The Marina Dock Newsletter JULY 2003
Dear Marina Dock members and patrons
Thank you for your continued support. We have just passed the
summer solstice, June 21, the longest day of the year. I always
found that description a little puzzling. We all (especially people
of our ilk) know that there are 24 hours in everyday. I believe
it means the day with the most daylight. After June 21, the daylight
Anyway, we are halfway
through this year and we are still open for business and carrying
the message. I was going through some old papers recently and
I found an old periodical from 1988 called "Recovering."
It was put together by a group of locals who came up with this
idea of a monthly recovery newspaper. It was kind of short-lived
but I realized I had kept this particular issue for a reason.
Inside there is a feature story on "the man himself"
Francis Joseph B. It's too lengthy to include in this newsletter
but maybe I will include it as a supplement at a later time. At
that time (1988), Frank had 41 years. Here is an excerpt:
For 41 years he has been carrying the message on
San Francisco's waterfront and beyond.
me means to get well on all levels. Just because I've been sober
physically for forty-one years doesn't make me mentally and
emotionally sober. I still go through sober insanity and sober
confusion and indecision.
I grew up in an orphan
home in Syracuse, New York. I had a tough time surviving there.
Most of the kids were from broken homes; "misplaced".
I was considered born to lose and when I drank it was to make
sure I stayed lost. I couldn't stand reality or anything to
do with responsibility. I started drinking as an altar boy.
We used to steal the priest's wine on the altar and whatever
he didn't drink. Of course, he was an alcoholic, too. The priests
they sent out to this place were cast-offs who couldn't handle
their duties. They were all misfits. And of course, when you
are dealing with misfits, all you do is exchange neuroses and
sickness. There were 25 nuns. We were rebels. They couldn't
handle us. We'd been put there against our wishes.
My parents loved me
but they were poor and I had a brother and sister and they couldn't
afford to take care of us. I had polio and I was in the hospital
for the first year of my life, 1918-1919. The Shriners paid
my medical bill. Years later, when I got sober in San Francisco,
my sponsor told me to volunteer at the Shriners' Hospital out
on 19th Avenue. He said "Do something for somebody who
has done for you." So, I volunteered for five years and
that helped me deal with the "poor me" persecution
complex. After a while I stopped feeling so sorry for myself".
I will be seeing "himself"
next week and I am sure he will have some comments on this piece
The Stock market is
We have not seen any
real trickle down effect so far in terms of increased donations.
Well, at least it is a step in the right direction. However, I
must remind our members and patrons we are in survival mode and
have been for several months now. I recently posted a number of
steps in the social room that I now choose to call. "A Road
Map for The Marina Dock's survival."
Something I have learned over the last few years is, in this line
of business, you have to develop "the art of asking."
It involves persistence, faith and humility. I am actually inspired
by our Commander in Chief, G.W.B. I read in the New York Times
last week about how successful he's been at raising soft money
for his reelection.
The theme, I believe,
of his campaign fundraising effort is "ain't too proud to
beg". It struck me; here is a guy with an awful lot of power
and resources actually admitting he is not above begging. So I
thought what the heck! If it works for "The President"
why not give it a shot? Perhaps, I am not asking for enough?
Maybe, I should tell
people that what we really need is $50,000 (fifty thousand dollars)
to pay the rent up front for the next year, which would allow
us to pay off some of our other bills every month without being
late on our rent. Last month we paid the rent on the 15th.
On Foundations and
You may have read a
couple of stories recently. One was about Pipevine, a foundation
that disburses funds from donors to their chosen non-profit or
charitable trust. Allegedly, for several years now, donated money
was used to pay operating expenses like inflated salaries, expensive
office suites and other apparently excessive charges, leaving
practically nothing for the intended recipient. The other scandal
involved an executive of Goodwill who is alleged to have siphoned
off millions of dollars over a ten or fifteen year period.
Given this type of alleged
skullduggery, it's not surprising that a great many philanthropists
are now donating directly to their preferred causes. It makes
sense to me. Why would you donate a sizable amount of money through
a foundation to learn later that the intended recipient received
about five or six percent of your original contribution, or in
some cases nothing at all?
If you give directly, at least you know where the money is going.
Doesn't it make more sense to have the intended nonprofit use
the funds where they are deemed most necessary, rather than have
a foundation use your donations for operating expenses, salaries
and exaggerated expense accounts?
We have a year and a
half left on our current lease we are doing everything possible
to keep this place afloat but we need all the support we can get.
Potluck and Birthdays
We had a very successful
birthday bash and potluck, Saturday the 14th June. I did it on
the spur of the moment. People asked what the occasion was, and
I responded, "We are all still alive and sober". Isn't
that, in itself, a cause for celebration? We, I believe, can be
spontaneous and free. But, if we have to have a reason, how about
Jim B having fourteen joyous years and the scintillating Erica
L, visiting from Santa Cruz, with two beautiful years? We had
a killer chocolate mousse cake.
Who knows, if we get
a few decent checks, the Fourth of July weekend (Saturday) could
be our next big bash?
Anthony T. Murray ("Irish