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Gurus

Gurus My first night in Bombay, sleeping on the woven mat cot, a small lizard dropped on my forehead.  “Yeow!” I jumped. “What happened?” I heard from the other room. “A lizard landed on my head!” “Very auspicious,” they said, laughing.   In the hot summer of 1971, at age 26, I had left my seminary to tour India with my guru/friend, Dr. Vasavada, and to meet his guru, the Blind Saint of Vrindivan. By the time I got my funeral director’s license in 1967…

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Bodies

Bodies I saw life and death in bare detail working for a funeral home. The dead body, having festered for four days, reeked.  The stench of its rotting flesh filled the embalming room and, unavoidably, my breathing. Fortunately, in such situations, our smell system overloads and goes numb after a half hour. When a person dies, their body dies gradually.  At first, the stagnant blood turns blue and the body heats up.  Rigor mortis sets in after about four hours, lactic acid locking the muscles. …

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Edsel

Edsel The unveiling of Ford’s new mystery car, the Edsel, was to have been a momentous occasion.  Instead, it was a big embarrassing flop that would mark a dwindling of the car capital of the world – Detroit. Born Hiroshima Day in nearby Pontiac, it seemed to me all the cars in the world seemed to come from Detroit.  During the Second World War, Ford Motors had produced one B-24 an hour out of its massive Rouge River Plant, iron and aluminum in one end,…

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