Wednesday, May 18th, 2016
Downtown Cleveland, Ohio
Abhimanyu Arjuna and I trekked from Beachwood to the downtown Public Square of Cleveland. It would be our rest stop, but renovations are underway so we continued on for the ideal relaxing location. At Superior Ave we were told by a city rep to not cross the road but to wait for three minutes while a movie stunt was being done for a 'Fast and Furious' sequel.
Okay! Something about racing cars is what Arjuna was saying. He says he likes the series. I resigned to say anything about the boring nature of fast cars. I don't even care much for slow cars.
Never cared much for basketball either. On my second installment of walking today Gopal accompanied me. He was clicking away with the camera as we passed by the stadium. The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Toronto Raptors were playing next. Still, this doesn't excite me as much as meeting people.
At mid-day Agnihotra treated us to her exceptional soya nuggets. I'm a bit warmed up now. And her husband, Avadhut, took us to the pilgrimage sites of Bhakti Tirtha Swami's earlier childhood. He died from cancer over ten years ago and was a dear friend to me. Known as John Favors, he was recruited to attend Hawken private school for boys. He was a remarkable student and he graduated at the high school the same year as classmate Jeff Briggar who took us for a tour of this thriving school.
We also drove to B.T. Swami's former home, or at least where the home was at 82nd St off of Kinsman, now an empty lot. The church he attended as a child is now boarded up.
Jeff did pull out a copy of the school's year book which opened to two pictures of B.T. Swami when he was John Favors. The write-up on him goes as follows.
"With his amazing strut, his flaming, iridescent, tapered, cuff-less, belt-less, sharkskin, electric, spray-paint, skin-tight, orange tubes (pants), his matching four-inch high-rolled-collar-turtleneck, offset by contrasting sport coat (belted in the rear), and alligator pinstripe shoes, John Favors came to Hawken. Underneath that sartorial splendor was a real student. Favors' contribution to every class was always impressive. He was one of the few seniors who studied during the day (or studied at all for that matter) and he could be found any time in his private carrel in the library. He appeared very quiet, perhaps a bit frightened by Hawken when he first arrived last September. His fear wore off in time yet despite his overt amicability, Favors remained somewhat estranged. It's possible that that is the way John wanted it. Regardless, Hawken and John learned something from each other."
Being in his places of the past and reading about my dear friend, I got excited.
May the Source be with you!