Non-Profit Corporation

The Marina Dock Newsletter OCTOBER 2006

Dear Marina Dock Members and Patrons:

Thank you all for your continued support, this was a long summer for us contribution wise as a lot of our regular donors took the summer off. Hopefully, now that it is officially the Fall perhaps October will bring good tidings. Here is an interesting statistic, in the early “Dry Dock” years, most of our income was from small donations and membership dues now we are more dependent on larger donations from fewer individuals. I assume it somehow reflects the change in social and economic demographics of San Francisco in general, going from a city with a strong tradition of blue-collar working class and low-income people to a city where the global economy is evident in the amount of money people are paying to live here. We are so lucky to have this great facility in such a prime location , it is something we tend to overlook until we go to other cities and see what’s available in terms of AA meeting places and social clubs.

Lila’s Workshop

I hope it is not too late for you to check out this workshop on Saturday September 30th. Lila has offered her services for free, all donations going to the Marina Dock:

Codependency: Defense Mechanisms that Drive Lovers Away

Saturday, September 30th, 2006,

3:1 5 -5 PM

Marina Dock East Room
Suggested Donation: $15:00
No one turned away for lack of funds
(415) 337-9474 or (415) 567-1775
Brochure (PDF)

We want to draw people to us by being charming, loving, considerate, and useful. We defend ourselves against our fears of being rejected by putting up walls that rather than make us safe, make us lonely and isolated or overworked and mistreated. One system of defenses is the Enneagram, a psychological typing system that helps us see what we do to keep our lovers away! Today we can find out how to lower our defenses to let them come in and play! Codependents have some special defenses that they have developed over time that have worked well but at a terrible cost. Let’s stop paying that price and begin to play our real hand, the one our Higher Power gave us. We are worth more than we think. Let’s do a few exercises to see how different it feels to let go and let God!

Lila Caffery, M. A., CCHT is an experienced family therapy consultant and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist. A graduate of Murray Bowen's Family Systems and Jay Haley's Strategic Therapy programs, she is also a trained family dramatist (Satir Method) and a graduate of the Palo Alto School of Hypnotherapy. Her private work in San Francisco and Belmont, as well as her retreats (Jesuit Retreat House) and workshops, center on the spiritual renewal of the Inner Child from the damaging self beliefs formed in abusive and neglectful families. She specializes in addiction counseling and has an outreach to addicts and prisoners in recovery.

Additional Workshops

Monday night 8:30PM at the Marina Dock

On Monday nights the Marina Dock Features renowned motivational 12 Step Recovery speaker Paul H who does an intensive overview of the first three steps of recovery. Paul has been doing this Monday night workshop for many years and many newcomers have benefited from his insights.

Wednesday Night 7:00PM

Chris L has a great 4th Step workshop he uses the format outlined by Bill Wilson in chapter 5 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Sunday Night Swamis Meditation

This is one of the most popular workshops at the Marina Dock a number of our members attend and all of them claim to have been restored to sanity as a result. I believe this workshop has been reinstated to its original time of 7:30 but check at the counter or call 415-567-1775 for verification.

New Men’s AA Meeting

We now have a 6:00AM men’s AA meeting on Monday and Thursday mornings in the West Room, the format is varied which should make it more interesting.

Car Donation

The car I am driving got into a close encounter with a young fella driving a brand new Mercedes over on Bay and Columbus in the early hours of August 5th. I was driving some members home after the Midnight meeting. Believe it or not, I was not at fault, he made a left turn right into my path in the middle of the intersection. The result the car is pretty much totaled and right now I am driving a rental. If anyone has a decent mid-sized car they would like to donate to the Marina Dock that would really help us out. Our car donation program is definitely helping we have had several people donate their cars over the last few months, nothing big but an extra three or four hundred dollars every month makes a difference. The phone number for the Car Donation program is 1-888-686-4483 they do all the paperwork and will pick up your car at any location.

Tribute to Frank Brennan 1918-2003

I first met Frank over 22 years ago (1981) at one of my first AA meetings. I think it was the 8.30 Friendly Circle Meeting at Sacramento and Van Ness. He always wore that big brown coat with deep pockets, he carried a shopping bag, later he upgraded to a leather attaché-case, but sometimes he would have the attaché-case and the shopping bag. Later on, in 1986 when the Dry Dock opened, I saw him pretty much everyday; he came there daily, rain or shine, until he got sick in 2001 and went to St Ann's. Frank was truly in his element at The Dry Dock, this was a perfect landscape for him, lots of people, lots of action, and lots of laughter, if he liked you, you were in, and you knew it. Sometimes he would show up around noon and attend every meeting one after the other. Many times he would come out of a meeting intending to leave, and on the way out the door he would run into someone he had not seen for a while, There would be the customary greeting, hands open, lots of “There you are’s!” and an about turn back into the next meeting. Sometimes Frank had no idea what kind of meeting he was in, it didn’t matter to him, if someone later pointed out to him that he was in an SLAA meeting or a Debtors Anonymous meeting, he would take on this feigned look of having screwed up, hold open his hands, and say “ Holy Christ” followed by his thunderous laughter. That was so lovable about the guy he had absolutely no pretentiousness what you saw was what you got. I liked it best when he would take time out, and sit in his favorite sofa in the social room and rummage through the shopping bag or the brown paper bag. He would pull out a handful of old letters or photos and share all kinds of stories. His favorite letters were the ones from Admiral N. One was about N getting into trouble at West Point over climbing out over a wall and abandoning his post.
After a while I realized Frank’s life was condensed into the contents of this brown paper bag. Sometimes he would get so involved in his stories he would leave at the end of the night and forget his bag, although he had shared the secrets of this bag with me many times, none of us would dare look inside, it was considered sacrosanct , the holy of holiest. He always liked to, in a very lovable way, inflate your status, if I told him I was at City College or later Dominican, he would introduce you to others as a Professor, a Scholar, or a near genius in something or other. He loved to see people in recovery succeed and if you asked him about this one or that one, he would recite to you chapter and verse, her sobriety date, and her academic achievements, who she was married to and where she was living “right now!” On the other hand, he had no time for blowhards or “The cult of the personality “ whenever a name came up of someone in the fellowship purporting, to be the next Messiah, he would close his eyes, look heavenwards and in the inimitable Frank style, utter something like “Ah yes! I knew that a**h*** when he was a piano player in a whorehouse, then he got sober, then he became a Guru, then he became God!” He loved the “Half measures group” (Frank’s moniker), even up to the end he would ask about the “Half measures.” The half measures, now defunct, were a group of guys who would sit in the social room and like the fella in the Big Book, “Who lolls in the Florida sunshine in the winter complaining of the sad state of the nation” would go on, and on, ad nauseum, about the world and its problems. This group, and Frank’s interest in them, was a testament to his infinitesimal capacity for love and tolerance, he never judged, he really didn’t care what kind of a program you were working as long as you were showing up, he gave you unconditional love.


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