How could I deny any longer that I was the reincarnation of the kidnapped Lindbergh baby?
But I didn't want to be. I didn't want to be anyone from a former life who would draw attention to me now. I just wanted to accomplish what I was here in a physical body to learn. I wanted to work off my negative karma as quickly as possible and move on to higher spiritual planes in as short a time as possible.
I'd puzzled over my Lindbergh curiosity for years. Knowing was worse than wondering.
Others had claimed to be Charles Lindbergh, Jr. Some alleged they'd been kidnapped and adopted and were now, in the same life, the grown Lindbergh son. Some said they were a reincarnation of the Lindbergh baby. Because of my fascination with the Lindberghs and my belief in reincarnation, I'd researched the claims of numerous Charles Lindbergh, Jr. would-be's. I knew the ridicule they experienced. I wanted no part of it.
What difference did it make anyway? Why had the spirits teased me since I was a toddler? Why had they harassed me with questions? "So what am I to do, God?"
My mind went back to early days when I paid attention to Bible stories. I pictured Jesus and the disciples in a little boat with a wild storm whipping the Sea of Galilee over them. The storm was so ferocious that even experienced fishermen panicked. But when all seemed lost, as another flash of lightning tore across the sky, one of the disciples caught a glimpse of Jesus ... sleeping. The desperate fisherman shook his Master. "We're about to die! Wake up!" Jesus stood up, stretched out His arms, and said, "Peace." Waves dropped where they were. In minutes, the water was glassy.
"God," I prayed, "Jesus brought peace to water and wind when He lived down here. Couldn't You bring peace to me?" I heard no answer. Frustration settled over me.
A telephone call from Maria brought hope. We agreed that Jodi, who was staying with me for the summer, and I would meet Maria in Virginia at a spot I'd wanted for years to visit -- the center Edgar Cayce had established to further his work.
Hugh Lynn had died, but Gladys Davis, the person who had transcribed all of Edgar Cayce's readings and speeches while he was living, still worked at the center. Eager for Maria and Jodi to meet her, I spoke to her secretary. "Good morning. I'm Jay Christian. I visited with Hugh Lynn and met Gladys when they came to Selma to dedicate the plaque marking Edgar Cayce's photography studio. Is there any chance my wife and daughter could just briefly greet her?"
"I'm sorry," she said, kindly but definitely. "She's booked with half-hour ap- pointments two to three months ahead most of the time. There's no way I can get you in to see her today."
"I understand that. I'm not talking about sitting down to talk with her. But between appointments, would it be possible for her just to meet my wife and daughter? Just to shake hands and say 'Hello'?"
She raised an eyebrow ever so slightly. "Have a seat. I'll check with her. What was your name?"
"Jay Christian." I handed her a business card.
We waited briefly. The secretary returned. "Follow me, please."
She led us down a hall, to a conference room. "Gladys will be in shortly."
Before long, Gladys Davis walked through the door then closed it. She smiled and held out her hand to me. "Good morning, Jay. How are you?"
She greeted Maria and Jodi warmly then sat down at the table with us. Relaxed, she reminisced about Edgar and Hugh Lynn Cayce and answered our questions. For half an hour, she acted as though nothing in the world was more important to her than us.
That visit increased my love and respect for the Cayces and their ministry. It strengthened the bond I had felt with both Edgar and Hugh Lynn. It raised my spirits for a while.
And we decided Maria would come back shortly. I'd try to be less moody. We'd both try to communicate calmly rather than blowing up. Could we make it?
But, even with Maria home, I still felt restless. I was puzzled by the long silence from the spirits, the lack of direction. I tried to ignore the emptiness I felt. If I steered the station to success and kept control in the process, maybe I'd sense fulfillment.
One morning I prepared for a ten dclock appointment at the station with a rating company representative. Ten, then 10:30, came and went. I was miffed that she didn't bother to call and let me know she'd be late. Eleven, 11:30. By then, concerned for her safety, I telephoned her company.
"She what?" Ire poured through my voice after her manager told me she had gone that morning, instead, to our station's biggest local rival.
Irritation simmered. By the time she arrived at 1:30, my lid was about to blow. I ushered her curtly to a place at the long glass table in our conference room. Our executive assistant joined us to take notes.
I turned to the rating company rep. "By the way," I asked coolly, "didn't we have appointment at ten o'clock this morning!" She swallowed. "Yes, we did. And .. ."
"Here it is 1:30 in the afternoon!" I stormed, tipping my chair back. "I didn't even know you were going to meet with our competitors at all. Why didn't you tell us?" Stone-faced, she started to open her mouth.
Before she could speak, I railed on. "A couple hours ago, I was concerned for your safety! I had to call your company to find out where you were. We have plenty to do around here other than twiddle our thumbs waiting. I find your attitude to be very unprofessional and.. ."
A sharp cra-a-ack resounded through the room as the back of my chair snapped. I fell backward, my feet jerking into the air. I did a complete backflip, landing face down on the carpet, all sixfeet-five-inches of me sprawled across the floor.
I pulled myself onto hands and knees and crawled back to the table. Stiff old me -- I couldn't loosen up for anything. Still on my knees, I planted my elbow on the table and shook my finger at the rep. "And furthermore..."
The representative's only reaction was a slight ... ever so slight ... upturn at the corners of her mouth.
One afternoon a few weeks later while I was working in my office, Len stepped in, closed the door, and sat down. "I have an idea."
"Great." I respected Len's knowledge and management skills. His ideas were always worth listening to. "Let's hear it."
"You have good ideas, Jay. You have a great sense for what makes radio work. There's no doubt in my mind you're going to go places in programming. But I'm wondering if one little thing might make you even more effective."
"What would happen if you'd spend a little more time with your crew?"
I already told the employees what I expected of them. 1 told them about changes. I evaluated air checks with them. "Like ... what do you mean?" I asked.
"It's obvious to me, Jay, that you like the staff members. And you work to keep life good for them. But I don't think they know you appreciate them."
"No. I don't think so." He shifted in his chair. "You tend to be all business. You have a job to do and you're going to accomplish it no matter what it takes. Right?"
I nodded. "Yeah. You have me pegged."
"I appreciate your working hard," Len continued. "That's how you took this station to 18.3 percent of the market and Number eighteen in the nation. But you really need to pull yourself away from your desk at least a couple times a day. Go talk with the office staff, the announcers, the sales staff. Relax. Be personable. They'll work with you better if they know you as a person and if they know you care about them."
I loved the challenge of programming and accomplished a massive amount of work. But small talk? My stomach did somersaults just thinking about it. Frankly, I wasn't interested in my coworkers getting to know me. I had problems enough without that. Maybe I could ask all the questions -- get to know them without them getting to know me. Whatever, the management books I'd read agreed with Len. If it was the right thing to do, I'd do it.
"You're probably right," I admitted. "I'll try."
Pulling myself away from work to be personable was harder work than work. And ultimately more fearsome!
Weeks slipped into months. It did seem like cooperation improved. Ratings inched upward too -- 19.2 percent of the market and Number 8 in the nation.
Work was going well. After I'd been in Johnson City a few months, Len asked if I'd consider doing the operations manager job for both the AM and FM stations along with continuing to program the FM. Well ... it would be a promotion ... and l've always liked challenges!
Heart and soul went into that job -- mine and those of the entire staff. The arrival of ratings reports became exciting events. The ratings climbed till WQUT - FM was the highest-rated radio station, by quarter hour, in the country. Not just in Johnson City, but the whole country! In comparison with every other radio station in the United States!
Then my own afternoon show hit Number One in the country!
The station as a whole was succeeding. I was succeeding. I'd only been prouder when Jodi was born!
Jockeying for top billing was constant. But when we slipped out of Number One position, we were usually somewhere in the top ten of all stations of various formats and in the top five of all rock stations in the country. And, when my show missed the top spot, it was in the top five most of the time. Work was wonderful!
Then there was home. My dedication to radio and the hours and energy I poured into professional success didn't leave much for nurturing marriage. We both tried, but we just couldn't squelch the fireworks.
Should we divorce? If it wasn't the right thing to do, we'd only have to work off negative karma in another life. Still friends, we ended the marriage.
With Maria gone, I poured myself all the more into work. The station's ratings stayed at the top. Radio & Records, the premiere trade magazine in the business, printed several articles about my success. Of course, it felt good. And their ratings reports continued to list me and the station in the top spots.
So why the empty feeling when I stop long enough to think?
[previous chapter] [new age adventures - index] [next chapter]