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On the road again: Robus and Myra, Roger and Sissy

"You oughta see what happens when I do the Shrine Auditorium with 5000 black people in there."

Pastor Robus, Myra, and their missionary vehicle, just off the 79 North outside of Warner Springs.
Pastor Robus, Myra, and their missionary vehicle, just off the 79 North outside of Warner Springs.

Look at my eyes now

Pastor Robus of God’s Real Church — abused child, former Hells Angel, prison rape victim, two-time mental patient, twice divorced, and successful businessman who left it behind when God appeared to him and said to tell people “how you came forth out of all your mud” — has a P.O. box in Oceanside, but his name tells the real story of his ministry. “I’ve been down the road in a bus, so ‘Robus,’” he explains. “I’ve been doing this for 41 years, 35 of them with my wife Myra” — childhood sexual abuse victim, fornicator, and adulterer during a previous marriage — “and we’ve never left each other’s side. We’ve been to 10,909 churches, because you and everybody else don’t know their self or anybody else. We don’t know the secrets of each other.”

“I kept that stuff hid all my life,” attests Myra, “until the Lord sent me my husband who taught me just to get it all out so I could be set free in Christ Jesus. I knew in my heart that until I dealt with my past, I would not be at peace. It helps to get rid of all the garbage, give it to Jesus.”

“God said, ‘Confess your faults one to another, and then pray one for another to be healed,’” says Robus.

Their bus is “all over painted up, unbelievable,” but it’s got a blown engine, so it’s in storage. Right now, Robus and Myra and their two dogs are in a dingy ’80s RV they got cheap from a church elder, and it’s only a little painted up. “We work the side of the road and out in the ghettos, at rest areas, Walmarts…. I watch through the blinds as people come up and read that sign, and it stuns them. We’ve taken a bath and put on our tuxedos, but everybody’s got dirty laundry.

“Could you get up on a stage with me and say every sin you’ve ever done?” he asks. “You wouldn’t be able to do it; you’ve got a lot of self-consciousness. I just watched the black dot in your eye. I’m a Gestalt therapist, and I watch the body. The body tells the truth.”

When Robus visits a church, he’ll wait until the end of the service, then boom out, “‘Pastor, can I stand up and say what Christ did for me?’ The pastor says, ‘Sure, come on up,’ but he doesn’t know what he’s asked for. I had to suck a black man’s penis instead of being rectal sexed, and how do I function after that? Anything can be rebuilt. I’m not talking dirty. I’m talking about fixing the broken parts, and everybody’s been there. Everybody is hiding. You oughta see what happens when I do the Shrine Auditorium with 5000 black people in there. The place goes off, because nobody knows how to face their self. I scatter a church, but it can’t be arrested, because it’s real. So we keep moving.”

Roger and Sissy Morrison and their 1929 Bentley 4.5 liter

Those enormous wire wheels

On Sunday, April 9, 15 youngsters aged 7–14 ventured onto the Scripps Park lawn at the 13th annual La Jolla Concours d’Elegance to try their hand at judging show-quality automobiles as part of Hagerty Insurance’s Youth Program. “It’s a way to get kids excited about cars, to set off a spark by connecting them to owners who have that passion,” said Hagerty youth advocacy coordinator Rachel Flynn. “We hear frequently that kids today just don’t like cars, that they’re into social media. But it’s not the case; they just don’t have the opportunity to get involved.” Besides the judging, Hagerty offers training in how to drive old manual transmissions.

Roger Morrison of Salina, Kansas, can remember lying awake as a child, trying to identify passing cars by the sound of the engine. Last week, he and 14 other owners of antique Bentleys met up in Rancho Mirage for a driving holiday around Southern California. I caught up with him outside a port-a-potty on the 78, seven miles outside of Julian. Morrison wasn’t here for the Concours, but seeing his 1929 14-foot convertible hurtle past on those enormous wire wheels was enough to spark a childlike enthusiasm that set me following, hoping he would pull over.

Here was a magnificent old machine, a Spitfire on wheels, with dirt on its tires and bugs in its grill, and a happy man behind the wheel. Leather flaps turned his sunglasses into dustproof goggles; leather-palmed mesh gloves kept the smooth steering wheel from slipping. “A Bentley friends tour, I guess you’d call it,” he said after offering me a peppermint and introducing his wife Sissy, his voice as deep and rich as the red of his roadster.

“One of us made up a route book that tells us where to go. We’ve been doing 100–200 miles a day, cruising at 55 or 60. We went to Borrego Springs and Banning and up to Julian. The roads are sort of undulating, and the surfaces are good, so it’s pleasant driving.”

Morrison bought the car, a showroom stock model, 30 years ago from a friend in California. “It was a dream of mine. I liked the heritage of the 4.5-liter Bentleys; they won races when they were new” — including the 1928 24 Hours of Le Mans. “They had lightweight bodies and big tanks. They would drive them from the factory, ship them across the channel, race them, then drive them back to the factory. So it was a chance to actually drive that car,” or something very close to it.

What’s it like to drive? “It’s a right-hand drive, and the steering is heavy if you’re not moving. And the four-speed transmission has no synchromesh for the gear and shaft, so I crunch occasionally. And for some unknown reason, the gas pedal is in the middle between the brake and the clutch. So it’s a challenge.”

But how does it feel? What makes it worth taking it out once a month for 30 years?

“I enjoy it.”

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Pastor Robus, Myra, and their missionary vehicle, just off the 79 North outside of Warner Springs.
Pastor Robus, Myra, and their missionary vehicle, just off the 79 North outside of Warner Springs.

Look at my eyes now

Pastor Robus of God’s Real Church — abused child, former Hells Angel, prison rape victim, two-time mental patient, twice divorced, and successful businessman who left it behind when God appeared to him and said to tell people “how you came forth out of all your mud” — has a P.O. box in Oceanside, but his name tells the real story of his ministry. “I’ve been down the road in a bus, so ‘Robus,’” he explains. “I’ve been doing this for 41 years, 35 of them with my wife Myra” — childhood sexual abuse victim, fornicator, and adulterer during a previous marriage — “and we’ve never left each other’s side. We’ve been to 10,909 churches, because you and everybody else don’t know their self or anybody else. We don’t know the secrets of each other.”

“I kept that stuff hid all my life,” attests Myra, “until the Lord sent me my husband who taught me just to get it all out so I could be set free in Christ Jesus. I knew in my heart that until I dealt with my past, I would not be at peace. It helps to get rid of all the garbage, give it to Jesus.”

“God said, ‘Confess your faults one to another, and then pray one for another to be healed,’” says Robus.

Their bus is “all over painted up, unbelievable,” but it’s got a blown engine, so it’s in storage. Right now, Robus and Myra and their two dogs are in a dingy ’80s RV they got cheap from a church elder, and it’s only a little painted up. “We work the side of the road and out in the ghettos, at rest areas, Walmarts…. I watch through the blinds as people come up and read that sign, and it stuns them. We’ve taken a bath and put on our tuxedos, but everybody’s got dirty laundry.

“Could you get up on a stage with me and say every sin you’ve ever done?” he asks. “You wouldn’t be able to do it; you’ve got a lot of self-consciousness. I just watched the black dot in your eye. I’m a Gestalt therapist, and I watch the body. The body tells the truth.”

When Robus visits a church, he’ll wait until the end of the service, then boom out, “‘Pastor, can I stand up and say what Christ did for me?’ The pastor says, ‘Sure, come on up,’ but he doesn’t know what he’s asked for. I had to suck a black man’s penis instead of being rectal sexed, and how do I function after that? Anything can be rebuilt. I’m not talking dirty. I’m talking about fixing the broken parts, and everybody’s been there. Everybody is hiding. You oughta see what happens when I do the Shrine Auditorium with 5000 black people in there. The place goes off, because nobody knows how to face their self. I scatter a church, but it can’t be arrested, because it’s real. So we keep moving.”

Roger and Sissy Morrison and their 1929 Bentley 4.5 liter

Those enormous wire wheels

On Sunday, April 9, 15 youngsters aged 7–14 ventured onto the Scripps Park lawn at the 13th annual La Jolla Concours d’Elegance to try their hand at judging show-quality automobiles as part of Hagerty Insurance’s Youth Program. “It’s a way to get kids excited about cars, to set off a spark by connecting them to owners who have that passion,” said Hagerty youth advocacy coordinator Rachel Flynn. “We hear frequently that kids today just don’t like cars, that they’re into social media. But it’s not the case; they just don’t have the opportunity to get involved.” Besides the judging, Hagerty offers training in how to drive old manual transmissions.

Roger Morrison of Salina, Kansas, can remember lying awake as a child, trying to identify passing cars by the sound of the engine. Last week, he and 14 other owners of antique Bentleys met up in Rancho Mirage for a driving holiday around Southern California. I caught up with him outside a port-a-potty on the 78, seven miles outside of Julian. Morrison wasn’t here for the Concours, but seeing his 1929 14-foot convertible hurtle past on those enormous wire wheels was enough to spark a childlike enthusiasm that set me following, hoping he would pull over.

Here was a magnificent old machine, a Spitfire on wheels, with dirt on its tires and bugs in its grill, and a happy man behind the wheel. Leather flaps turned his sunglasses into dustproof goggles; leather-palmed mesh gloves kept the smooth steering wheel from slipping. “A Bentley friends tour, I guess you’d call it,” he said after offering me a peppermint and introducing his wife Sissy, his voice as deep and rich as the red of his roadster.

“One of us made up a route book that tells us where to go. We’ve been doing 100–200 miles a day, cruising at 55 or 60. We went to Borrego Springs and Banning and up to Julian. The roads are sort of undulating, and the surfaces are good, so it’s pleasant driving.”

Morrison bought the car, a showroom stock model, 30 years ago from a friend in California. “It was a dream of mine. I liked the heritage of the 4.5-liter Bentleys; they won races when they were new” — including the 1928 24 Hours of Le Mans. “They had lightweight bodies and big tanks. They would drive them from the factory, ship them across the channel, race them, then drive them back to the factory. So it was a chance to actually drive that car,” or something very close to it.

What’s it like to drive? “It’s a right-hand drive, and the steering is heavy if you’re not moving. And the four-speed transmission has no synchromesh for the gear and shaft, so I crunch occasionally. And for some unknown reason, the gas pedal is in the middle between the brake and the clutch. So it’s a challenge.”

But how does it feel? What makes it worth taking it out once a month for 30 years?

“I enjoy it.”

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