The Marina Dock Newsletter OCTOBER
Dear Marina Dock Members
August and September
were not good for us financially, but we did manage to get through
on a wing and a prayer more than anything else. We have to assume
that a lot of our patrons are tapped out, some are waiting to
see what happens in November, while others are taking trips
and reading inspirational books, and all of us, no matter what
our status, try to remember that we are powerless and all we
have is today. It’s true “One day at a time” becomes, not just
a reality for us, but also our mantra. Before I proceed, I need
to make an amends for screwing up Wade D’s letter to his friend
Si P that appeared in last months newsletter. I had someone
reformat the original letter on a word-processor and I didn’t
take enough time to proof read it. We left out part of the letter
and other parts made no sense. However, the original letter
can now be accessed on our website at www.marinadock.org
. Wade sent me a copy of another letter he wrote to Frank
B, when Frank celebrated fifty years of sobriety:
Nebr. Dec 28 1995
Reflections on Frank's Celebration dinner, Holiday Inn, Union
Square, January 4, 1996.
Pauline and I moved from Chicago to San Francisco in 1966, Frank
welcomed us with open arms. At that time, he was the major domo
at the 7 Seas Club (on Mission Street), which catered to alcoholic
seamen. He invited us to a Saturday nite AA meeting. We ascended
a flight of stairs. When we approached the landing we recognized
a prominent male movie star, drunk and disheveled, sitting on
the last step. He mumbled that Frank wouldn’t let him stay inside.
We later found out that Frank had bounced him, as the guy was
loud and obstreperous. Frank is alert to early warning signals
of people who tend to become allergic to their own bull****.
We were entranced by the 7 Seas Club - it had all the trappings
of a sleazy waterfront dive.
Through the years Frank has earned and enjoyed the respect and
love of Bay area AA’s. He is a down home guy, and thankfully,
with half a century of sobriety, he is not and never has been,
an AA guru. Our friends to the south, in Lala land, suffer a
few gurus gladly - I recall one who drones on and on. Almost
every time he opens his mouth he subtracts from the sum total
of AA wisdom. Frank ain’t that way - his remarks are filled
with empathy, and sparkle with self deprecating humor. Frank
is direct, but now and then his directness wanders off in circuitous
fashion. We baseball fans over fifty, tag him with affection,
as the Casey Stengel of AA. I recollect Frank calling me about
a fallen away Catholic from Boston, with a huge guilt problem,
which was putting his sobriety in jeopardy. He inveigled me
into inviting the Bostonian, and AA Father Andy, to lunch at
the Banker’s Club. I ducked after a round of Perrier and left
a running tab. Later Andy told me the guy ate like the Russians
were in Daly City, planning a final assault, and was only interested
in relating his Brahmin Harvard background. Frankly, we saved
no souls that day. We scored when Frank called me about John,
who had spent over a year in a halfway house, and had lost all
confidence in an attempt to re-enter the corporate world. We
convinced John to apply to the company who had fired him for
drinking. He thought we were nuts, but it worked. His former
company, after a couple of years, promoted him to a top executive
position in Chicago.
Frank: Old friend - you is duh niftiest on your fiftieth.
May you enjoy good health and sobriety into the millennium -
and then some. Pauline and I love you.
An update on meetings
The Saturday CODA
meeting is on again. The new secretary, Scott, has gone to great
lengths to get this meeting started again. I promised him all
the support we can muster, but the bottom line with any meeting,
is a secretary who is committed, and a hard core of enthusiasts.
If you show up in time every week, and appear to be together,
you will get people to attend. The Art Therapy workshop is also
going well. This workshop, conducted by Jody Hayes, is at 6:30
pm every second Wednesday. The Swami’s Meditation workshop at
7:30 pm on Sunday nights is also very popular; if you are feeling
restless, irritable, and discontent, this might be the ticket.
We now have NA meetings every night of the week. Check our schedule
for details. The entire Marina Dock schedule can be accessed
from our website (www.marinadock.org).
Still on the topic
The Marina Dock hosts,
on average, fifteen Twelve Step meetings every day. We, the Marina
Dock management, have gone to great lengths to ensue the autonomy
of all meetings. Unless there is a situation where individual
safety and security are at risk, we try not to purposely violate
the groups’ autonomy. However, every once in a while we will get
a complaint from someone attending a meeting, about the secretary
changing the format, rambling on ad nauseam about themselves,
and generally talking down to people from spiritual hilltops.
This, unfortunately, is a fact of life in Twelve Step programs.
It’s not just peculiar to the Marina Dock.
When anyone complains to
me, I remind them this is a group issue and should be dealt with
within the confines of the Steps and Traditions. If these problems
persist and are not dealt with promptly, there is always a danger
of groups becoming “too tolerant with the intolerable”, and then
it gets to be an even bigger problem. If you attend a meeting
and feel the meeting is not in compliance with the format, bring
it to the groups attention during the meeting. To remain silent,
allowing one person who may be well intentioned but obviously
misguided, reduce the meeting to a lecture, is not good.
Again, if you have questions
pertaining to a meeting and how meetings should be conducted,
the best source of knowledge and information is the Secretary’s
Workshop, which will be on again in October. Look for the flyer
posted around the facility.
Marina Dock Misses
Revenue Goal as Economic Indicators Fall
Those of us who are aficionados
of America’s favorite pastime, remember what Babe Ruth told a
reporter, when he told “The Babe” he was making more money than
the President. The Babe shot back “I had a better year than he
I feel the same way, except
for the salary part. (1) We cut our deficit in half from August
2003. (2) We have improved our infrastructure without raising
the cost of goods and services. (3) We have increased our workforce
when globally the stock market is tepid, and jobless claims are
up, for a third consecutive month. We have increased productivity,
and, at the same time, we have gone 100% recyclable, as oil approaches
an all time high of $50.00 a barrel ($49.64 on Monday’s closing
bell). For the fourth consecutive quarter, our investors are getting
the highest possible yields on their investments ( i . e ., they
keep coming back for more and they are all staying sober). Oh!
One other statistic: two independent pollsters show us with a
popularity rating of around 93%.
We could boast that these
accomplishments are the result of significant cumulative policy
tightening, which foster conditions consistent with price stability
and sustainable growth. Ah yes! It’s amazing what one can do with
words and an article or two from the business section of the paper.
Although we have actually, in our own way, achieved everything
outlined above, it was realized, not through language manipulation,
but through ingenuity, blood sweat and tears, and a few, more
than generous donors. Unlike American Airlines, we cannot reach
an agreement with Bank of America or our landlord, to ease requirements
for the next quarter. We on the other hand, have to come up with
the rent and pay our bills on time, every time, every month, and
so far we have managed to do so. Despite all we have achieved,
I still believe Oscar Wilde got it right when he said ”It is better
to have a permanent income than be fascinating.” I would gladly
settle for one or the other.
We had lots of Out
So many visitors know
about us. Again our website has proven invaluable in getting the
message out there about our location and meeting schedule. I have
posted some recent notes of appreciation,
from grateful Marina Dock visitors, for your perusal. Speaking
of our website,
Ultan, our very own, in-house technical wizard, and his wife Louise,
are now the proud parents of a baby boy “Fionn Dara” (pronounced
“Fiyun Dara”), arrived in early August, with minimal fuss or fanfare.
I believe he is already “downloading stuff from the Net” and reading
The Irish Times.
Our Lease Renewal?
This is, my fellow
Marina Dockers, at this time contingent on so many variables,
like Global Economic Stability, General Elections, Consumer Confidence,
War, Oil Prices, Natural Disasters, Global Warming, and other
potential and unforeseen catastrophical events. I could keep it
simple and say “I don’t Know”. I will, however, say this, We cannot
do much without your ongoing financial support. It definitely
starts there. I want to thank all of you for your continued donations.
You obviously like what we are doing. In the final analysis, it’s
all in the hands of that perfect omnipotent, omniscient originator
and ruler of the Universe: ***. I think it will be OK!
Anthony T. Murray "Irish Tony"