Non-Profit Corporation

The Marina Dock Newsletter November 2004

Dear Marina Dock Members and Patrons,

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.

Financial Statement Enclosed

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 and War

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 a passion.

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 yet, Clancy.

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 apropos.

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.

Basket Cases

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 he's had.


With Gratitude,

Anthony T. Murray "Irish Tony"


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