by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Grapevine : November 2011
Those in the film were the actual people who'd lived the story. I am a mixed-blood Comanche, so I walked out with a special sense of pride. As I watched the video in prison that day, I felt my life had been totally and completely decimated by alcohol. Many things had been put in place to absolutely guarantee that I'd never fly again. My future could not have been bleaker. Fast forward to 19 years of sobri- ety ... my retirement as a 747 captain from the airline that had fired me, a Presidential pardon, and my fourth or fifth appearance at a residential treatment center in California. Some- one mentioned the Alkali Lake Band while I was there, and I asked if they knew those folks. I had never forgot- ten the impact of that video. I was told that the residential treatment center had a liaison with the Alkali Lake Band, had encouraged and sup- ported them for years and made an annual trip there to celebrate sobri- ety with them. I was asked if I'd be willing to go and speak. I was touched by the thought of getting to meet the people in the vid- eo. I quickly agreed. A few months later I found myself on the Alkali Lake Reserve near Williams Lake, British Columbia. I met the people in the story, participated in two sweat lodges with them and spoke at their annual gathering. It was a deeply spiritual, nearly indescribable expe- rience for me. Their reserve was large, wild and beautiful. I went for walks alone, marveling at the breathtaking land- scape, and I reflected back on that day in prison so long ago. At that moment in time, it would have been impossible for me to believe what lay ahead for me---that if I simply stayed sober one day at a time I would someday be able to meet with that magnificent group of Native people who'd done so much to save them- selves and their families. And that has been my experi- ence for just over 21 years now. I've had many similar experiences such as the one described here. Each has been just as incredible, just as hard to imagine, and yet so routinely typi- cal of what AA brings our way. My second day in treatment, I was at an outside AA meeting in Clarkston, Ga. I remember glancing at the podium, and it read, "Expect A Miracle." I had no idea what that meant, nor did I know how true it would be. It was no coincidence that I saw that film that day in prison. It was no coincidence that I happened to be at the residential treatment cen- ter when they were discussing their upcoming visit to Alkali Lake. And it was no coincidence that I was able to see the circle close from that day in prison to the reality of sharing our Native sobriety together. Lyle P. Stockbridge, Ga. 32 November 2011