I was born and raised in the Ozarks of Missouri. My family were hill people, country people and clannish. We visited relatives weekly. Some of their houses had only a sub floor and wooden frame house. An old out house stood in the back yard and a pump brought in water to the house. As a child I was terrified of this poverty and ignorance, for they both went together. Most of the family had very limited education. My grandfather had gotten to the eighth grade. Most had not gotten that far. The rules of a clan are always tight: “You can’t be different from us. You have to be just like us.” As a child this terrified me. It was a sentence they were pronouncing on me, that I, too, would never be different. I could not see anything good in their world of poverty and religion, for though they had little of much they possessed the old time religion with excess. Grandpa Shore was a Baptist preacher and the unspoken head of the clan. We went to church whenever the doors were opened. Their world of religion terrified me as much as their world of poverty and ignorance. I sought escape in school. I became a good student and believed education was my ticket out of the hills. I became the first member of my family to have a college education. I had to develop the logical mind, although that meant it took me a while to understand and develop the spiritual gifting I had received. I journeyed a long way from the Ozark hills to sing at the Metropolitan Opera, sing for Senators, Congressmen and diplomats. I even sang to the full Soviet mission to the U.N. at a time when the cold war was still raging. I journeyed a long way from the Baptists to discover that I had mediumistic abilities. I have spent a long time now, forgiving the earth for the shortcomings I projected upon it. And though I still hate poverty and ignorance I no longer hate the poor and the ignorant. The earth looks different now. She shines as a reflection of Heaven, now so close I know I can walk into it at any time. Now I know that my mind is a part of God’s. I am very holy, along with you and every other person, plant or animal. My holiness envelops everything I see. My holiness blesses the world. There is nothing my holiness cannot do. My holiness is my salvation. I am blessed as a part of God, and Heaven’s gate is but a small step away.