Tuesday, November 18, 2008

November 18 - Nothing occurs in your life--nothing--which is not first a thought. Thoughts are like magnets, drawing effects to you. Meditations from Conversations with God, Book 1, page 188.
Hi, y'all. How the hell are you? Saw a bunch of you over at Scott W.'s wishing him a Happy 5th Birthday. Isn't that a glorious thing to do, wishing someone another happy year of sobriety. I can't think of anything better to do. Well, of course that they will be there next year to be wished the same for one more year, etc. etc. etc. I have no doubt that Scott will be there next year to celebrate #6. You know why I think that? Scott works a very good program. He has and uses his sponsor. He goes to meetings. He hangs with the with the winners. Last and not least, he is my friend.
Last week my friend Larry was here for the week. He was with me for three nights and three days and then at his Mom's the next three days an two nights and then back here for two nights and two days. We talked a lot and then some. We went to Galveston. Parts of Galveston was like being in a ghost town. But there was evidence that a lot of work had been done. There was damage everywhere. Most restaurants of the Seawall were back in business. It was strange not to see the Balinese room hanging over the Gulf. The Strand was totally closed, most business gutted and the signs of fixing em up was evident in looking in the windows. West beach was the strangest of all. Miles of beach homes up on their stilts with most having no sign of stairs and a lot of them minus their decks. A lot of these homes were two three, or four bedroom houses. Some of them were huge mansions up on stilts - sort of Texas's answer to Newport R.I. Not quite, but where else but Texas would you find a colonial mansion on stilts (Tara by the sea) with a 6 car garage underneath. Now those garages were not enclosed, something to do with building codes so water and wind can go under and not take the house down. Those are some sights one just does not forget. We went down there because Larry's maternal family settled in Galveston in the 30's when they came over from Wales. Their old homes were still there intact in the middle of the city.
Man, West Beach had certainly changed from 45 years ago. In those days a group of us used to go down there to camp out, drink, and have a good time. Many a drunk Saturday night was enjoyed on West Beach. And if we did not spend the night camping down there, we drove down on Sunday as Stewart's Beach was where anyone that was anyone gathered on Sundays at noon. At two o'clock the gay section on the beach was just abandoned and off we went to this little Greek bar over on the lower Strand to drink and dance the afternoon away. That place was small, but we could pack a couple of hundred sweaty, bathing suit clad people in there and have room to dance on the postage size dance floor. Sometimes we just danced in place. Drunk Driving was a sport back in those days. If you got stopped, you were hardly ever taken to jail unless it was really really bad, like puking on a cop bad. Anyway at 6 PM it was empty out Louisa's and drive the 65 miles back to Houston to a little bar out in the Village for the 8 0"clock beer bust. God forbid we sobered up. We'd stop in Galveston, get a couple of six packs for the drive and head out for Houston. Larry was right in the mix of all of this. However, he grew out of the heavy drinking. I did not. He is one of those people that can nurse a beer for an hour, pour it out because it is warm and get another cold one. Probably in the course of a day, he will probably drink two beers. I used to think he was a bit off - in secrecy of course.
Larry is one of those friends that knew me back when, and through all of my drinking, my stunts, and never threw me away. He told me several times he thought I had a problem, but I just tuned that part out. He is also one of those friends that was glad as hell when I fell into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. I've been especially blessed to have long term friends that still are my friends. The thing that probably kept those friendships going is the fact that we lived in different cities. But you know it does not matter what city we are in, a drunk is a drunk is a drunk, be it LA, SF, HOU, NYC etc. I am so fortunate that I am an alcoholic in recovery. And hey, if I wasn't I would not have been blessed by knowing all y'all. Now that is one of the blessings of the program and it just don't get much better than that.
Tonight I am grateful for:
  • God, my Higher Power
  • My Sobriety
  • Mamie my schnauzer
  • My Sponsor (whom I owe a telephone call)
  • Scott's 5th Birthday
  • Lambda
  • All y'all
  • Memories

Now y'all be pretty now, ya heah.


dAAve said...

I'm here, damnit.
I'm here.

big Jenn said...

Thank you for the story. I too did alot of dancing in my addiction and now I'm happy to say that I'm usually one of the first people on the dance floor with or without a partner. I don't need to be drunk to dance!You are indeed lucky to have good friends. I have a few who knew me back in the day too. jeNN

J-Online said...

This post reminded me of many memories/parties on Stewart Beach. that was the hot place to be come spring break time. I've gotten myself in trouble there a time or two. And look at us now, two drunks in recovery and still happy; now we're just drinking coffee! Much better way of life.

J-Online said...

This post reminded me of many memories/parties on Stewart Beach. that was the hot place to be come spring break time. I've gotten myself in trouble there a time or two. And look at us now, two drunks in recovery and still happy; now we're just drinking coffee! Much better way of life.

AlkySeltzer said...

Let's see, friend Zane--there's a lesson here somewhere: Oh yeah..."Don't puke 'bad' on a cop." I knew I'd learn something today! -big grin-

Seriously, it is SO much FUN to walk soberly down memory lane with someone else.

Almost as much fun as walking down my own memory lane. Something we all do when we spend time with old friends. It is a warming read. (Cold here in Naples today! Brrrrr!)

Scott W said...

Thanks for the call and the 'song'! LOL I was taking a luxury nap and missed you.

Pam said...

Good history post today!
I loved Stewarts Beach when I was a teenager.

Syd said...

I'm glad that you stopped by. Thanks for your comment. When I read about drinking and the good ole days, I am reminded that I'm damn lucky that I didn't have the physical craving or the mental obsession. I guess the genetic roll of the dice was in my favor. Still I wonder how I got through the crazy years of college and graduate school.

I'm sorry to hear that Galveston is still struggling. It will take a while before things are rebuilt, if ever. Barrier islands are a risk to build on for obvious reasons.

Todd HellsKitchen said...

Good for Scott!


Memory lane can branch one of two ways. It can be a place of shame, guilt, and regret and I choose not to hit that path. OR it can be a place of warmth, love, nostalgia, a good place - there I like visiting from time to time.

Thanks for taking me with you on a good trip to your past.