Non-Profit Corporation

The Marina Dock Newsletter February 2005

Dear Marina Dock Members and Patrons,

The Marina Dock / Dry Dock this month, February, celebrates 19 years of continuous sobriety at this Greenwich Street location. Quite an achievement when you consider how many places have come and gone during our time here. We are the longest serving business in the neighborhood, no contest.

When the Dry Dock first opened in February 1986, the Pierce Street Annex was then the local watering hole, for those still out there "having fun". The Balboa Caf was a quite sleepy noontime and early evening sanctuary, for well off people seeking solitude and anonymity, who were, in those days, going to great lengths to avoid being famous. In 1986, the Edwardian coffee shop on Fillmore was still the hang out for the Friday night AA Union and Steiner crowd. The Edwardian (after the meeting) social scene was a veritable who's who of personalities before principles. It was there I met giants like Frank B, Veronica S, Harry R, Fred K, (all deceased), David B, Scott A, Wade D (Valentine, Nebraska), Diane C, and her soon to be husband the dashing young Brian C, Harry M&M, Fred W, Tugboat Tony, Kay B, Chicago Mike, Beverly C, Verna the Blonde Bombshell, Kirk J, and of course, the effervescent and dapper, John R III, who later became my sponsor - still is for that matter. The whole deal with the Edwardian scene was to totally fake it until people started to notice you (which could take anywhere from six to eighteen months) before you would be accepted into the inner sanctum. The rules for admission were vague, mercurial, and subject to change from one week to the next. Even though I was new at the time, I did notice that guys who showed up with attractive newcomers of the opposite sex definitely had the edge; instantly everyone was your friend. It was in this same Edwardian that all the jokes/resentments about the Union and Steiner meeting were fostered: "Perry's without The Liquor", "Union and Weiner", "Cow Shallow", the "Toothbrush Meeting", and "the only requirement for membership is a desire to look good". Then, along came David M.

I probably covered this before but around this time of year I have to mention David, the founder and original architect of the Dry Dock. I first met David when I would try to slip by him as the greeter at the old "Friendly Circle" meeting on Sunday night at Sacramento and Van Ness. David's sponsor, Paul P (deceased), strong-armed David into becoming a greeter at that meeting. David told me later it was a huge ordeal for him to do it, as he is by nature, a very shy and reserved individual. I somehow knew this, even though I was always new and very shaky myself in those days. A couple of years later David opened the Dry Dock, now the Marina Dock, on a borrowed credit card with a line of credit for $1,500. I started hanging out there in the summer of '86 and attended meetings all day. Then, one day, between meetings David handed me a broom and asked me to sweep the old linoleum floor in the West Room. I have shown up everyday since.

Young people nowadays assume that money is everything, and when they get older they know it (Oscar Wilde 1854-1900)

This month we are sending out our end of the year financial statement for 2004. If you have any questions regarding your statement, please feel free to call us. Last month, I was amazed at the amount of people who followed my suggestion and did not send us a contribution. Of course some did, but not many. We currently have over eleven hundred people on our mailing list and of those eleven hundred about two hundred and fifty contribute on a regular basis, a little over 20%. That apparently is pretty much how it works for non-profits. There is an eighty/twenty rule: 80% of the contributions come from 20% of the members/patrons. Once again, I would like to emphasize that no contribution is too large or too small we are grateful to all of you who make a donation. Just to put everything in perspective: the new meeting room chairs, paint job and ceiling repairs to the East Room cost over $6,000. This month, we have Federal Payroll taxes $4,000, State Unemployment insurance $1,000, General Liability Insurance for this year $1,7000 in addition to all our usual monthly bills. If you have already contributed, thank you so much. If you are thinking about it, give it a shot. If you can't afford it, come on down and feel the love. It's not good to sit at home thinking about how broke you are. I tried it, believe me it's not a good place to be for people like us.

News from Thailand

FW: AA Tsunami Survivors:
Wed, January 12, 2005 8:50:59 AM

Hello Irish Tony:
News from Thailand. Things here in the south area are in a very bad way, fortunately for those of us west of the disaster city of Phukett are ok. Including San Francisco AA members Chicago Mike, Chicago Joe and Kirk J. Members of the AA group in Phukett report all members accounted for, thank God for his gift of life to all of us. Also there is good news, some victims thought lost have been have been found alive, some under the wreckage and others rescued at sea from passing ships and returned safely. Two good friends in AA from the UK, John and wife Polly former residents here in Pattaya, Thailand, now living in Phukett, responded to my e-mail with current news of this tragedy. I will forward it onto you. I would like to thank all of you who sent e-mails and called with your concerns, we are so grateful. The AA meetings in Phukett have been relocated, the Hospital meeting room there, is now being used as a morgue. The people here, foreigners and Thais have joined together n a desperate, yet united way helping in the search and comforting those that have lost family members. So many children have been lost or are now orphaned. I am very proud of the King; he has declared that all the orphaned children will be provided for and kept safe. We here in Pattaya are sending food, clothing and money, many countries including our wonderful USA, have landed and are doing a fantastic job of helping out.

Warmest regards to all in the fellowship.

Chicago Mike (San Francisco & Pattaya Fellowship)

A fuller report on the Tsunami and Thailand AA from Chicago Mike can be read on our website.

Eulogy to Herb K

Many of our members remember Herb K - meticulously dressed, often in a new Brioni suit with a certain style that suggested Beau Brummell. When he shared, which was often, he was hilarious. His sense of humor surrounded his marital relationships. I lost track, but I think it was at least six marriages. I first met Herb in the pre-AA days. He was a Brooklyn-born UCLA Law School grad who was willing to try any case regardless of the size or merit. His father was in the clothing business and how he dressed was a big part of his persona. He loved hats of all styles, sizes and shapes and often they were pitched at an angle that made him look like Jack Webb.

Wade D, a true legend in AA, presently residing in Valentine, Nebraska, tells this story about Herb:

Wade was on a strict diet and lost 20 -30 pounds. In his new "fit" condition, he decided to purchase an expensive suit so he went to the Tailored Man and purchased a Brioni. Within 30 days, Wade had put the weight back on and the suit did not fit him so he gave it to Herb and that, according to Wade, is what kicked off Herb's addiction to Brioni suits and other fine menswear.

Herb was definitely a ladies man and with his debonair look and raspy voice, he seemed to attract a lot of friends. Herb was a volunteer attorney for many San Francisco organizations that provided legal services to the underprivileged. He was also part of the legal staff of Frank B. You may not have known it but Frank had a team of lawyers working on different projects. At one point in time, he appointed me as general counsel and I could appoint Herb to carry out some of Frank's wishes. These usually involved giving away money and other gifts that were left to Frank. Pre-AA, Herb went through Synanon and used to talk a lot about playing the Synanon games. This was a confrontational therapy and having attended a few Friday night sessions, it was brutal but Herb loved it. He actually lived at Synanon for several months but it exacerbated his drinking career. Thus, he found his way home.

We will miss his smiling face, charming personality, and caring way. Herb died of a stroke on October 24, 2004. Sinatra's classic"My Way" was definitely Herb's theme song.

Ed C (Marin & San Francisco Fellowship)

The Secretary's Workshop

This workshop has made a huge difference to the standard of AA meetings at the Marina Dock. Gayle D has worked tirelessly over the last couple of years to make this a reality. Secretaries are now well versed in conducting an AA meeting using the format and sticking to it. People have commented on this and they like it. One of the things implemented by this new format is the secretary now, when it comes to the seventh tradition, announces how much the rent actually is for that particular meeting. You may recall last year Gayle and I worked together to adjust the rent downwards to reflect a more realistic rent to attendance ratio. Now, each AA Secretary should have their own format for that specific meeting, with the rent specified on the format where he/she reads the seventh tradition. If you still have questions on this please attend the workshop and improve your knowledge of how to be an AA trusted servant. The workshop takes place the third Saturday of every month at 1:30 PM.

The solution is love,

Anthony T. Murray "Irish Tony"


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