After viewing the post about Hermes Reiter’s memorial, Calvert Bullock contributed this remembrance of an old friend. (Hermes died in 2007.)
In the early 1970’s I met Hermes at the Center in Myrtle Beach. We quickly became friends. I think he was in the middle of his 37-day fast; but he drank so much coffee that I told him that I would call him Twelve Cups, in honor of the mast Twelve Coats. He also told me that he had always wanted to “know everything” but knowing Baba took care of that.
In Miami I got to help him with Baba’s photos in a darkroom that was only available from 9 pm into the wee hours. I am lucky enough to have a few photos that were not published. Hermes administered the eight-hour hydrotherapy cleansing bath to several people. He asked me to assist him, so I did but he got cantankerous and kept asking me to put on “Nights in White Satin” over and over. I almost got tired of it.
I am not sure when he got the name Hermes, but I remember he called me Bullock … cart, with a snicker.
We played tennis at different times and he would pause to have a Camel. In 1975 we started an overland trek to India. In Zurich, Switzerland, we went in a shop to ask directions about trains or something. Outside I asked Hermes if he remembered all she said. He said he remembered nothing, he had only been staring at her beauty. We also went across a field with a sign in it saying Fallenfluh [where Meher Baba visited and encountered a spiritual agent in 1934]. We decided to camp in those woods near the cliff.
In France we rode the train past our destination and had to sleep on benches in a park between so many condos. If only we spoke French that would have been better. One night in Rome we finished supper late and were not sure of directions, so I said let’s ask the cop. So we asked that man even though he had a machine gun on his shoulder. He was most helpful. When we got to Assisi at midnight we heard a popular American song. We had two miles to walk to town. We stopped halfway there and threw our sleeping bags down in a field. The next morning we were awakened by nuns singing hymns in Italian about 50 yards away. We had slept in an olive grove near a nunnery. It was a lovely way to wake up! We found Baba’s cave and saw that many Baba cards had been left there. In the Cathedral of St. Francis, Hermes also ran into a man that he had met in Myrtle Beach.
In Greece one night Hermes and I noticed the spotlights on the Parthenon and went to see why. Crowds were climbing up all those steps. A woman who was rushing down asked us if we had tickets. We said no; she said, “Have these.” When we got to our free seats the Moscow Symphony started their concert! Another night in Greece we could not find lodging so we threw our sleeping bags down in a field, which may have been a cemetery. Hermes heard noises and said he thought there were horses in our field. We were too sleepy to care.
Hermes got a ticket to Cairo, so I went onward and we got a break from each other. I saw him when he got to Tehran, but I had been there and to Shiraz, so he stayed. He caught up with me again in Ahmednagar. Hermes had several talks with Adi K. He quoted Adi about me with “That beard gives him a Jesus like look but too bad about his consciousness!”
Hermes was a very unique and interesting Atma! I believe he went to South America to climb Machu Picchu, but when he told me he met a headhunter who liked his Baba button; I realized Baba sent him there to give a picture to this headhunter.
Cal Bullock, July 2018