The Marina Dock Newsletter June 2006
Dear Marina Dock Members
The Marina Dock would like to thank everyone who came forward
and helped us out financially over the last two months. The
month of May, we are happy to report was a vast improvement
over April, and we are hoping June will be even better still.
We consider ourselves very fortunate to have such devoted and
generous supporters. Over the years I have become resigned to
the fact, that the only way to get people to donate money is
to ask for it. I came to that realization not just through trial
and tribulation, but by observing all the other charitable organizations
that are constantly requesting funds from their supporters.
It seems like every nonprofit in the country is now asking people
to donate their vehicle. I am sure there are many people right
now who yearn for the days of the locomotive, and if gas prices
keep going up, I imagine cars will be donated in record numbers.
The problem is the car has to be sold before any rewards are
We are not complaining
we will be happy with whatever we get no matter what form it
takes, we are grateful for small mercies. I have toyed with
the idea of raising our prices for a couple of years now , two
or three bad months in a row would probably be the deciding
factor, but our downward trend seems to come in cycles of thirty
to sixty days and then we pull out of it. In that respect we
are decidedly different from the Stock Market, which seems to
get the jitters every time they see consumer confidence waning,
the most recent downturn it seems was precipitated by a drop
in consumer spending last month at Wal-Mart. If there is such
a thing as reincarnation I would like to come back as a "Messianic
born again Wall Street analyst" and perhaps finally unlock
the holy grail of hidden forces that actually dictate market
I can never get into
a discussion about the stock market without reflecting on "Bill's
Story" in the "Big Book." Bill had a measure
of success on Wall Street in the mid to late twenties before
the liquor had its way with him, and by the early thirties Bill
was floundering on the shores of New York's hospitals and psychiatric
I had a promising business opportunity. Stocks were at a low
point of 1932, and I had somehow found a group to buy. I was
to share generously in the profits. I went on a prodigious bender,
and that chance vanished. I woke up. This had to be stooped.
I saw I could not even take one drink. I was through forever,
before then, I had written lots of sweet promises, but my wife
happily observed that this time I meant business. And so I did.
Shortly afterward I came home drunk. There had been no fight.
Where had been my high resolve? I simply didn't know. It hadn't
even come to mind. Someone pushed a drink my way and I had taken
it. Was I crazy? I began to wonder for such an appalling lack
of perspective came near being just that. Sticking to my resolve
I tried again. Some time passed. Confidence began to be replaced
by cocksureness. I could laugh at the bars. Now I had what it
takes! One day I walked into a place to telephone. In no time
I was beating on the bar asking myself how it happened. As the
whiskey rose to my head I told myself I would manage better
next time, but I might as well get good and drunk then. I did
The remorse horror and hopelessness of the next morning is unforgettable.
The courage to do battle was not there. My brain raced uncontrollably.
There was a terrible sense of impending calamity. I hardly dared
cross the street, lest I collapse and be run down by an early
morning truck for it was scarcely daylight. An all night place
supplied me with a dozen glasses of ale. My writhing nerves
were stilled at last. A morning paper told me the market had
gone to hell again. Well, so had I. The market would recover
but I wouldn't. That was a hard thought. Should I kill myself?
No not now. Then a mental fog settled down, gin would fix that.
So two bottles, and -oblivion.
Chapter 2, the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous.
There are many today
who proclaim the big book to be archaic, bemoaning the fact
it contains language that belongs to an earlier time, that some
of the stories are not relevant to today's world. I disagree;
"Bill's Story" is timeless, transcending historical
context, an epic of truly Shakespearean dimensions, a story
one could easily encounter or read about, in the financial district
of any major city. In fact one of my first AA friends was a
guy who had lost his seat on the stock-exchange, and when we
met he was living at a half-way house in the Haight. He had
graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University, and owned
a house in Pacific Heights. At that time he was in his early
thirties, still mentally sharp and ambitious, he wanted to get
his life back in order and make amends to his wife and kids.
Brendan was charming, generous and urbane, with a penchant for
getting married. He would put together a year or so and the
next thing he was introducing you to his new wife. For years
he came to "The Dry Dock " and then he disappeared
, then about five years ago I saw him shuffling down the street
being assisted by a much younger woman sporting a wedding ring.
I said hello to him but I could tell he did not recognize me.
You know Brendan? The lady inquired optimistically. I used to,
I replied sadly, but not anymore.
With all the preoccupation
last month on frivolous matters such as money and rent, I did
not have the space to inform you that our beloved morning person
Bernice has retired and moved to the Delta. Bernice will be
greatly missed by all her many admirers. She opened up for us
every morning for over six years. There were many mornings where
Bernice showed up for work as I was leaving from the night before,
and the coffee would be brewing long before the 6:00 AM: people
arrived. She worked about double the time she was supposed to
and said she would work all day and provide her services for
free if she had to, she loved The Marina Dock and was always
in a state of gratitude, attributing her success in recovery
to her relationship with The Marina Dock and the multitude of
people she befriended in the early mornings meetings. Bernice
is a straight shooter never one to suffer fools lightly, she
was not above telling someone where to get off when it came
to defending The Marina Dock and yours truly. She was a loyal
and trusted servant and will be greatly missed. She told me
she will be back from time to time to visit her friends and
engage in some early morning fellowship. For Bernice The Marina
Dock was sacred ground, a special place where it all started
for her, a place that transformed and fundamentally changed
the course of her life. Thank you again Bernice for all the
great memories. You have helped me so many times over the years,
times when I was baffled "by things that use to baffle
me." I never really thanked you for the numerous occasions
you offered words of solace and encouragement when things appeared
Sought through Prayer
and Swami's Meditation
Swami will be away
for the first couple of weeks in June, and when he returns,
he will have his workshop at 9:00 PM: on Sunday. We decided
this is a much more convenient time for his many followers to
attend the workshop. There is not a lot going on recovery-wise
between 9:00 PM: and 10:00: PM on Sunday nights, so we expect
to see a lot more people showing up at that time. In a recent
article by Colin Allen in "Psychology Today' the author
"The brain waves of meditators show why they're healthier.
Neuroscientists have found that meditators shift their brain
activity to different areas of the cortex-brain waves in the
stress prone right frontal cortex move to the calmer left frontal
cortex. In other words, they were calmer and happier than before.
This mental shift decreases the negative effects of stress,
mild depression and anxiety. There is also less activity in
the amygdale, where the brain processes fear." Researchers
at Harvard Medical School used MRI technology on participants
to monitor brain activity while they meditated. They found that
it activates the sections of the brain that governs the functions
in our bodies that we can't control, such as digestion and blood
pressure. These are also functions that are often compromised
by stress. It makes sense, then, that modulating these functions
would help to ward off stress-related conditions such as heart
disease, digestive problems and infertility."
Your Vehicle To The Marina Dock
make it easy for you: fast, courteous,
Convenient, and a tax write-off!
And the proceeds from your donated vehicle are so helpful to
In just a few minutes time, we'll arrange to pick up the vehicle,
give you a donation receipt, and take care of DMV paperwork.
Yes we accept vehicles that have high mileage, wear and tear,
and a lot of years (in most cases), so please don't hesitate
to give it a try! We can accept cars, trucks, motorcycles, RV's