Posts Tagged ‘Scott Ferguson’

by James C. Stephens


Tuesday, November 27, 1979

Frustration would have been yesterday’s caption on my diary if I had written it. No doubt about it. Yet this morning I again am in contact with that tremendous world of conviction, confidence and freshness. How silly I am at time, or how willy nilly life is. I’ve been swayed by at least a couple of the eight winds. Yet I feel like a young sapling able to learn a lesson from the wind.

It is not the beautiful curtains, yard, paintings on the wall that makes a person happy. Yesterday I felt closed in by my environment, desirous of escaping. This morning again I feel boundless, free as the wind, as fresh as the sun in the new day. As I look up the sun greeted me with memories of Nichiren. The sky is dark and overcast yet the sun manages to burn through. It is never defeated, but burns even more brightly against the gloomy skies. I too am determined to become a beacon for all.

A great man is not held back by his own preconceptions, but can change and alter his course when he recognizes a better path.

I love my parents. I love my father. Yet he does not know what he desires to do. I must be firm. To become wealthy is not to pursue wealth. Rather it is a spiritual state. On Sado Nichiren declared even in the midst of suffering that he was the happiest man or the richest man in Japan.

Starting the first of the year I will start my business. However it will not be a conventional start. First, I desire to earn money for the propagation of Buddhism. It has been my excuse in the past not to give gokuyo because I didn’t know where it went as far as NSA. This was understandable. What is regrettable is my failure to see that the temple is a direct link to Nichiren Daishonin and that I have failed to lend my support. I (we) will begin as soon as possible.

I feel no real negativity towards NSA as I did in the past, however at present I feel NST is more open and understandable to myself. The layman’s organization is in a period of flux.

I am convinced 1980 is going to be challenging beyond my expectations. I am also determined to see my effort bear fruit this year (1980).

Tuesday, December 4, 1979

Record High for this date of 91 degrees.

Jean Claude KillyRon called tonight from Bend. He and Pam are doing fine. Ron is pretty busy with coordinating his race program at Bachelor. He sounds quite happy. I’m so glad things are going better for him. He said he’s the best skier on the mountain. He’s already beat the new Frenchman in a series of races. (The Frenchman was on the French “B” team). Ron and I talked about his attitude towards his racers. He said many will never move on to competitive careers so it is a program helping kids build their character. He however does have some pretty hot material. A couple of his guys are at the National Camp at Gunnison, Colorado this week. Ron also said there is so much ski politics up there, but for the most part he stays out of them. He is now also the Rossignol On the Hill Rep.

(Liz) Sweets got her hair cut today. At first it was hard to get used to, but now I like it. Basically, all I have been up to the last several days are drafting projects. (When people ask why my printing is so neat, I tell them mechanical drafting and hours and hours of practice and the excellent teaching of Neil Weikel).

Liz has been having some stomach type problems. Hasn’t had her period recently. Pregnant? Who knows?

Sweets and I went to Bodhi Tree Bookstore Friday night. Picked up a few good finds. Sacred Books of the East, Vol. XXXV and XXVI: Questions of King Milinda; Korzebsky: Science and Sanity; Watts, Psychotherapy East and West, Wisdom of Insecurity and last but not least the Kama sutra.

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“X” called Monday night. Talked about movement. Idea of a support group~West Coast Movement with about 250-350 supporters. Network-Gadfly important. Let’s get started.

Talked to Scott Ferguson-receptive of the idea. Ken Tapola-definite yes. Out of Navy now working at Dunlop as a machinist.

Worried about “X.” I’m afraid he’s not tackling his own personal life and goals. This could be dangerous for him and his family. I sincerely hope he is not just avoiding his own reality. I’m just concerned as a friend.

Thought about Walter Moeck tonight. He used to be the Brass Band conductor. Mike Lisagor gave him a terrible time. I will never forgive him for that. Must write Walter a letter! (Walter Moeck was the summer conductor of the Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra and was my clarinet teacher. He was strict, but kind. May he rest in peace).

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Monday, December 17, 1979

Hi Diary! How are you this fine day! I hope you’re well rested and happy.

Last week I took Liz to the Doctor. Gary said she wasn’t pregnant as of yet, but gave her a week and said to bring in an urine specimen and they’d run another test. Since the day of the test she hasn’t been feeling nauseated. I’m happy for that is a lousy feeling.

Saturday night we had a Christmas party and you know all the preparation that takes. Liz made over 100 invites and I framed pictures, helped clean the house, etc., etc., etc.

Liz bakes lots of cookies (They were excellent by the way and made a superb spaghetti. There was lot of food and a whole ton of people.

People starting arriving around 4:00. First, Adrianna, Liz’s sister. She’s such a big help! She helped out tremendously. Next around 5:30, X. He started out drunk and as the night wore grew intolerable for many of the guests. He is quite an unusual character. Harmless, but with a build of 6’5″ and with a laugh so loud you’d better put up shoring around your house before he comes over. In any case the party was an interesting and festive experience nonetheless. I’ll get this out now. We had been working on an idea together as far as what can be done to help support the organization. He has been pushing to form a support group of 200-350 people who can offer suggestions to the Executive planning board from an organized power group. I had my reservations. #1. I have and still question X’s true intent at this point. I do not get the true feeling he is committed to this serious goal. I feel, and this is my intuitive feeling, that he is using the organization as an escape from his own reality. His situation at home is not conducive to running a reform movement. His wife is not well, finances are in really bad shape, they have children, beautiful at that, and he has several misconceptions about the faith. His Gongyo is very poor, health poor and drinking a severe problem. Now this is not all. His business dealings with people has left several people in highly critical situations. His construction business left one family without a kitchen, etc. and near a divorce after spending $15,000. He is a man of talk, not action. It is the last party we can afford him to attend. It is not however the end of our friendship. He needs support and what I can offer, I will. Besides him; Liz and I feel very much love towards his wife who is a tremendous women of the highest caliber. She is under much stress at present and her health is poor. I wish her all the best.

Bob Rafkin stopped by before work and dropped off a pie which was really nice of him. We talked briefly. His career is doing better once again. His divorce proceedings will occur in February.

Others who made it: Darlene Benson, Steve and Ronalee Haggard, Chris Scott, sure was good to see him, he was hobbling on a cane, having trouble with the knee he hurt in Rugby. He wanted to know what was happening with the literary group. I told him everyone but me sort of petered out. He’s still interested, so we’ll start again soon. He said his house could also facilitate such a meeting.

Vincent Wong, Michael Roquemore (we had a good chat and he had a fine talk with Linda Valles, his former roommate for many years); Michael also expressed an interest in Judy. I forgot to mention Steve H remarked on my Alan Watts books and his own interest in Zen Buddhism. I found this to be exciting. Steve and Ronalee and Liz and I get along well together and have a good relationship. Steve and I played racquetball week before last. It was my first time and I did quite well. Last week I spent many hours drafting away. I worked through one night and didn’t get to sleep until 9:30 AM.

Who else came? Lets’s see, there was Jeff Silver, Linda Dekowski-very nice gal who is a friend of Jeff’s, Devorah Sorrell, Pat Kremer, Guy Boudoin, Katie Newman-we talked business-she’s a wonderful woman. Bruce Barnes and Maggie DeLux-they’re engaged to be married, Ric and Bethany Coleman, Les Steinberg and his mother Lillian, Kelly, Shawna, Judy Gold and Glen-we had a great talk and it was so nice to see her. Glen is really jealous, so we really had no time to talk. Beth Minton and her boyfriend Michael came by, Karen Okata and her friend, Kate and her brother Randy Schindler; Ford Watson brought over a whole lot of food, very generous of him, Dion Dow and Nancy, Steve Seigal, Allan, Ron Kolman, Bobbie and Joey Gluskin, Alice and Sully, Jane Murad, Brent Wilson, Jason and Mary Jane Kovatch, Ed Nakata, Michael Hayes, Linda and Victor Valles and friend Sal, Thomas and Zadith Fresquez, Russ Isobe, John DeGomez, and Donald Hodges.

I stayed up til 3:30 talking with Jeff, Linda, Katie, Pat, Allen and Steve Seigal. Then from 3:30 to 6:30 cleaned up the house to surprise Sweets who’d retired to bed. We slept most of the day and enjoyed every moment of it.

Sunday evening we went out to a Moroccan Restaurant called Dharma Greg. It was a gathering with Les and Jeanette and her friends, Ric and Bethany, Elaine Geeler and her lawyer friend. Food was nowhere as good as at the Moon of Tunise and the atmosphere was less than comfortable-I suppose it was also the company. We did not enjoy ourselves quite frankly.

I’ve been listening to some really funny W.C. Fields cuts and also to some famous bloopers, they’re great!

Anyway, Goodnight.

 

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by James C. Stephens


November 18, 1979 

 File1985
“Mom and Sully took Liz and I to our first Laker’s game today, and what a first time! Sully knows the owner of the Phoenix Suns Richard Block and Richard Block quite often gives Sully his tickets. Our four seats were right on the court. The Lakers played the Indiana Pacers. Today was evidently one of the Laker Girl’s (cheerleaders) first debutes. We watched Kareem Abdul Jabar and Magic Johnson, Nixon, Wilkes, etc., play some fancy ball. It was great entertainment, and I was so happy to watch Liz yelling and enjoying herself.

Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabaar

We all had a drink in the Forum Club also. Definitely a nice benefit of being invited. Afterwards Sully and Mom took Liz and I out to dinner at Petracelli’s restaurant on Sepulveda. Pretty good food. Did you know that Sully was raised in a family of 22 children? Unreal! When Sully said he had dozens of brothers he wasn’t kidding. His brother died last year at the age of 93. Sully will be 61 on Wednesday, November 21st.

Liz and I also were heir to two tickets to a Charity dinner and dance at General Lee’s in Chinatown given by the Young Chinese Women’s Association. Katie Newman couldn’t make it so she called and asked us if we would like to go. Sure. It was a very nice occasion, nine course meal (very, very tasty at that) and Liz and I got to do a little disco dancing. Afterwards we dropped by Bruce’s on Shoreline. He announced to us his engagement to Maggie DeLux, super nice gal.

Saturday, Liz, Vincent, Kirk (Cal Tech grad student) and I went to the Spa. Kirk showed us more about how to use the weight machines than any instructor ever had.

Friday night was Liz’s last night at Grandview GTE school for equipment repair, so I checked out Santa Monica Group meeting. Gave Pat Shaw a ride. The meeting was a complete farce. Also saw and met this Tim (Thomas) Payne from North Hollywood. His slide show on Buddhism was degrading and very sloppy. I was not impressed. The gent can not take criticism, even constructive at that. Liz and I went out afterwards to the Magic Pan. Food about a 3.

Saturday night we witnessed a crime. Mexicans in a beige Dodge van ahead of us got out and batted out all the windows of a Toyota and drove away. I, well we went through a big dilemma of whether to report it or not since we did not get the license number. At first we feared reprisal (we lived directly across the street where we would normally have turned into our driveway, but drove on past so they did not associate our green Westfalia VW quite recognizable with our address as witnesses), but realized that you couldn’t allow fear to run or ruin one’s life. Sort of like the Nazguls, the ringwraiths in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. It is not fair to the criminals to let them get a way with thinking life is so simple. Also cause and effect. Hopefully someday if we need protection we will be repaid by the universe. Not that we expect it. I now realize the fear of reprisal syndrome you hear New Yorker’s talk of. It is definitely a battle of justice and evil. One that takes courage to fight. However, even though we reported the crime I believe the victim’s probably did not. It seems it is an in-house thing between Mexicans. (In retrospect, I could be horribly wrong). It’s a shame their dealings tend to be so violent. I dare say it will be a cold day in hell before you find me hanging around places like East L.A. Unfortunately gang violence is now at our back door literally.

(Note: Well, that all changed when I became a Christian. I spent time in Watts with an ex Hell’s Angel arms dealer “Wolf” (Steve Johnson) at a deserted crack house restoring it for recovering addicts, and led Julian my neighbor, who used to be a hit man for the Mexican Mafia to the LORD. He had tried to drown his troubles in the bottle, and was miraculously saved, filled with the Holy Spirit and sober for the first time he could remember. His family history was traced back to Pancho Villa, the notorious bandito. When he passed away, it was requested I assist in his funeral service in East LA. I absolutely loved the guy. When our family suffered a retaliatory eviction, he said, “Do you want me to burn the place down? I will.’ I told him, no, as Christians we must forgive, but I appreciate your loyalty. He did a lot of excellent work on our home and furniture).

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The Iranian situation is a sad disgrace to the human race. A “religious” leader Ayatollah Khomeini  endorsing international blackmail and the takeover of a U.S. Embassy in Iran. It is unfortunate we have the Shah of Iran in our country, but the manner in which the Iranians have chosen to handle the situation is terrorist and unforgivable. It is the action of an irrational animal and may the universe see the safety of the American hostages. Iranians by the 100’s of thousands have been demonstrating against the U.S. Government and are now emphasizing that it is not against American citizens, but the American Government. Unfortunately their program doesn’t fit, since it is American citizens that are being held hostage. I can understand their hate of the Shah, but Jesus, what terrible tactics. We shall not back down and we shall not forget. The Iranians are acting like barbarians. What a terrible name they are making for good Iranians around the world.

Goodnight.

P.S. Couple of other items-Aunt Lil, Bel and Doris here from Israel. Liz, Adri, and I had dinner Friday in October with them. Very nice meeting them. They love Adri and LIz very much and we spent a great deal of time talking about past experiences. I was fascinated.

Liz and I made a tape the following day of some of her past experiences.

Had a Pot Luck Discussion meeting at our house. Bob Rafkin and Debra, Scott and Michele, Vincent, Lydia, Bruce and Maggie, Vic and Marta, Katie Newman, Mike Roquemore, Darlene Benson, Liz and I.

It was an interesting experience. However not much Buddhist dialogue transpired.

Vic and Marta and Eric spent the night. Vic, Marta and I had a meaningful conversation late into the night.

Had a dinner at our house for Sharon, Ruthie, Rebecca, Jane Murad, Liz, Adri and I. Okay. Sharon needs to loosen up definitely.

 

 

 

 

by James C. Stephens


Wednesday, July 4, 1979

Liz and I slept in this morning and enjoyed each other’s company. I needed it a lot. For the past two weeks we have been going bananas. I started training school for General Telephone about two weeks ago and we start class at seven each morning. So currently we are getting up early to chant, make a lunch and breakfast.

Sunday, we attended Kosenrufu Gongyo at the First Headquarters on Lincoln at 10:00. Gongyo was really invigorating, what Gary McCarty had to say was not. It seemed to pull my energy level down, maybe it was just my experience (that’s true enough) however I was not alone I found out later. Afterwards we had a Chapter Open Forum which was quite moving and cut through through the garbage. It accomplished quite a lot in the field of communication.

At 5:00 pm we had our first Literary Group meeting of 1979. It was attended by Liz, Michelle, Scott Ferguson, Chris Scott, and Bruce Barnes. The book was T.H. White’s Once and Future King.

July 9, 1979

I am the master of my own destiny.

Truthfully, I am not enjoying customer rep. training school. It is a real drain on the energy. Liz said it was the pits so I’ll see how the regular job is. One thing I know and that is I must financially progress as well as be happy with my job. Being excited about my job is very important to me. I need to be creative, as well as productive.

Friday night I went to the first team meeting. There I decided against doing the team.* My intuition says no. For the first two hours of the meeting I gave myself permission to find reasons to take the team. I was open and decided not to participate in this particular growth experience. Not to list reasons, but I feel I have not got the time to participate in such an activity. I did this in Phase I of NSA activities and although it was a valuable experience I do not wish to repeat it just to repeat it. It’s alright for people who have not had the experience. (Will continue later).

*Actualization’s Communication Team was an additional experience where one was part of a recruiting team for future workshops. One had to repeat over and over, until one was comfortable to ask for $650 for a four day Actualization’s workshop. Many other activities were involved as you were being brought into the Actualization’s inner environment.

August 1979 (no exact date)

Don’t forget Michael Roquemore, Liz and I put on a tremendous film night in Santa Monica where we screened “Ikiru” (“to live!) directed by Akira Kurosawa. The event was an Actualizations’ Review. This was during the reign of some girl after Michael Crenshaw left.

Strange how you forget names you don’t really feel impressed by. Oh it was Kim something. Unfortunately Actualizations lost one very great man, Michael Crenshaw. What a great loveable fellow.

I gave him a call in San Francisco. Left a message that we give him our love. He returned call to us. Unexpressable beauty in that human being.

The preview was held in a beautiful hall in Lincoln Park. Very successful event. We came away feeling damn wonderful.

 

by James C. Stephens


Monday, December 19, 1977

Played ping pong for several hours with Danny, Brent (Wilson), Koichi and I. Attended Christmas party til late at Vicki Pierce’s. Liz ill, caught my flu.

Talked to Jeff Silver. He called. We talked for about an hour. I was really encouraged and so happy to hear his improvement in his faith. He really brought me out of a dark lonely spot that evening.

Tuesday, December 20, 1977

Danny (Nagashima) ill-caught same flu as I. Attended West L.A. planning meeting. I was so elated and surprised at the change in the spirit of their district in the past 3 months.

Talked to Terry Steinhardt about Jason and YMD in general.

Wednesday, December 21, 1977

Woke up at 10:50 to rain. Benefit. Library committee. Bruce and I met at Liz’s. Listened to tape. Left at 10:30PM picked up Bill Evans and visited Ira Zahler in the valley. I feel among the three of us, we left him in an encouraged state. One by one!

Thursday, December 22, 1977

YMD planned January schedule and new goals for 1978.

Friday, December 23, 1977

Rain. Liz and I visited Scott and had take out Chinese dinner with him. Very nice evening.

Saturday, December 24, 1977

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My Mother Alice and her cousin Tony Dow at traditional Christmas Eve Party

Family Xmas eve. Tony, Carol, Dion, Juice, Muriel, Johnny Dow, Mom, Sully, Liz and I. Nice evening.

Sunday, December 25, 1977

Xmas Day.

Lazy holiday. ug. Liz, Mom, Adrianne and I saw movie Choirboys and had pleasant dinner at Benihana’s Japanese Restaurant. Had fun. Liz and I had a couple small differences, but were able to discuss them.

Monday, December 26, 1977

Merry Christmas Scrabble

Lazy holiday. Watched football, played Scrabble, enjoyed each other’s company. 6 pm met Tracy regarding invitations for wedding. 7-8 pm got names for invites from No. Hollywood and Valley.

Tuesday, December 27, 1977

Raining. Stayed at Liz’s, washed dishes, poor feeling inside, somewhat disconnected. Must renew my determination! Called Danny, Mrs. Bell. I called Russ Dilando tonight re: Wedding best man. I received a strange feeling from him. I sincerely am worried about his practice. I felt very lonely as if I carried a great responsibility.

It’s raining hard. I feel 1978 is bringing with it a winter of struggle, but with the promise of great growth and victory. Fresh start. Never forget. Honnin’myo!

Wednesday, December 28, 1977

My life is so hard to get going! But to start a train with many cars requires great effort. I must try harder, only victory, only suffering, only human revolution. I’m discovering weaknesses which until now I have avoided.

ATTACK!

Friday, December 30, 1977

Raining. Determined to chant six hours today. Only chanted four.

Saturday, December 31, 1977

Yesterday I figured I would have to chant four hours per day to reach a million daimoku by February 18, the date of my wedding. Only chanted one and a half today.

Wednesday after discussion meeting I had volunteered to help clean the World Culture Center on New Year’s Evening Day, today. I arrived a few minutes late. Mr. Williams had done a special ABC Gongyo with the cleaners. He gave us a special name. He called us the “Gold Mine Group.” He elaborated on the principles of helping clean the center and said we should carry the same spirit with us everywhere. After you clean here, let’s make our home shine, too. Honnin’myo. Consistent from beginning to end.

Our group was in charge of cleaning basement and outside. We are foundation group (we called ourself). After we did the outside windows, I worked for awhile cleaning up the garden indoors.

Liz and I had a small disagreement and both went through several changes after I had decided to clean my house in correspondence with Mr. Williams’ guidance.

She left me off at home. I felt regretful of my attitude. I determined to never again be so selfish, and to be considerate. I should be strong. This is my human revolution!

We did evening gongyo together and went to two parties for New Year’s, West Hollywood Chapter.

by James C. Stephens


Tuesday, March 22, 1977

It is with a solid determination and growing confidence that I begin Volume #9 of my diary.

Last evening, I sorted out some old paper items that I had collected over the years. I read some papers I had written in college. I must confess that my level of understanding was not as high as I had thought. This was to me a profound realization of the wisdom and awakening my life has gained from an assiduous practice to the Gohonzon following President Ikeda’s guidance through the encouragement of Mr. Williams and my leaders.

Every since I have began to put President Ikeda’s guidance related by Mr. Izumi on eliminating slander into practice, it has been as if the veil was slowly coming off my eyes and I was seeing the world for the first time.

I have been experiencing a flowering of benefits, probably conspicuously important to me in my practice. One of, nay most of my members have been developing their faith and practicing. Kudoshin is the word I am trying to use. Scott Ferguson and I have been going to World Tribune Correspondent’s meetings. Our friendship is growing. I can say now that the friends I have always been seeking throughout my life are appearing. I believe it is in keeping with the emergence of the life of Buddha within my own life.

For the first time in my practice I actually talked and got guidance alone from Mr. Kikimura (with Scott). He read my World Tribune experience I was working on. Said I have to work on reporting.

The next is a many faceted benefit. On February 16, Mr. Williams attended a Marina Chapter study meeting at our Chiku (district house) on Jasmine Street. Many of my YMD attended this meeting. What was interesting was the fact that Scott Ferguson had prepared a letter to Rejicho regarding the Literary Group we had started. He invited Mr. Williams to a meeting of this group and put me as the founder and included my phone number.

As I walked into my home around 10:30 that night, my father was sitting by the phone at the dinner table looking asleep, but was awake. He casually remarked as it was an everyday occurrence, that Mr. Williams called for me and he had a chat with him. I of course was extremely excited, but questioning what it was about. I tried to reach him at the Headquarters, but without success. He had left for home. About a week later after much guidance I was fortunate enough to talk to Rejicho at the Study exam. Mr. McCloskey introduced me to him in the proctor’s room. He conveyed his happiness at my endeavor and offered some guidelines for the group and said he would like to attend a meeting in the near future and would like to discuss a book on the basis of Human Revolution and Kosenrufu. “Try your best!”

I have proceeded to receive guidance on the direction of this group from fellow senior leaders. Soon I will be writing a memo to Rejicho on this subject.

This is a great benefit for my practice. I’m becoming more excited about this literary group at each meeting. So far we have read Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway and East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

I will keeping a more complete diary on the group meetings on each book.

As far as the Young Men’s Division of my chapter, it is my resolution to find many capable leaders for Kosenrufu. The final moments we spent with our General Director Mr. Williams pronounces my resolution. He said, “As a YMD centering on Mr. Hall, Homencho’s, Honbucho’s, Shibucho’s–develop yourself, don’t run out of breathe, run your pace, your way, your type, with Ku Doshin.”

I Resolve: To develop my self identity, to discover my potential and to develop and to raise many capable Young Men’s Division.

Again I resolve to become an outstanding member of the Liaison Division.

I resolve to put the 6 points of President Ikeda into practice. They are:

  1. Gosho first
  2. Unity first.
  3. Practice first.
  4. Shakubuku first.
  5. Eliminate onshitsu.
  6. Ku doshin first.

My resolution is for our chapter to carry out Sugano’s resolution of 1 shakubuku per YMD each month towards the next YMD Kosenrufu Day meeting on March 16, 1978.

We have 7 leaders. Our goal is 84 practicing new members in one year.

Sundays we will chant 2 hours and do Gongyo, and study towards that goals at the 1st Headquarters.

My goal is 3 hours of daimoku per day. Until then. Somehow, no matter how long it takes to build up to that I must return to the prime point of my faith-the relationship to my Gohonzon-Shitei Funi.

To become close to Mr. Williams. to develop the correct spirit of President Ikeda toward our literary group.

I chant for my members, my wife, my family and my business.

Somehow I have to put a home visitation campaign into effect for my practice. Must awaken some taitan members. Like to make this month and April loaded with these visitations. Must wait til schedule comes out for April.

My correspondence campaign has taken a bit of a dip. Right now I must develop my chapter as far as Young Men’s Division, this is of ultimate importance. I may type a form letter to my friend’s. I think this is the only way I can reach them all.

 

by James C. Stephens


February 6, 1977

Lots of things have been happening in my daily life recently. I’ve been concentrating on studying more and have been trying to keep up on current affairs.

Apple Computer 1977 Steve Jobs and Wozniak

Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs in 1977 working on the Apple II Computer.

Last Friday night I called my long term friend Pat Flaherty. It was the first time we talked to each other for about 8 years. Much changes in 8 years that’s for sure. He and I talked about the whereabouts of old friends, state of religion in society and what had been happening in each of our lives. I did shakubuku on him and he asked many questions. He admitted being very inspired by the World Tribune or should I say he said enlightened. The close of our conversation to me was most emotional. He said, “Jim, I really feel that it is not coincidence that we have kept this relation for so long. I believe there is going to be a great war. A spiritual war. I sympathize very much with the Nichiren Shoshu movement. Also there is going to be a financial war (he joked) between you and the telephone company, so we’d better cut the phone conversation short. I’ll send you a letter soon.”

I am going to send him some NSA Quarterly’s this week.

My correspondence is shaping up. Wrote many letters this week.

Scott Ferguson opening up. Tom, Scott and I had dinner last night. At first the conversation was very stiff, then everything lightened up. We are all becoming closer.

Tonight, I went over to Pat and Charlotte’s. We watched the McCarthy trials movie, did Gongyo. They made me dinner. Pat is only 19, but she is mature in many ways. Still she is young. I like her, but I’m being careful. Love is so deceiving to me. It can also so easily destroy good relationships.

Meeting with Mr. Izumi this week. He served under all three Presidents (Makiguchi, Toda, and Ikeda). Such confidence he has.

Business is picking up. This week is going to be really busy, so I must get some rest.

by James C. Stephens


December 27, 1976  1:20 AM

This afternoon I saw an art exhibit on “The World of Franklin and Jefferson.”  It moved me.

Historigram of Franklin and JeffersonLately, I have felt a strong desire to develop my life. It has been difficult to write on this since I have been quite unable to put my finger on it. I realize I am none to brilliant a human being. My members are more well read to a degree. I am struggling to develop my own potential as a leader and foremost as a human being. I was not raised in the arts when I was young. Literature was not foremost, nor was music. I was raised in a small town of 2,500 people on a lake. Very sports-minded, I always seemed to be. A desire to be a professional baseball player. I devoted so much energy to this endeavor. Physically I had much going against me. I was short and fat, yes I was fat at one time. Consequently, I was not at all a fast runner. But I persistently applied myself to the game and became a good ball player. I played golf too. Skied during the winter. I’m sure when others were reading on their time off I was most likely playing socceer, basketball, sledding or football. Now my thirst to develop is coming to the fore. Why? It is not in my ability to answer this question totally. But possibly out of a desire to discover my mission, maybe to help other human beings. So often I have discovered myself short in encouraging people. When I first started practicing the only people I could relate to were on a skiing level. But as I continued to practice, my scope of experience broadened. I scraped in so many ways to survive. I jumped around in school I had no idea what education even meant. But through living in so many different situations my thirst for knowledge is coming from me as natural as an artesian well.

One area I lack is in the Ichinen for study to sink into my life. But I feel that I now see this gap and will be able to change it through faith in the Gohonzon.  Our study group is coming together. Our first meeting is in January 1977. Our group is composed of Scott Ferguson, Bruce Barnes, Tom Brittingham, Cheryl Bell, tow of Scott’s acquaintances, and myself. It should be an interesting experiment.

Our business is not fairing the way it should. I must devote more energy to it.

Now is the time for a foundation! I must compose a plan of attacking my present problems and deficits. Step by step I must advance.

Spending habits are very poor-must change this.

World of Franklin and Jefferson

Got or should say giving Dad a gift of book I picked up at Art Museum on Jefferson and Franklin. Hope he enjoys it.

Must find study material for next YMD meeting with Rejicho! Jan., 77!

Washington interesting me greatly. Is there a relationship between us? He is my 9th cousin as far as my family tree goes. Is he a window to my past? To my future?

Get notebooks for your study campaign. Record book for study book group. I think it is necessary to separate my diary on this subject or is it?