Non-Profit Corporation

The Marina Dock Newsletter August 2002

Dear Marina Dock members and patrons alike:

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 Alcoholics Anonymous).

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 rally.

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.

Recycling Impact

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.

Wade D

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!

In Memoriam

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 way.

Fourth Step Workshop Forms - UÓB

Our popular Fourth Step AA workshop’s forms are now available online @ (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 their drinking.

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.

That’s it for now. Until next time, the solution is love.

Anthony T Murray (“Irish Tony”)


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