAT members share their personal convictions and/or concerns


Discovery

It is with much gratitude that I am exploring the TAT Foundation site. I discovered it after doing research on Richard Rose.

On a normal day several years ago, I sat down at my desk in my Taxidermy shop to pay bills and did not get up again. Amidst annihilation and ashes, undeserved grace blew a hole through anything, everything. Total and complete demolition. And that's a very clumsy description. 

I had questioned spirituality, existence, God, the world and the human condition since I was about 12. There was always angst. Even at a young age it was intuited that the world was false somehow, almost like we were living a lie, that there was something deeper hidden beneath the surface. Having a Christian background, I only had a rudimentary knowledge of Eastern thought/philosophy/religion. I had no clue what enlightenment or Nirvana was that Buddhists talked about, et cetera. However, it was clear that what happened in my office that day had absolutely nothing to do with the Christian God that I had been taught to believe in or the church teachings I grew up with. 

There was no God, there was just ALL. And NOTHING. And unspeakable death/life, darkness/light and not even that. There is no difference in anything except what we project and think we believe. There isn't anyone or anything here, nothing is as it seems, we aren't who or what we think we are. The world isn't what we think it is. However, it is also us even though we are not. What we think, what we believe, isn't really what is going on, and this I KNOW even though "I" "know" nothing. 

We aren't "all one" or "one with all" as the new age slogans go. However, all of us are everything: rocks, bridges, deer, the duck pond, smog, contrails, the dog crap on my old hiking boot. Of course none of it is. Yet it is ALL God, it is ALL us. Just not God or us as we are accustomed to thinking because there is neither God nor us. There is nothing and there is the ABSOLUTE EVERYTHING, and we are IT.  Everything is IT. Underlying all, the background experienced here, is perfection, gratitude, PEACE and LOVE beyond understanding.

The complete letter from a new TAT member

 

TAT Foundation News

It's all about "ladder work" – helping and being helped

2017 TAT Meeting Calendar

March 31-April 2, 2017 (Claymont Mansion)
* June 23-25, 2017 (Claymont Great Barn) *
August 18-20, 2017 (Claymont Mansion)
November 17-19, 2017 (Claymont Mansion)

Register for the June gathering.


Downloadable/rental versions of the Mister Rose video and of April TAT talks Remembering Your True Desire (details).


Local Group News

Update from the Central Ohio Nonduality group:
We continue to meet on Monday evenings at Panera across from The Ohio State University. ~ For further information, contact or . We're also on Facebook.

Update from the weekly email self-inquiry groups:
Both the women's and the men's email groups are active, and we welcome serious participants. ~ Contact or .

Update from the Gainesville, FL self-inquiry group:
We meet at the Alachua County library on alternate Mondays and Sundays. We are having a five-day retreat at Claymont (Charles Town, WV) on the Monday–Friday leading into the TAT meeting on June 23–25. ~ Email or for more information.

Update from the Galway, Ireland self-inquiry group:
In addition to meetings in Galway city, satellite groups are now meeting in Cork and in Dublin. Tess Hughes, along with guest Art Ticknor, will be leading a retreat in Tallaght, Co. Dublin, on May 26-29. And in October (27th-29th), Tess and Bob Fergeson will be leading Awakening Together's fall retreat in Colorado Springs, CO. ~ See the Events page on Tess's website for details.

Update from the Greensburg, PA self-inquiry group:
We continue to meet every other week at our usual location with our several regulars. ~ Contact .

Update from the Lynchburg, VA self-inquiry group:
We meet on Wednesday evenings and welcome inquiries. E-mail or for information on the meetings.

Update from the New York City area:
We've recently started a group in NYC and are looking for consistent, serious but lighthearted ;) members. So far, we have started each group meeting with a short meditation followed by a self-inquiry session with questions and responses. We plan to vary the format and also go on local retreats and spiritually-minded events, as time allows. We are meeting in downtown Manhattan (the financial district) in a really great public space that we are fortunate to have. Please contact me with any interest or questions. Tell a friend :) ~ Email .

Update from the Pittsburgh, PA self-inquiry group:
We hold public meetings at 7:00 PM on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month at the Pittsburgh Friends Meeting House in Oakland. The topic for April 5 was "Are You Awake or merely Sleep-Walking?" and for April 19, "Are we Sleep-walking Mechanical Beings?" We also have private (i.e., by invitation only) confrontation meetings on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays. ~ For further information, contact or .

Update from the Portland, OR self-inquiry group:
We meeting most Sundays and have been meeting at different local libraries around town due to limited room availability at any one library, but this has made it easier for people in those neighborhoods to attend the meetings. ~ Email or for more information.

Update from the Raleigh, NC Triangle Inquiry Group:
The Triangle Inquiry Group (TIG) meets on Wednesday evenings near NCSU. ~ Email or for information on local meetings.

Update from the San Francisco Bay area self-inquiry group:
Email for information about upcoming meetings and events.

Update from the Tallahassee, FL self-inquiry group:
We continue to meet every other Tuesday at the downtown public library. ~ Contact , or find the group on Meetup.com.


Members-Only Area

A password-protected section of the website is available for TAT members. The area contains information on product discounts for members as well as a substantial amount of helpful and historical information, including audio recordings, Newsletter archives, Retrospect archives, policies, conference proceedings, business meeting notes, photographs, and suggestions for ways to help.

The following audio recordings from 2016 TAT meetings are now available in the members-only website area:

The following video recordings of presentations from the April 2017 TAT meeting are now available on YouTube:

Please us if you have questions. (Look here for info on TAT membership.)


Amazon and eBay

Let your Amazon purchases and eBay sales raise money for TAT!

An easy way to contribute to TAT is to click one of our Amazon links. Next time you want to make any purchase on Amazon, simply visit the TAT Press webpage and click any of the Amazon links. It doesn't matter what you purchase, TAT will receive from 4 to 6% of the purchase price of the item. It costs you nothing extra, and helps TAT. Try it now.

Beyond Mind, Beyond Death is the latest of TAT's books to be converted to the Kindle ebook format. All of the TAT Press books are now available on Amazon in a digital format.

TAT has registered with the eBay Giving Works program. You can list an item there and select TAT to receive a portion of your sale. Or if you use the link and donate 100% of the proceeds to TAT, you won't pay any seller fees when an item sells and eBay will transfer all the funds to TAT for you. Check out our Giving Works page on eBay. Click on the "For sellers" link on the left side of that page for details.

There's more background information on the new home for TAT project in the TAT Homing Ground section below.


Your Contributions to TAT News

TAT founder Richard Rose believed that working with others accelerates our retreat from untruth. He also felt that such efforts were most effective when applied with discernment, meaning working with others on the rungs of the ladder closest to our own. The TAT News section is for TAT members to communicate about work they've been doing with or for other members and friends. Please your "ladder work" news.

 

Humor

"One thing you must be able to do in the midst
of any experience is laugh. And experience
should show you that it isn't real, that it's a
movie. Life doesn't take you seriously, so why
take it seriously." ~ Richard Rose, Carillon


ONE TEQUILA, TWO TEQUILA, THREE TEQUILA...... FLOOR.

ATHEISM IS A NON-PROPHET ORGANIZATION.

THE MAIN REASON THAT SANTA IS SO JOLLY IS BECAUSE HE KNOWS WHERE ALL THE BAD GIRLS LIVE.

I WENT TO A BOOKSTORE AND ASKED THE SALESWOMAN, "WHERE'S THE SELF-HELP SECTION?" SHE SAID IF SHE TOLD ME, IT WOULD DEFEAT THE PURPOSE.

WHAT IF THERE WERE NO HYPOTHETICAL QUESTIONS?

~ From AMBIGUITIES and IDIOSYNCRASIES. These five may all be George Carlin quips.


We're hoping to present more humor created by TAT members and friends here. Please your written or graphic creations. Exact sources are necessary for other submissions, since we need to make sure they're either in the public domain or that we have permission to use them.

 

Inspiration & Irritation

Irritation moves us; inspiration provides a direction

The Man Who Was a Mirror
By Michael Casari


It was billed as "The Lecture of Questions" to be given at Kent State University by an American Zen teacher named Richard Rose. The year was 1973. I was twenty-three, confused and searching for something "real," but by then not even sure such a thing existed, let alone that I'd ever find it.

At first it was difficult to hear the speaker at the podium, since I was in the very back of the over-crowded classroom. People were standing three or four deep directly in front of me, behind the rows of occupied chairs. I would guess there were at least a hundred people, mostly students, who had come out to see what Zen and Richard Rose was all about.

I started to focus on the speaker's voice—a tone of voice more penetrating than I'd ever heard. His words gradually began to register in my consciousness, and something touched me in a way I cannot explain, almost an electrical shock of sorts. It was the same feeling of relief you get when finding a clear signal in the heavy static on a radio. The first words I heard Richard Rose speak come readily to mind even today, and they come now as they did then, in the form of a question....

Read the rest of Michael's tribute to Richard Rose. The upcoming TAT weekend on June 23-25 Becoming the Truth: A Weekend with Mr. Rose will focus on Rose's teaching style and content by TAT members who worked directly with him.


 

Ladder Work


Richard Rose emphasized the value of reaching down to help those on the rung of the ladder below our current perspective, saying that we're pushed up the ladder by those below us more than we pull ourselves up to the next rung. Here are some like-minded quotes:

"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself…. Serve and thou shall be served." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

"A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle." ~ Benjamin Franklin

"As I give, I get." ~ Mary McLeod Bethune

"Help thy brother's boat across and lo! thine own has reached the shore." ~ Hindu proverb

"Who gives himself with his alms feeds three, himself, his hungering neighbor and me." ~ James Russell Lowell

"If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else." ~ Booker T. Washington

"The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive." ~ Albert Einstein

"Benefit yourself by benefiting others." ~ Chinese proverb (Wang Wenyin, The Logic of the Market)




Mountaintop Experience


"That week before Roger passed away, I would see him and he would talk about having visited this other place. I thought he was hallucinating. I thought they were giving him too much medication. But the day before he passed away, he wrote me a note: 'This is all an elaborate hoax.' I asked him, 'What's a hoax?' And he was talking about this world, this place. He said it was all an illusion. I thought he was just confused. But he was not confused. He wasn't visiting heaven, not the way we think of heaven. He described it as a vastness that you can't even imagine. It was a place where the past, present, and future were happening all at once."

*

~ Excerpted from "The Oral History of 2013" in Esquire's December 2013 edition: Roger Ebert's Wife, Chaz, on His Final Moments. "He was sitting almost like Buddha, and then he just put his head down." Submitted by longtime TAT member Michael W.

Richard Rose described seeing that the world's an illusion as the "mountaintop experience" which occurred before his final breakthrough, which was then triggered by seeing that Richard Rose was also an illusion.



Please your thoughts on the above items.

 

Reader Commentary

Encouraging interactive readership among TAT members and friends


A reader wrote that what would make the Forum more interesting would be:

Hearing from people who are searching – and have questions instead of those providing endless advice and "answers." What challenges they are facing. What their doubts and questions are. How they perceive their path is going. What they are doing in their lives. Where they think they will end up. Etc. etc.

Can you help make the Forum more interesting?


The question we asked readers for this month's Commentary was: What's the secret to keeping commitments? Responses follow:

From Debi P:
The secret to keeping commitments … I find it rather easy to keep commitments that I make to others. When it comes to keeping commitments to myself, I have failed miserably over the years. I feel it has been Grace that this body/mind has kept its commitment to waking up/realizing the Self. I find it odd that whenever this body does something I think is "good," I honestly feel that it is That Which I Truly Am that performed the action or spoke the words. And, when this body does something I consider less than OK, I often feel as though it was the personality that acted. Several years ago, after reflection, it seemed to me that it's all Grace and/or karma. I continue to feel really unsure that free will actually exists. It feels and looks like, to me, that there is no secret; we're destined to experience and do certain things, and that includes whether we act with integrity and keep our commitments, or not.

From Maria T:
For me it helps to find out why I cannot keep commitments: Most often because I don't feel like it, and I default to old ingrained habits. If I make a commitment to meditate, I cannot rely on how I feel to fulfill my commitment. I have to just do no matter what … no matter what "I" happens to be at home when it's time to meditate. Commitments challenge us, test our mettle, and determine if we are really serious about waking up.

From Mo H:
What's the secret to keeping commitments? Caring.

From Bill K:
What's the secret to keeping commitments? My simple answer: I believe R.Rose (my interpretation) taught that the only real thing that existed about us might be our direction in which we lived our life, and the question of success was how effectively we aligned our efforts and identifications with that direction. Therefore, his single-mindedness in committing to one Big Thing may have been the secret to his "magic" in being successful evidenced by the many experienced teachers in his wake.

The difficult answer (which I don't understand, and in contradiction to the first) is that it appears we don't have much choice in life except maybe to recognize what has been intended for us. For example, if I have an interest in becoming a Seeker, it may be only because that is what always had been intended. If I can sense my cause or calling or the intended direction for this creature, maybe my acceptance and willing alignment of my life's activities with that plan would result in seemingly magical progress and success. But this assumes I could recognize the plan and that I have choice to accept or not, to commit or to ignore. (Still trying to complete my answer.)


The composite question for next month is: Are you a feeler or a thinker or a doer? Which of these aspects is strongest in your personality, and which is weakest? What are the implications of this for you as one who desires to know yourself beyond personality?

Please your responses for next month's Reader Commentary and indicate your preferred identification (the default is your first name and the initial letter of your last name).

Other Reader Feedback

We heard from some of the folks who attended their first TAT meeting in April:

From Dan K:
I came to the TAT meeting largely unfamiliar with the people and their focus and interests. So I came truly to learn and share in order to see where there might be a common ground as well as something new. A major impression is one of a group of people who are very welcoming, seeing others as fellow travelers on the road of life whatever their backgrounds. They also seemed quite serious about exploring what it means to awaken; this clearly was a focus. It is in many ways quite refreshing to find folks who are very upfront about what they are about. There appeared to be a certain emphasis on how awakening comes about. It also seemed to me that there was an earnestness that was looking into all this, creating an atmosphere of shared exploration and possibility.

Dan wrote later: It occurred to me recently that there might be something worthwhile in expanding contacts between folks that share a common interest in self-exploration and awakening, yet may come at this in somewhat different ways…. That said, I have often attended a 3-day weekend dialogue in Maryland linked to Krishnamurti. Like TAT, this is not a dogmatic affair, and its essence is one of self-inquiry, within a dialogue setting….

Krishnamurti dialogue weekend: Washington DC Krishnamurti Gathering & Dialogues, Memorial Day Weekend, Friday May 26 - Monday May 29, 2017, The Claggett Center, Buckeystown, Maryland. Contact for more info and registration.

And Terry O'Connor added: All those interested in serious inquiry are welcome. From a brief look at the [TAT] website it doesn't seem as if these would be people prone to laying their religion on others. They are certainly in concert with K re the via negativa route. They also seem to use the mirror of relationship rather pointedly, and we could probably use more of that. We might have something to learn from them. Please forward the invitation.

From Chris B:
If I had to sum up my experience of the first TAT weekend I attended in a single word, it would be "friendship." From the moment I entered till the moment I left, I felt like I was surrounded by a group of open and caring, longtime friends. As a newcomer I was welcomed by all and feel that I left with many meaningful connections to a wide range of people. The sessions and speakers over the weekend were all great, and it was nice to see such a wide range of experiences that others have had along the path. Additionally, the time spent in-between the scheduled sessions in conversations with other attendees one-on-one and at meals was extremely fruitful, and I really do feel like I left with some great new friends. Thank you for organizing such an amazing event!

From Paul P:
April 2017's "Tracking the Mind" intensive was my first experience with TAT. This community is a precious gem indeed. It is a supportive group that is passionate about investigating and discovering the Truth of Reality. Its members embody this and include not just one, but several folks who have truly 'woken up' to Reality. It's not theoretical or pretend, which makes it a superb resource for anyone who is serious about this endeavour. The flow and timing of the weekend was fantastic, as well as the food, company and guest speakers. There was a great deal packed into a couple of days, but it didn't feel rushed at all. This seamlessness seems to be a product of the many years it has been running combined with a core group of members who are committed to embodying the integrity and generosity of spirit of their original teacher, Richard Rose.

From Penny W:
Impressions from a first time TAT weekend participant:

There was a sense of awe and appreciation when I first saw the Claymont House—beautiful historical setting—spacious inside with tall ceilings and large meeting rooms and grounds that provided paths for walking and fantastic old trees.

I experienced a welcoming feeling when I arrived. I had attended a self-inquiry retreat prior to the November TAT meeting so I had made connections with several of the people who I first encountered as I walked in. But I think it would be hard not to feel welcomed.

I had resisted attending a TAT meeting because from what I had discerned from others it sounded like a cerebral and intellectual exercise with the focus being on information. I love that! My mind enjoys it tremendously—and it was the last thing I "thought" I needed in my spiritual hope of breaking free of my compulsive thinking. But, I had met Tess several years ago and I had recently read her book, and her being one of the presenters was enough to break my resistance. I am glad I did. Each of the presenters spoke from their own life experience. There was humor, tenderness, openness, humility and some real jewels of insight that I am still unpacking.

The small break-out group to explore self-inquiry provided a "taste" of the process. There was a balance between inclusiveness and acceptance and a firmness to push us deeper into questioning our beliefs.

Table fellowship with interactions that ranged from story-telling replete with lots of humor to discussions about the cutting edge of several fields of scientific research—okay some of it was as cerebral as it can get! There was a good balance between seriousness and playfulness.

To summarize, beautiful setting, welcoming atmosphere, humble and approachable presenters with deep insights into this exploration we call awakening, inclusiveness, laughter, and challenging … all in all a meaningful weekend.



Richard Rose described a spiritual path as living one's life aimed at finding the meaning of that life. Did you find anything relevant to your life or search in this month's TAT Forum?


Circle Limit III woodcut by Dutch artist M. C. Escher, in which "strings of fish shoot up like rockets from infinitely far away" and then "fall back again whence they came." Wikimedia Commons.


We like hearing from you! Please your comments, suggestions, inquiries, and submissions.

Sign up for notices of TAT's four annual events and free monthly Forums by email on our .

 

Founder's Wisdom

Richard Rose (1917-2005) established the TAT Foundation
in 1973 to encourage people to work together on what
he considered to be the "grand project" of spiritual work.


Early Impressions of Richard Rose in Retrospect


The material here is from interviews conducted between 1994-1995 with students who knew Richard Rose as early as 1973, by Paul Schmidt—an early and still-active TAT member. The Mr. Rose whom we knew as students was fading into Alzheimer's by that time. The TAT Forum published a memorial issue to Richard Rose (March 14, 1917–July 6, 2005) in August of 2005.


Part 3, continued from the March 2017 and April 2017 TAT Forums:


"Transmission is the highest form of direct mind. If we reached a point of high intensity in work, I could walk right up to you and put my finger on your forehead, and we'd go through an experience." ~ Richard Rose


Bill K.: "You picked up on his mood. One common thing that I've heard from a lot of people was on picking up the mood, being around Rose. Spontaneously there'd be a feeling of eternality, or reality becomes very dreamlike for a moment, and there's a close bond between all the people that are sitting there at that moment. He emanates."

*

Bob C. says Rose would be on the verge of tears in certain situations where this dynamic could be transpiring in real time, like a rapport Bob experienced at one of the early lectures he attended. "Something phenomenal happening with people was the norm. People would have intense dreams between the first and second meeting they attended. At the meetings or after the meeting, somebody would be troubled and go sit in the corner. And the next thing you know you'd see them weeping."

Bob was having a lot of dreams of Rose during the early days. Bob relates one such dream where he came out of blackness into the lighted clearing that he later learned was an unused racetrack at the Rose farm. The mood Bob remembers was picking Rose up, feeling his good intentions, his friendship, and compassion. "Whatever doubts I had about the personality, those were superficial compared to the gut-level perception of who this person was. The other part of it was some earthshaking thing that had happened to me. I couldn't remember it in the dream, but I remembered that he brought me through it." Bob says years later that he viewed it as a dream of an enlightenment experience of a future state.

He would get overwhelmed by moods of nostalgia and that all the possibilities of life were at his doorstep, and he wanted to embrace the world. Something would happen the majority of time that Bob was around Rose. In the first 6 years where Bob was more openly dedicated, working together with Rose and running groups, "I was the pupil and Rose was the teacher. I could sense that he could project his mind and he was mentally poking around looking for an opening."

Bob said his ability to pick up on Rose was dependent on Rose's state of mind. "I think that's part of where the notion of transmission came from, because he always talked about that. Zen transmission, the realization that the teacher had had was with the teacher all the time, and it was a process of getting inside each other's heads. And all the years, I never consciously had a thought that I was going to do this, that I was going to try to get inside his head and have an experience. For all I know, he might have been making some mental effort of his own all the while he was talking … or that he was outwardly focusing on people, struggling, straining to constantly think about people, trying to understand how they thought, what their problems were, how he could help them—and so focused in that regard that maybe a lot of this stuff was just an automatic outgrowth."

He relates a story of living in Columbus, 20 years old, trying to establish a group there under a lot of tension. Rose would come over from West Virginia, and this always increased the tension for him. "I had gotten home from work, about 5:30. There were some people in the kitchen…. There was some time before we had to go to the meeting … killing time before we had to leave. I sat down on the couch across the room from him. And I became very agitated. He was just sitting there with his eyes closed, resting or taking a nap. And after just a few moments I was frozen in the chair. I couldn't move, and I was becoming more agitated, and my mind started to speed up…. The nature of my thoughts at the time was very introspective, looking at my self, 'Why do I have tension, why do I get upset before I have to run these meetings, what am I doing with my life at the moment?' I was defining my personality in my own mind. And the side thought was, 'He's causing this.' There was no blatantly overt sign that I could say unequivocally: 'Mr. Rose you're doing this, and I know that you're doing it, and now you know that I know.' But this went on for 10 or 15 minutes. At one point it got to such an intense level that I thought that there was literally a hand on my head … and this is like in my mind, but it was a physical sensation, turning my head around. And as my head was turning, I was becoming more feverishly intense, fearful, and my thought was: 'My God, I'm going to see myself. And if my head turns all the way around, I really will.' And at that point I kept hoping that it wouldn't happen. It was very traumatic. And I kind of tensed up and paused for a while, and initially it subsided. Shortly after, Rose got up and went into the kitchen. And there's no doubt in my mind that he caused it. I looked at it as, 'I had an opportunity to have any experience there.' I rejected it, assuming that it's possible to reject it (I'm not sure that it is). It's true that one has a choice in that matter, but let's just say that I was blocked. Whether I blocked myself, or wasn't ready, who's to say?"

Bob tells of a letter he wrote to Rose of doubts about following "the life," and Rose wrote back, "Yes, I see the doubts in your eyes before they're spoken. What causes you to doubt is my personality. I am what the acid of life has left in the pot." Bob tells of the first time he left Rose's farm and moved to Beltsville, Maryland—wondering why he always left and came back to face the same obstacles. He was broke from working on the TAT Journal. He wrote a letter about this to Rose and didn't hear back from him, which wasn't that unusual, as Rose didn't always answer letters. A year went by, and Bob was living in Baltimore, working as a printing estimator. "I came home one day, I walked into the house, and there was this overwhelming feeling that he was in the house—the same kind of feeling that I always picked up in his house in Benwood. I'd walked into that house in Benwood occasionally when he wasn't at home. It was like the place was permeated with his presence. Kind of hard to explain … everything about a place just conveys something about the persons who lived there for five hundred years. The feeling was so strong that it bothered me. I honestly half-expected to walk around the corner and see him in the living room. I got the thought that maybe something had happened to him … maybe he was dying. It may have been the only time that I followed up on a feeling like that, it was so strong. I called Benwood to see if anything was wrong. And he answered the phone, and I told him why I was calling, and he kind of said 'Wow.' Rose had just found a pile of mail on the top of his refrigerator, and had just found that letter. He had never opened the letter, so it was nine months to a year later that he was reading this letter. And while he was reading this letter, because it was a personal letter he was thinking about me. And maybe he just felt a little bad based on the contents of the letter that he hadn't read it earlier. I had stuff like that happen to me for as long as I knew him. I would just feel him at a distance."


The complete Part 3 of the interviews

 

 

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