Doug was one of my very closest friends in A.A. After a long illness, he passed on to The-Meeting-In-The-Sky to join our other members who have passed on.
I wrote the below letter to Doug.
Monday, August 6, 2018
Dear Doug (a bit of a poignant pause)
How do I go back to 1986, and all of the Noon Meetings at ’44 Montgomery Street’? And all of the Saturday Morning meetings at ‘Pierce and Clay’. And 7 days a week, from early morning until late at night at ‘1010 Valencia’ pronounced ‘Ten ten Valencia’. And then after the ‘Pierce and Clay’ meeting ceased, Saturday Morning meetings at St. Dominic’s School, Pine and Steiner. Sure, add in a few at Tuesday Downtown on Nob Hill at Grace Cathedral. These are but the tip of a proverbial iceberg of meetings we frequented back-in-the-day Doug.
Lord! The people (the crowd) with whom we were enmeshed Doug, as we all trudged the road of happy destiny together. Whew! Did I just refer to them as people Doug? How about ‘colorful characters’! Oh my yes! Boys and Girls both. Sad to write (at age 81) many names have slipped away. But, in my mind’s-eye, I can still ‘see’ many of them.
One, however, must be named.
Si (Silas) Payne! A Giant among Giants (another lengthy, poignant pause Doug. I re-read the above lines and experienced some moments of a waivering / tremulous voice and yes Doug, watering eyes too).
What a man Si was Doug.
“You are telling me about Si?” /s/ Doug in the next realm
Then I left my beloved San Francisco, home for more than a few decades, to follow a path set before me by God.
And, through many Post Cards from around the world, we stayed in-touch.
Hong Kong (was it 2002 in July) you bailed me out of an internet challenge over there by forwarding my e-mails to you (for reasons I’ll never understand you were receiving my e-mails) along to my network of friends.
Back in 1996, you hosted us at your place in the Embarcadero Center off Battery Street. It seems like it was yesterday Doug. Crystal clear.
One time I shared in a meeting about my vomiting blood during an alcoholic crisis. You popped up with this : “I just drank more to cauterize the internal bleeding.”
How about you getting struck by a car in New Orleans? What a mess that was. If my memory serves me correctly Doug, you were on the sidewalk!
Oh the memories Doug.
The Nevada Years. We visited you and stayed with you in Dayton. Odd that one of our own family members and his wife have a place in Dayton and the three of you are attorneys.
Oh yes. Some very challenging times too Doug. Your fall from a ladder as you were changing a light bulb not to mention the Big C (cancer). And through it all! You stood tall.
Your void hurts Doug. Through it all, through thick and thin, from early 1986 we stayed close-in-touch, a real bond!
Man Oh Manischewitz I miss you.
I’ll sign off with love and a line from Bob Hope ..
Doug! Thanks for the memories.
Cap and Patti