It would take a booklet to tell you all the happenings
from boarding Amtrak in Santa Barbara, Ca. (Nov. 8, 12:30 noon) until we
returned to the same spot 11 days later, at 4:30 P.M., and about as weary as
any two people ever NEED to get! Fortunately, our room reservations were
But first - a 'run-down' on what working for free for
Understanding Inc., can be like.
8th Nov. (A.M.) "Hurry! Repack clothes, you're going
into cold climate now: Load remainder into locked car trunk. Take 5 cartons
books and Understanding papers to station. Check them and personal luggage
through to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Hurry! Get the car to storage
and your pre-paid tickets checked. No time for lunch or you'll miss your
From 12:30 noon - relax now - have lunch and enjoy the
beauty of Cal., from the train's wide windows. Having ridden this route twice
before, it was my pleasure to show Dr. Fry the special views or the unexpected,
such as the places where the train tracks cannot be more than 3 or 4 feet from
the lapping waters of Puget Sound or some beautiful inlet. - Never, Never
let anyone tell you that ours is not an exquisite country. The pastoral scenes
are soothingly beautiful, the farms stretching as far as the eye can see and
carpeted gloriously green with young plants, rich brown earth patterned by
plows, in appealing designer, And - to see all the glory of the changing leaves
in many shades of green, wild scarlet and gold, so glowing as to seem to be on
fire! Secretly, I'd wept inwardly at having missed autumn, and suddenly, There
it was! Ah-h.
To wake at 6:30 next A.M., and behold a total Christmas
scene of a winter wonderland of snow covered regal evergreens, was shocking and
so silently beautiful! We were then at 6,000 feet and in an hour or so, would
again be approaching sea level.
At 6:30 (nite of 2nd day) we arr'd., at Seattle, Wash. We
had only 30 min., to claim 5 cartons (books) and 4 pc. luggage, get it on a
cart and then on board the bus to take us 3-1/2 hours farther to Vancouver,
B.C., Canada and through customs, where they began cutting open our boxes of
books, all of which were marked, "Lecture material and books." Gr-r-r!
My temperature was rising (rapidly!) and only after
I stated that Dr. Fry was due on their Jack Webster show at 8:30 A.M. next day, (and the customs lady phoned and verified) were our things retaped,
and we were allowed to proceed! (Ugh!)
One of the dearest friends we'll ever have, (25 years so
far) was waiting in the cold for us and took us to our quarters where we
unloaded all and were in bed about 1:00 A.M., only to be up at 5:30 A.M. and be
in the T.V. station at 7:30 A.M.! The next seven days seem to be a blur of
national T.V. networks and one 3 hr. radio program with call-in questioners. He
too, was a friend of 25 years and the program was just great and fine publicity
for Understanding, Inc. When I am in the T.V. Control room with the producer,
it is very satisfying to see "Dr. Daniel W. Fry, Intl. President of
Understanding, Inc." roll across the screen every 5 min. of a 30 min., or
1 hour show, and know it is being seen over most of Canada, just as our CBS,
NBC and ABC are seen coast-to-coast here. Being part of the Und'g. family, it
would have pleased you too.
Lectures were at night in different halls about this huge
city, except for an afternoon one at the University of British Columbia, in the
theatre-like auditorium packed with students perhaps 16 to 22 years of age. Dr
Fry spoke on the unpublished hazards of nuclear weapons, our world conditions
now, and what can happen without enough Understanding. He was loudly and
enthusiastically applauded. It was very satisfying, and who can say how
many wonderful seeds were planted in those fine alert young people
who are so seriously concerned with the world in which we live. They
were a delight to know, and made the travel, lack of sleep and hard work all
Eventually, we were again enjoying the beauty from
the train window, and finally in our reserved room in Santa Barbara where it
was raining and continued to for 1˝ days. We didn't care, for all we wanted was
peace, quiet and rest.
We had Thanksgiving ‘on - the - road' on the long drive
home, and we hope yours was wonderful, wherever you were and only with God's
help (and some of His helpers here) will I be able to tell you about those
crucial times in the Jan. '83 letter. How many cars do you think Dr. Fry has
worn out over the years, for Understanding, and how many sets of tires? Before
you ask, the answer is "NO! never has a car or set of tires been provided
or given by the board of directors, or by anyone else for. Dr. Fry's use But we
still believe in Santa Claus and God's Watchful eye and so we continue on..
For Christmas we personally send to each of you what we
have the most of for you, which is - our best wishes always - and our love and
I do believe that You will feel better when
you read Dr. Fry's beautiful and touching Christmas message, written for each
of the cherished members of this Understanding family of which YOU are a vital
A Christmas Reminder
"And she brought forth her first born son, and
wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger because there was no
room at the Inn."
How many times have these simple words been used at the
beginning of the Christmas story! Still, try as we may, we can find no better
way to start this one.
The entire history of Jesus of Nazareth, his birth, his
life and his ministry, is one of extreme simplicity and of constant rejection.
Born to parent without lands, wealth or social position, there was no room for Him
in the caste system of society that prevailed during His lifetime. Because He
stressed giving rather than receiving, there was no room for Him in the marts
of trade or the halls of the money changers. Because He preached humility and
condemned arrogance, He was shunned by the ruling classes. Because He said,
"Thou shalt love thine enemy," He was despised and denounced by those
in military service. Wherever He went, the answer was the same. "There is
no room in our society for anyone with ideals and philosophy that are so
completely contrary to every rule of success we have ever been taught."
Public indignation at the apparent perversity of his teachings eventually
reached the point where He was seized, tried for treason against the 'State',
subjected to public ridicule, humiliation and various forms of physical
torture. He was condemned, not by the ruling hierarchy of the day, but by the
voice of His own people. He was executed by the most painful and ignominious
method possible, and finally, was buried hastily in a borrowed tomb!
The centurion who had supervised the execution undoubtedly
walked away muttering, "That is the last we will ever hear of that foolish
Nazarine and his ridiculous teachings!"
Today, almost two thousand years later, hundreds of
millions of people throughout the world, spend many hours of their time and
much of their money preparing to celebrate the birth of this simple man, and
the God given philosophy which is now preached everywhere, even though most of
it has never been put into practice. Mankind has found room for Jesus of
Nazareth in thousands of churches, large and small; hundreds of huge and
magnificent cathedrals and countless monuments. If man could only learn
to make room in his heart for the simple but Divine truths which Jesus
taught. His task would, at last, be finished, and Earthman might even be
considered as a successful species.
During the present Christmas season, while we rush around
in our annual struggle to complete those tasks and duties which have come to be
traditional at this time, why don't we try, for a few days, or even for a few hours,
to actually put into effect the teachings of the One whose birth we
celebrate. I am sure that all of you have sent gifts and Christmas greetings to
your loved ones,. your relatives and your friends, but how many of you have
sent a gift or a greeting to an enemy or to one whom you dislike? Yet this is
exactly what Jesus said everyone should do. Supposing each of you picked out the
one they most disliked, and sent film or her, your nicest Christmas card? Does
that sound silly? Try it t anyway. It will give you a brand new feeling, and put
new sincerity in your voice the next time you sing a Christmas carol!
(signed Daniel W. Fry)