A Tribute to Bob Brown
by Marc Flayton
Hi my name is Marc Flayton. One day I was searching the Meher Baba Remembrances site to read about who died recently. I read about such wonderful spirits and felt lucky someone cared for them enough to want to tell the Baba world about them. Then I felt horrible: what about the guy who took care of the Center, built all those driftwood benches, built all the frames in every cabin, rebuilt the bridge and was caring for the Center since the late ’60s or early ’70s? What about Bob Brown? He was my friend and everyone’s, a close friend. Well, I e-mailed his widow, Jane Brown, he had died in 1993, and I said, We got to do something for Bob’s memory. She e-mailed me the same day:
I remember his warmth and his exceptional compassion.
He always went to the person who was being ignored or felt left out
He was an expert an the javalin as a teen…..
Taught himself guitar . . . loved John Sebastian.
Very much behind empowering women and was deeply disturbed by any level of abuse shown to a woman.
Wanted Baba more than anything.
Great to talk to about anything.
Loved St. Francis . . . aspired to be him.
Was very hard on himself if he had the slightest “bad” thought.
Was a foodie but felt too guilty to enjoy.
Very close to Baba’s Mehera. Bill Files said that he was the first man Mehera spoke to after she heard him sing “Here Comes Pure Love” on the porch. She told another friend that Bob REALLY loves Baba.
He loved nature shows.
Walked in his sleep.
Got bothered by spirits a lot.
Very blue blood.
Very tough childhood.
Wanted to be a rock star.
Very, very gentle.
Loved old women.
He had a rose garden and he would pick a rose and put it on each Center guest’s bedside table before they arrived. . . .
That’s all I can think of right now, sweetie. I am trying to find Father of My Song to copy for you . . . if I find a cassette I will send it.
I then asked Jane for the names of some of Bob’s most famous songs. I knew all his albums. Right now there is one CD with some of his songs. She sent me this e-mail. How I wish he were sitting here now with his slow, nasal voice singing to Baba:
Here are eleven:
Victory unto Thee
Meher Baba’s Love
Father of My Song
If I Follow You
Baba, Baba Wake Up
You Are Born to Every Man
You’re Here At Last
On my trips to Meher Center in Myrtle Beach, SC, I would always look for Bob in the workers’ shed down the road from the Refectory. If Bob and Jane weren’t cleaning cabins, Bob was at the shed creating something for the Center’s beauty. If you look around the Center and see beautiful driftwood benches to sit in a beautiful garden setting—Bob built those. Before Bob became a picture framer ,there were great pictures of Baba around, but Bob framed with glass and great wood frames many of the pictures in cabins and many more you see at the Center. Bob had many projects, all going at the same time. He never rested when it came to Baba.
One thought I want to share: Bob was so beloved by guests, workers, and everyone he met. When he was dying from brain cancer, in the last month, people found time to come and greet him for the last time. It was heart rendering, the love everyone had for Bob. I sat by his side noting the great souls waiting for Bob to cross over. Past the end of his bed stood such great beings that I myself was overwhelmed when I looked that way. There was an array of splashes of beautiful colors and the feeling of such great royalty.
When I die I want people to say nice things, about how I acted (no), about how I treated others (I don’t think so). If they can say anything, it would be that I loved Meher Baba. Bob Brown loved Baba the way I always felt, “Jeez, I would love to love God like him.” He loved God in the people, things, trees, animals. I hope someday to be able to love as he did.
For more photos, see Meher Baba Travels.