In memory---

I got the news tonight that an old and dear friend of my mother's and mine had died, peacefully, in his sleep, on September 11.  He was 81.
I began to cry; I had been thinking of when to visit Berkeley, in great part to visit him.
I lit a yarhrziet candle, chanted El Malei Rachamim, exchanged stories with Netanel, who knew him as well.  
And now I will tell you the story of how he first came into our lives.

It was 1968, and our lives had become completely upended.
We had spent months as volunteers at the A.R.E. in Virginia Beach---the center for studying the readings of the late psychic, Edgar Cayce.
I had taken a leave of absence from college.  My mother was considering changing her life, but didn't know what form it should take. We gave up the apartment in Philadelphia where we had lived for eight years, and lived out of suitcases.

She had somehow gotten herself onto a sailing regatta on Long Island Sound.  
An inexperienced sailor, she got knocked off the boat when the boom came around, seriously hurting her back.  She asked her friend Theo, a theater person, where to go to for help, figuring rightly that professional actors knew these things.  He referred her to Stanley Keleman, a practicing chiropractor at the time.  
He did indeed fix her back.  She said she could feel distinct streams of heat from his hands.  He held one hand up to a dark pillow, and she could see streams of blue light pouring from his fingers.

At one point, he began saying, "There's this class in a studio of...no, never mind; that would be too much for you."
To which, of course, my mother responded as he knew she would: "Oh yeah?"

At the scheduled time, she climbed the stairs to a dance studio, going through the swinging doors into a darkened large room.  She described later what she saw:  a person in one corner writhing and groaning; another pounding and screaming; someone else retching, as if to throw up.
"My G-d," she thought, "this is a madhouse!"  
She turned to leave---which was right when Stanley entered.
She turned right around and stayed, unwilling to give him the satisfaction of seeing her chicken out.

The eventual upshot of this introduction to the wilder body-oriented therapies of the late 1960's was that my mother was accepted into a professional training program in psychomotor  therapy, in the middle of the year, with none of the prerequisites.  She graduated, and pursued the work of a dance therapist in one form or another for the rest of her life.  

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I will continue during the week writing of other gifts that flowed from this friendship over the years.
I am so grateful to have known Stanley.
I am so sad that I did not make it my businees to get to Berkeley in time to thank him one last time.