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Grapevine : March 2011
varied people. Truly mys- tified, I stood and said, "I don't know what you all have here, but it sure is beautiful." And then I sat back down. In the light of the lantern their smiles were bright and their eyes were dancing. Later, as we all left, the cowboy got into the VW with the surfboard racks, the sailor and the lady got into the nearly broken-down jeep, and the Apache man and the Yaqui woman who lived in an adobe hut with no electric- ity stood by their brand-new pickup truck and waved as we all drove away in different directions. I could not comprehend all that I had just witnessed. Bobby and I were most- ly quiet, he for the first time since he had picked me up hours earlier. When we got back to the highway I fell asleep and awakened near dawn as we were entering Albuquerque. He warmly bid me farewell at anoth- er crossroad, truly concerned that I was simply wandering north into the Colorado mountains. I ended up marrying that girl waiting in Aspen and moved to the San Francisco Bay area, cutting my hair and going to work for a union, moving furniture. I started drinking beer with the boys and was soon up to a case a day. The marriage split up 12 years later in Hawaii, and I switched to hard liquor. Then, after 24 drunken years, two wives, four DUI convictions, various arrests in 13 states and four countries, a down- ward spiraling life of madness con- stantly sacrificing everything of value to continue drinking, I found myself in an AA club in El Toro, Calif., just a couple hundred miles west and a lifetime of pain from that adobe hut in the desert. I raised my hand as a newcomer, got a sponsor, worked the Steps in order and today have 17 years of sobriety. I attend daily 6 A.M. meetings in San Juan Capistrano. As amanIoncemetsaid,Ihavealife beyond imagination. I'm 62 years old, and my happy friends from that long ago night are probably all gone now. Hey there, folks, hello through all these years. I know what we have here and it sure is beautiful. Greg F. Laguna Hills, Calif. He was literally a card-carrying member of AA. Grapevine 37