Iris Perla works the book table--which she also kept well supplied with little candies!


Question: You've managed the book table these two weeks, Iris?

Iris: Not really managed it. Just worked at it. Baba managed it!

Question: How did you get involved in this project?

Iris: Well, in the newsletter (of the Meher Baba Center of Northern California), I saw that Irwin was asking for volunteers. I called him up and I asked him. This is kind of funny. I told him I could work on Thursdays, so he put me down. And then I thought,"Maybe they might be short other days!"
         So I called him and he said Karen Talbot was handling it. So I said, "If they're short, you could plug me in for other days." So he told Karen, "I have someone who wants to work every single day!"
         Then Irwin told me I was working every single day. I told him "No Wednesdays." So every single day but Wednesday. So that's how I was recruited. And the other thing that was funny was, when Karen was setting up, she would put somebody 3 to 7, and somebody else 7 to 11, but Irwin never told me that, he said "You have to be there 3 to 11!"
         So I was very lucky, I got to work 3 to 11 almost every single day!

Question: I've come on weekends, and I've noticed this groundswell, gradually. Can you describe what it's been like for you, from the beginning till now? The momentum, I guess I mean.

Iris: There were fewer people in the beginning, but even though there were fewer people, it was very nice. I was just reading this wonderful book, Meher Baba's Next Wave, and it has all these wonderful stories about people who came to Baba after He passed. I was reading Jeff Wolverton's story, and he was talking about when he first found out about Baba, at a New York meeting, his first meeting, and there was a picture of Baba on the wall, and the picture kind of came alive. And he felt all the Love coming from the picture. And then he noticed Baba's eyes going around the room, looking at every person at the meeting. And said, "When Baba looked at each person, it was like each one of them was His absolute, personal favorite."
        So, even though Irwin may have been a bit disappointed because more people didn't come, I think Baba wanted it just this way, because each of them kind of got personal attention. Pascal and Victor were walking around talking to people, and I think Baba was seeing each one as special, so He wanted to give them personal attention. If thousands of people came, they wouldn't have gotten that personal attention. So it was each time a little bit more, but even I think for the 4th of July show maybe only 5 people. But that was just perfect, too. Baba was orchestrating the whole thing, so it was just perfect.

Question: And then, this last week?

Iris: Yeah, the crowds have been more. I think I'm so concentrated on what book people want, and giving it to them, that I'm not paying any attention to what else is going on. But it's nice tonight because somebody said to me, "Oh, look at the big crowd around Irwin!" Tonight was the first night where there was a big crowd around him, so they thought that was really nice.
        But my favorite moment was on Silence Day, when the Sufis started to sing the American Arti. Jeannie was with me, at the book table, and she looked at me and she goes, "Oh, my God, did you feel that?" and I said, "I think I'm gonna start to cry!", 'cause with the Sufis singing, it was like it brought Baba right into the room, and it was amazing. I was afraid I'd start crying all over the books that I was supposed to be selling, but thank goodness I didn't. All three times that day, when they sang the American Arti, it was like Baba was right in the room.

Question: That's beautifully put, Iris. What books have people been buying the most of?

Iris: Hmmm. I just know the least! There was only one Wayfarers  that we sold. We sold the most of  The Silent Master (note: the book compiled and presented to Baba by Irwin Luck) and the little book that was only $2.25, Life At Its Best.
        Another thing I want to add, something very beautiful I noticed was how Baba would seem to bring to the table just the right combination of people at the right time. For example, one night Farhad (Shafa) was there, and who should come by but Kati, a new Baba-lover from Iran. Farhad told story after story about such things as the Prem Ashram. It was so beautiful to observe that sort of thing.

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