40 Years in America

Early Memories

Lisa Hill

Before there was Oakland, there was the phenomenal group in the early 70s in Marlboro, Maryland. This was an interesting, thriving center where they made the candles that national MFT sold to buy Belvedere. It seems to me Belvedere was bought with unpaid-for product, and eventually the whole center, 20- 40 people, quit en masse (circa 1973-74).

Alan Tate Wood was a leader in the Marlboro Center. He married Gio Matthis, a shockingly beautiful woman with long hair that she showed True Parents. For some reason in those days this was really quite scandalous. Girls wore astonishingly short skirts but would never, never, never do anything so satanic as to wear pants until one fine day Mrs. Moon, bless her heart, turned up in a pantsuit. Whew.

When I joined in 1970 there must have been two hundred people, more or less, in the national movement, which was few enough that you could have a kind of idea who many people were without actually meeting or knowing them. By í73 the numbers mustíve grown, but still, when the Marlboro Center quit like that, it felt as though 20 percent of "the family" had "died." The one I missed most was Gio Matthis with her scandalous, long hair, though I had never seen her face and she probably never even knew I existed.

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