Non-Profit Corporation

The Marina Dock Newsletter August 2003

Dear Marina Dock members and patrons alike,

Apparently, according to some analysts, the recession ended 21 months ago. I like the idea, but it's just hard to swallow when you stack it up against reality. The other problem I have with this piece of officialdom is: "If the recession is over, where's the beef?"  I recently saw my alter ego, Alan Greenspan, before "The House Financial Services Committee", taking some hard questions from some very irate legislators about this so called recovery. When asked about the stock market being a predictor of every economic recovery since the World War Two, he responded wryly "the stock market has predicted ten of the last six recoveries."   It appears our ratio of debt to GDP is over 4%, whereas in Europe it is set at 3%. A high ratio of debt to GDP = rising interest rates = slow economic growth. I have to say the only part of this theory that interests me is debt. That, I can definitely relate to. The other thing that puzzles me, when it comes to linguistic semantics in the political forum, is that you never hear the word "depression". It's always "slump", "downturn" or "economic adjustment." When you have millions of people unemployed in California, combined with the flight of technology and service jobs and a dysfunctional political culture, to me it conjures up images of 1933. So, what do we do?

Necessity is the mother of invention

For many years now I have subscribed to a fundamental spiritual axiom that it's "through giving that we receive." Don't get me wrong, like everything else related to change in the early days, this concept was easy to understand but difficult to practice. Then, over the last couple of years "goaded by sheer necessity", I put this theory to the test more and more. Now, I fear I may have crossed the line from benevolence to madness. Over the last couple of weeks, when our take for the day dipped below that of a City cabbie on a Monday night, I decided to go out and spend some money on a couple of fairly decent buffets. When Marina Dockers asked what the occasion was, I responded, "We are here, we are alive, and for that I am grateful." Joe Morgan, the baseball Hall of Fame, once said "if you ain't happy with what you got, you ain't gonna be happy with more." Thank you Joe. The day after the buffets we got two decent memberships, which not only paid for the buffets but our PG&E bill as well ($400.00). There used to be a joke around AA some years ago that "when we talk to God it's called prayer and when God talks to us, it's called psychosis." But is this always the case? Surely there are exceptions like "OK, God doesn't really talk to us but maybe God demonstrates to us, in all kinds of ways, the power of faith and giving." This takes me into our next topic and hopefully answers the question "Have I lost my mind, am I slowly descending into what I choose to call Marina Dock Giveaway Madness?" This whole idea of giving and receiving got me excited, you know like when something baffles you for years and then suddenly you have a breakthrough. I stayed awake all night working on how I could best utilize these insights. I started to think about getting other businesses in the neighborhood involved. After all, we are obviously not the only ones "dying on the vine." This is what I came up with.

For a two-year $500.00 membership or donation you will receive:

A) From The Anonymous Place on Lombard Street, a leather-bound, burgundy or black, Third Edition of The Big Book (Alcoholics Anonymous). This is the work-study edition with the original text and a concordance.

B) A triplated blue/black or red/black anniversary chip with gold trim. It has the Serenity Prayer on one side and a circle with the acronym HOW, and it will have your number of years celebrated.

C) Dinner for two at D Den, the Thai restaurant next door to the Marina Dock. This dinner will consist of an appetizer, main course, dessert and a beverage.

For a one-year membership or donation of $265.00 we are offering:

A) A gold-plated anniversary chip from The Anonymous Place. This is also a beautiful chip with the Serenity Prayer and the embossed circle/triangle, and;

B) A dinner for two at D Den.

For a six month membership or donation:

You will receive an original version of The Big Book with the red and yellow dust jacket. This edition has wide margins and the original version of the Steps.

In addition to all of this, two year and one year memberships or donations will receive one hour of relaxation / meditation with Swami Satyambrananda. Swami was born in India, educated in the Vedic tradition and scriptures and has been teaching meditation and relaxation for over thirty years. He has given instruction at City College and the California Institute of Integral Studies. He has also taught stress reduction and anger management classes at Stanford University School Of Medicine. Swami, by the way, is at The Marina Dock at 7.30 pm, every Sunday night.

There is a lot to digest here, but we have to be generous and bold if we are to get to November of 2004. The way this will work is when you pay the membership or donation, we (the Marina Dock) will issue you with a receipt, which you can present to the business owner and in turn you will receive your gift(s).

An opportunity to pledge

If anyone wants to pick up any of these (or other) expenses in the form of a pledge, it would be more than appreciated and we will acknowledge your support widely, if you wish:

  • Coffee costs $800.00 a month (the supplier is the Castro Cheesery on Castro Street in San Francisco).
  • PG&E bill is $400.00 a month.
  • Garbage and water bill is $300.00 a month.
  • Printing and mailing of the newsletters, etc. is about $500.00 a month.

If you need more information on any of these offers or pledges, inquire at the counter. Speaking of support, we'd like to acknowledge the kind support of Compumentor and Symantec in providing us with free licenses for Norton's Internet Security software at the recent San Francisco Compumentor Computer Security Day for Non-Profits.

With great sadness

My first sponsor, and fellow Irishman, the great Dan McC, passed away a few weeks ago in Sonoma County. Dan was built like a Sherman tank and had a personality and lust for living that knew no boundaries. A big robust guy who simply exuded the joy of living and the AA way of life, he could never be described as refined or urbane but he knew how to give. One time, many years ago, he showed up at the, then, Dry Dock on a Christmas Day to find English Gayle and myself laughing and cracking jokes. He came through the door and was so happy to see us that he bellowed out in his thick Kerry accent "Well! Well! I don't know who God is, but I know where He works." He gave so much. Goodbye, Dan.

Anthony T. Murray ("Irish Tony")


[ Back to archive index ]