Angels II (Originally cont’ Oct.3, 2009, from Angels Appear as Earthly Messengers)
I had suffered from a cold when I closed my eyes and settled into my seat for meditation. I hurt and ached from the illness, perhaps even had a slight fever when I rapidly descended into a deep zone. My thoughts came to a stop, my shoulders, neck and other parts of a tense body grew limp and thoroughly relaxed. I slowly felt the mind and the body joining in a “slow down,” where I would find that state of nothingness that allows me to simply Be In The Moment .
It came easy, quickly and surprisingly deeper than I normally realized . . . I was light, airy and full of energy as I began to float with nary a care in the world or a worry about the future. The air began to spin slightly and then more rapidly until I felt myself in the center of a whirlwind, a twister carrying me higher and higher into space and beyond.
I looked into the origin, the bottom part of this funnel-like air mass and I started to see individuals I have known throughout my life. But there was an aura around each person, almost like a professional ballplayer on the old bubble-gum baseball cards. Each and everyone was a hero! Each of their accomplishments with me were highlighted and appeared with a warm glow surrounding them. They had nothing in common except their contact with me over a 40 to 50-year period.
I saw Jackie Toy, still the older teenager who introduced me to the old rhythm and blues singing groups of the mid and late ’50s. He was some four years older than me when he shared his love of harmony, singing the background parts of songs by the Spaniels, the Harptones and the Cadillacs. We sang “Gloria,” “Zoom,” “Since I fell For You,” and most of the standards produced by the early Rock & Roll Black singing groups.
Jack’s original group had split up. They had sung with such well-known recording artists as Howard Melvin and the BlueNotes, as well as the O’Jays, both part of what was later called the “Philly Sound” of Gamble and Huff. (I would later meet Gamble’s brother at a PTSD program — [we were roommates!] –, but that’ll be in another story about “Grunts.”)
Rather than go out of the neighborhood to draft others, he focused on the “young heads” who listened to him and his group practicing on the corners of North Philadelphia. Some, with a little talent, picked up the sounds easily and had enough interest at age 12 and 13 to try and mimic their voices, learning the words to “Stormy Weather,” “The 10 Commandments of Love,” and “The Chapel of Love.”
(See Part III at angels 3)