The Marina Dock Newsletter August 2002
Dear Marina Dock members and
James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx
(1916–95), the Labour Prime Minister in England in the 60’s and early
70’s, once commented after a particularly harrowing week in the House of Commons
“a week is a long time in politics.” Another Englishman, the economist John
Manyard Keynes (1883-1946) when asked by a student about long-term
economic trends stated, “in the long-run we are all dead”.
When we reflect on events in the financial world over the last few
weeks the words of these two doyens of the English public (private)
school system brings to mind probably the most frequently used American quotation
from Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) that “in
this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes“.
And yet life goes on. We survive. We adjust. We seek the higher elevations;
(to quote another Englishman, not as famous, but a Cambridge man nevertheless)
“we do the best we can with the light we have to see by” (D. F. 1987).
I suppose many of you may be wondering why an Irishman would use
so many quotations from Englishmen. Well, they just happen to fit into, hopefully,
my topic this month: money and the lack of it. Maybe it’s Oscar Wilde
(1854-1900) I should be quoting: “it is better to have
a permanent income than to be fascinating”.
Just for the record, I do not pretend to know anything about the
complexities of Wall Street or the financial markets, period. All my knowledge
on the stock market comes from Bill’s story in the Big Book. “Abruptly in
October 1929 hell broke loose on the New York stock exchange. After one of
those days of inferno, I wobbled from a hotel bar to a brokerage office. It
was eight o’clock — five hours after the market closed. The ticker still clattered.
I was staring at an inch of tape, which bore the inscription AYZ-32. It had
been 52 that morning. I was finished and so were many friends” (page 4 of
Then Bill went on a series of prodigious benders that lasted well
into 1932. Stocks still at a low point, Bill had this impending sense of calamity.
One day, coming around after several weeks of oblivion on the streets of New
York City, a morning paper told him “the market had gone to hell again. Well
so had I. The market would recover, but I wouldn’t. That was a hard thought”
(Ibid. page 6).
I just love that part of Bill’s story. There has to be a message
in there for all of us. No matter how crazy things get we can always put things
in perspective and remember, “God works in mysterious ways his wonders to
perform”. Bill, as we are all here to prove, did recover and the market continues
to fluctuate. In fact, the Dow soared today (July 29) to 8711.88 in a powerful
It would be nice if it stayed that way through next week giving investors/members
an opportunity to cut a check for the Marina Dock. We could certainly use
some relief vis-a-vis market stability. I know it’s perhaps a little
premature to talk about our 501 (c) (3) tax-deductible donations and memberships
but we will not turn you down if you are so inclined.
“Rome in a day” revisited
Some people were probably wondering about the story
last month. I wanted to tie it into our ongoing projects at The Marina Dock,
by of asking you for your patience and understanding on the inconvenience
to you by said projects.
We are now down to just one major operation — a new
storage space without any loss of meeting room space. This storage space will
hide all the janitorial and cleaning supplies currently all over the place.
It will also include shelving for storage of boxes and other inventory.
In case anyone is wondering how we can afford to
continue such projects when we are low in funds. Simple! Richard W,
our in-house craftsman and remodeler, and I are the last to be paid. If there
is anything left in the pot after all our operating expenses are covered I
will cut a couple of checks. We may not be as sophisticated as Arthur A. or
Morgan S. but we do have accuracy and accountability.
Golden Gate disposal
are introducing a new system for garbage collection citywide. We can no longer
put garbage bags on the street. All garbage will be in a 94-gallon garbage
can and all recyclables will be in a blue recyclable can. We need everyone's
assistance to make this effort efficient.
A new round silver aluminum can located outside the East Room door
is for recycling only. Glass, paper, plastic, aluminum cans, wooden
stirrers, anything biodegradable, can be recycled. Everything except Styrofoam
products that is, but I will look into the cost effectiveness of paper cups
to replace the Styrofoam ones. I must confess I was slow in responding to
the challenges of sustainability and environmental protection. However, if
all co-operate it will not be that painful, once we get a system in place.
Frank B Sighting
I saw Mr B on Sunday July 28. The breaking
news on that front is (I think) he’s got an in-house girlfriend. While I was
there an extremely vivacious Korean lady appeared at his door. Ruth, a graceful
self-assured septuagenarian exuding elegance and charm, hardly shot me a second
look. She had eyes only for the man himself. It was obvious she preferred
older guys and I could tell by the eye contact this was not their first encounter.
There was a furtive and unspoken familiarity that seemed to extend beyond
the casual. It was also apparent that I was now cramping Mr B’s style so I
took my leave but not before he told me with that classic Frank B twinkle
that “this was one of his best days in quite a while”. On my way out I shot
a final glance at the coy, flirtatious Ruth and without another word I realized
why Mr B was feeling so good.
Greetings and salutations to a quintessential Nebraskan, my good
friend Wade D on the great windswept plains of the 37th
State. Wade will celebrate 52 years of sobriety on September 1 and over
63 years of marital bliss to Pauline — his beloved soul mate, companion
and friend. August 18 is also his birthday.
Wade D is simply a reservoir of history and stories. Not just recovery
related stuff but all kinds of characters reside on the landscape of his experience.
He is a great friend and supporter of our cause and has helped legions of
people in all kinds of ways sometimes by just simply being there in a time
of need. He never makes a fuss he just goes quietly about the business of
doing God’s work. Thanks again Wade for all your support!
Bob M formerly of New York city, San
Francisco and Ukiah passed away recently. When I first came around
the rooms Bob, his wife Lee, and several of their flock seemed
to be a meeting in motion.
Bob was a steady kind of a guy who gave you space and never crowded
you with an inappropriate AA pitch. Whenever our paths crossed I always felt
that his message was “I know you are hurting and I am here if you need me”.
That for me, new at the time, was extremely comforting and reassuring. Thank
you Robert. You will always be with us in spirit.
Ralph M, a staunch Marina Dock supporter
also died a few weeks ago. Ralph, although gravely ill for some
time, still came to the Marina Dock almost daily. For many years
Ralph worked on the front lines, so to speak. He drove the MAP
(Mobile Assistance Patrol) van around the city, rescuing individuals
from the remorse, horror and hopelessness of the unforgiving streets.
He relished the opportunity to help and make a difference to those
who had long since abandoned all hope.
Ralph was a testament to the maxim that “we make a living by what
we get; we make a life by what we give” (Sir Winston Churchill 1874–1965). Remember that you can do this for just $1 per day through a 501
(c) (3) tax-deductible Marina Dock membership ($325 per year, $165 for six
months, or $30 per month) or donation.
You can pay this at
the Marina Dock front desk or send us a check.
Marina Dock Rules #
2 - UÓB
Please remember that
there is absolutely no smoking allowed in front of the Marina Dock,
along the school railings at the Webster Street side, or within 30 feet
either side of our entrance. If you wish to smoke, then move past the Thai
Restaurant next door, towards Fillmore Street. This is an important rule.
Please respect our facility, the neighbors that live above us, our friends
in the businesses around us and the children in the school. We have a good
reputation in the area, are considered an asset and we want to keep it that
Fourth Step Workshop Forms - UÓB
Our popular Fourth Step AA workshop’s forms are now available online
@ www.marinadock.org (under “Workshops”).
Kathleen D from Colorado writes about
the workshop, “it helped me through a nasty bout of writer's block
on the 4th Step. The workshop and the straightforward
forms enabled me to overcome this and do a fearless and thorough
inventory. It was incredibly freeing from the bondage of self”.
The workshop is at 8:30 pm every Monday. A CD-ROM of one of the workshop
sessions is available from the Marina Dock for a suggested $6.00.
Women and Alcoholism - UÓB
We were reading in Time magazine recently about alcoholism
in women. This was interesting. It covered the physiological factors which
make matters worse for women such as their lower
total body water percentage which impacts alcohol concentration in the blood
and less alcohol being metabolized by dehydrogenase in the stomach and went
onto medical social aspects. Chronic alcohol abuse exacts a greater
physical toll on women than on men. Female alcoholics have death rates 50
to 100 percent higher than male alcoholics do. Further more, a greater
percentage of female alcoholics die from suicides, alcohol-related accidents,
circulatory disorders, and cirrhosis of the liver. Among the heaviest drinkers,
women equal or surpass men in the number of problems that result from
Women alcoholics may encounter motivators and barriers to seeking treatment
that are different from those encountered by men, and the Marina Dock has
a rôle to play here. Many of the most popular Marina Dock meetings are for women
only, and we really need these. Check our website or schedule for details
of women-only AA meetings.
In a future newsletter, we’ll look at the subject
of women and recovery a little closer.
it for now. Until next time, the solution is love.
Anthony T Murray (“Irish Tony”)