A Visit With Madame Zahara

No matter how hard you try to understand, some things simply defy logic.

Imagine it is winter, just after the holidays on a considerably dreary day.  You find yourself nonchalantly strolling along a seaside boardwalk in the off-season, when you come upon a small shop with an inordinate amount of decoration; red drapes with black fringe cover the entrance and a buzzing neon sign bids you welcome.  The smell of burning incense wafts from the space as a young lady, eyes darting, exits quickly.

Intrigued, and in need of a break from the cold sea breeze, you open the curtains to find a tiny vestibule, a beaded doorway to your left.  A vent warms you from above.

“Welcome,” comes a voice from a candlelit room obscured behind the beads.

“Come in,” she says.

You take one step forward, extend your hand to part the beads to find an ancient psychic woman who says, “Ah, you have come to see Madame Zahara.”

With a slight wave of her beckoning hand, she speaks again.

“Come.  Sit down.”

Though the room is cozy, you wonder when the last time fresh air graced the tiny place.  Madame Zahara looks intently into your eyes.  She proceeds to tell you fantastic, unbelievable things.

Gazing as if she’s watching a film play out before her, she says, “Music will come from the mouth of a star child, a demon—a spaceman—a cat.”

“I see more than a hundred funnels.”

“A storm,” she continues, “will come and take with it the innocence of a young heiress, a head of state, and bring with it a new, brave warrior.”

At this point, you wonder what ever possessed you to part with your hard-earned cash.  As if reading your mind, she adds, “I see a celebration.  It’s something new, like a meteor…a streak across the sky.”

A celebration.  That sounds exciting, but none of this makes any sense to you.  So you politely rise, begrudgingly thank Madame Zahara, and leave.

Once on the boardwalk, you take one last look over your shoulder to notice the address 1-9-7-4 etched on a weathered wood shingle above the entrance, the paint long since worn away.  Just then, a strong gust of wind forces you onward.

In a few weeks, Madame Zahara’s words begin to resonate with you.  While browsing through the music section in your local Wall To Wall Sound & Video, you find the album of a new band, featuring make-up clad rockers on the cover: a star child, a demon, a spaceman and a cat—the KISS self-titled debut.

In early April, a storm delivers 148 documented tornadoes across the entire middle United States; one even in Canada.  Tragically, 315 people die and thousands are injured.

In Washington, the Watergate scandal accelerates, and President Nixon resigns his post.

Kidnapped granddaughter of wealthy newspaper mogul, William R. Hearst, joins the SLA, the terrorist group who kidnapped her.

Atlanta Braves baseball legend, Hank Aaron breaks the long-standing home run record of 714 held by Babe Ruth.  Sporting events and other televised public gatherings like the Oscars® become the target of streakers…like “meteors streaking across the sky,” or the field of play as the case may be.

How could anyone be expected to believe that any of this would happen?  But it all did in 1974.

Then what happened?

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