The Marina Dock Newsletter November
Dear Marina Dock Members
Once more some of
our old reliables came through for us, in the clutch, and helped
us out in October. Although these committed and generous individuals
desire to remain anonymous, I want to thank each and every one
of you for your continued support. I also want to thank the
people who signed up for automatic monthly credit card payments;
that really does make a difference. We currently have about
five regular automatic credit card accounts that pay every month.
It would be nice if we could double that by the end of the year,
and again we are forever grateful for whatever amount you wish
to contribute. I would like to take this opportunity to remind
everyone the Marina Dock operates exclusively on the continued
financial support of its members and donors.
We are now without
doubt the premium and preferred location for recovering newcomers
in San Francisco. If you are someone in need of a sponsee or
you have a desire to be of service, the best time to come to
the Marina Dock, looking for someone to work with, is during
the three mid to late afternoon meetings the 1:30 pm the 3:30
pm and the 5:15 pm. That timeframe seems to be popular for groups
in recovery centers, and other Primary Care treatment programs
around the city.
This month we are
enclosing a statement of your contributions to date up to and
including October 5th, 2004. I know some of you have made donations
after 10/05 and that will be reflected in your final end of
the year statement, which will be mailed to you at the end of
January 2005. I would like to mention here that there is ample
time left to make another contribution before the end of December,
or perhaps you are someone who wants to make a contribution
for the first time? This could be your finest hour. Over the
last several years I have realized it's OK to make a pitch for
money every month, it is part and parcel of running a small
nonprofit in a liberal and progressive city like San Francisco.
After all we are not the only ones vying for your tax deductible
dollars everyday we are inundated with requests for donations
to one cause or another all claiming to be worthier the next.
A few days ago I received
e-mail from some obscure African Republic, stating that someone
very important, wanted to shift vast sums of money from that
country into my checking account. I was so flattered that I
was the one chosen for such a scam, I told them to send it directly
via UPS to the Marina Dock, because I need some hard cash to
reclaim our car from the last Chevron Station I visited. The
last time I tried to buy gas, it turned out the car was worth
less the tank of fuel I purchased. Have any of you had a similar
experience lately? At this pace, pretty soon it will be cheaper
to fly from The Marina Green to the Richmond District, than
to drive there.
Stories of Inflation
I was born shortly after
WW2 and as a kid in the sixties my father would regale me with
stories of bombs dropping around the fields and farmhouses, where
we grew up, along the East Coast of Ireland. We lived geographically
about sixty miles across the Irish Sea from Liverpool. On a clear
night he said you could hear the German bombs drop on the docks
in Liverpool. Every once in a while a German pilot would miss
his target and veer off course, ending up running out of fuel,
and would have to ditch his arsenal of bombs along the Irish Coast,
in order to make it back to Germany. One guy dropped a bomb behind
a farmhouse about 300 yards from our house, a couple of rabbits
frolicking in the noon day sun, were caught off guard in flagrante
delicto, and paid the ultimate price for their indiscretions.
He also told me when the Germans were finally brought to their
knees the country was a wasteland; millions of people displaced
and starving. He said people were trying to buy what little food
there was with wheelbarrows full of German Marks, only to find
that the wheelbarrow was more valuable than the currency.
I love This Job
Recently I saw a survey
that found 86% of people are not happy with their jobs. The study
was looking for individuals who are fortunate enough to have made
their passion their profession. I consider myself privileged to
be in that fourteen percentile, which like what they do, with
Apparently I am in the
company of people like Tom Brady the New England Patriots Quarterback,
Secretariat, the Triple Crown winner when he was still alive and
working, Manny Ramiriez the guy who will become the MVP when the
Bosox take their first World Series since 1918 and Martha Stewart,
the lady who kept insisting it was "a good thing" before
she got busted for doing "a bad thing." By the way have
you noticed how many players in the World Series are former Giants
or Oakland A's castaways? Yes I know I may be going out on a limb
here but you read it first in the Marina Dock Newsletter: "The
Curse of The Bambino is No More." In fact,
if you are a New Englander this could be a great year for you.
What about a New England blowout? The Sox win the World Series,
the unbeaten Patriots 21-0 win consecutive Super Bowls, the Bruins
win the Stanley Cup (if they settle the strike), the Celtics win
the NBA, and a guy with the initials JFK not only wins the election
but is also elected President.
I read recently that
Kerry's Grandfather, before leaving Eastern Europe early in the
last century for the New World, decided he needed to Anglicize
his last name. He did so by throwing a coin on a map of the World,
and making the place the coin landed on, his new last name. Apparently
the coin landed on County Kerry. Can you imagine how things might
be different today had it landed on Belfast, Bakersfield, or worse
We Had a Great Party
All at the buffet had
a great time. I was impressed by the amount of people who accepted
the invitation and showed up, others actually called and said
they regrettably could not make it. I saw many people I had not
seen in several years, thank you all for being there and wishing
me well. The Swami brought an orchid that may bloom well into
the next century everyone loves it, the beautiful orchids Kate
brought are still as fresh and beautiful as the day they arrived.
A couple of people broke into song. Amy from Sonora sang "Walking
after Midnight", a visitor from Sonoma who had no idea what
he was getting involved in, sang "Everyday", which seemed
Walking Don told us
about his road trip around the coastal USA and Bill H, an old
friend of Frank B, brought some pictures of Frank from an earlier
time. Bill had some great stories about Frank and the old Seven
Seas Club. He told one about "The Stick", an old Marine
term for the guy on watch, manning the counter or desk. One day
a guy by the name O'M is behind the counter and Admiral N comes
in asking for Frank. O'M is relatively new and still kind of shaky,
asks N for a name, "Chester N", the Admiral announced
like the Commander he was. "Right!" bellowed O'Malley
contemptuously, "and I'm Napoleon Bonaparte." Without
missing a beat N replied politely "Nice to meet you Mr. Bonaparte."
Bill also reminisced on his early days in the San Francisco fellowship.
He told us one story
about going over to an AA meeting in Sausalito. When they got
there they heard an unusual amount of revelry emanating from the
closed door meeting place. When a guy finally showed up and cracked
the door enough to peer out at Bill and his friend, the familiar
smell of alcohol assailed Bill's nostrils. It became obvious to
Bill that this group was still in the desire only stage of recovery.
The pair was informed that the price of admission was a six-pack.
Bill was a marine who served with honor in the Pacific theater
in WW2. He celebrated 40 years of sobriety earlier this year,
thank you Bill for being there for us.
New People Are Everywhere
What I notice mostly
about these new people are, they are young, smartly dressed, well
educated, and have an income. We have to accept things are definitely
changing within AA in terms of the social and economic status
of the individuals seeking help. Substance abuse and alcoholism
no longer has the stigmatism of 30 or even 20 years ago. The level
of public consciousness is higher, especially when it comes to
societal attitudes towards addiction.
People so afflicted
are not waiting to hit the streets anymore before seeking help,
most of them still have a job, family, friends and on average
are coming in to recovery in their early to mid-twenties. Even
the low bottom ones is educated and invariably had some previous
exposure to the dangers of substance abuse and the availability
of twelve step programs. When I first came to AA I had no health
insurance, no place to live, and the future looked bleak. A guy
told me in one of my first meetings I would go a long way in the
fellowship because I had a long way to go.
As spiritual beings
there is a natural inclination towards trusting others, especially
within the confines of a Twelve Step meeting. This however can
sometimes be a mistake. A serial basket raider has struck twice
within the last month at the 7:00 AM. Please pass the basket starting
from the rear and try not to put the H&I can in the basket.
If you are happy with
the results of the election send us a check, depressed send us
a check, indifferent send us a check. If you are the one who gets
elected send us a check. I'm voting for David Ortiz, what a series
Anthony T. Murray "Irish Tony"