Drinking Alcohol taught me how to fly
Then it took away the sky....

Friday, May 18, 2012



In all the years of not drinking, I have told everything about myself to one or the other. Everything! Then, tonight at an AA meeting, the speaker told of an amateur band of which he was a member during his youth. Ah! Memories—here comes another.

As I think back, between my age of 7-11 (sounds like “Thank Heaven for...”!) a group of musicians drove out to our farmhouse four times a year, forming an orchestra, which played 'easy' classical music like Strauss Waltzes, popular opera tunes, and the three B's (Bach, Beethoven, Brahms).

I recall three doctors played violins, a dentist played trombone, Members of the Cincinnati Symphony orchestra played 'cello, Bass, and the tympanist directed these events.

Two realtors and several lawyers rounded out the group with my mother, pianist (she was really good, a conservatory Peep). I was so impressed with these Peeps, who obviously loved music so much, that they came to our house to rehearse. Always 'rehearse'...never played a concert, to my knowledge.

A few of the attractions were:

Obligatory keg of beer
Truckloads of food
Love of music
Large living-room
Periodic escape from hardships
and horrible news of WWII...

Some of their wives and lady friends attended. My father—the farmer--told often, stories—sprinkled with humor--from his own life of sightless darkness. He was a popular guy in any group wherever he found himself...maybe because he lived with utter JOY in spite of his handicap.

My mother eventually thought I was 'ready for my debut' with the group, and so I got to sit in from that moment on. I was age 9.

These were my first orchestral experiences. I loved being accepted as part of a working group of adults.

It was my first experience with alcohol, and I also fell immediately in love with beer, but especially Brandy, Bourbon, and Benedictine, my three B's. These matched my other three favorite B's...Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms!

Peep if you are still here, you have just witnessed a turning-point in my life, musically and alcoholically. Seventy years later, the violin continues to be a great part of my life. Thirty years after that first binge, alcohol—my best friend--failed me, no longer supplied the relief I needed.

Alcoholics Anonymous has saved my life.
Music helps to save my soul.

May 19, 2012

Drawing: Google Images


  1. That's the turning point, after so many twists and turns, and some "hairy" experiences.

  2. The best thing is that you found out what is right and what is wrong.

  3. Being a very moderate drinker and only a music lover, not musician, I wonder why.
    Why so many musicians be it classic or rock are heavily into alcohol and drugs.
    I mean, the music itself is liberating the soul, where the words stop, music begins.
    It's a tragedy and and a wonder.
    The little nine year old being served the best and the worst of this world.
    I'm glad you chose the better part.
    I'm also glad you never stop witness about the AA and being a helper of others.

  4. man all the music and stories make it sound like a great thing you know...gathered together to share that love of art...but then the bit of darkness as well...i am glad you made it out the other side brother...

  5. We do find that in many of our stories we watch the magic spirit come over others and decide we must have that thing. How it was with alcohol, and given the nature of it's only being a temporary fixer-elixer, so was also the case with AA. The magic spirit that came over others was so attractive that I felt I must have that thing! :)

  6. Thank you for giving us a glimpse into that memory. I can just see it, too. There are those pivotal moments in our lives and I see how that was one for you.

  7. I'm glad that you found something to soothe you. Music is good!

  8. Hi Steve. I am new at this and created a blog: http://tryingtoadmit.blogspot.com/

    I'm trying to connect with others who have a problem with alcohol. I'd appreciate a follow and feel free to share my blog name with others. Thank you.

  9. This is a beautiful post, Steve.

  10. That really is a touching story Steve. Music, I can honestly say, is my true religion.

  11. RAINFIELD61!
    “...we have reached the turning point!” I guess ( I KNOW!) we either make that U-turn...or we go over the steep cliff. And I don't believe it is ALL choice. God's grace is somewhere in that mix!

    OK Girl. It is one thing to “find out”. And another to do it! You are right—in my case it was “the best thing”. Thank you for your comment.

    In my regular daily 7 AM meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, attending are 2 musicians, 5 doctors, 6 lawyers, 12 Real Estate sales Peeps, 4 Psychiatrists, a whole bunch of single mothers, lots of tradesmen/women to equal from 75-110 Peeps EVERY morning of the year. So, we musicians are at the bottom of the well. Of course, this is not New york, etc.
    Guess I must talk about my disease Alcoholism, because it is who I AM—grin!
    NOTE: We need LOTS of music lovers, or how would musicians be able to eat? Thanks for being here today!

    Guess we ALL “make it out the other side one way or the other”—dead or alive! I love it when Peeps share life stories or, like you, observations of the Universe. But YOU Brian, write it best, NMW!

    Exactly!—fixer elixir! Magic Spirit(s). then, the turning point! And the wonderful, new way of life.

  12. KRISTIN!
    I would just love to BE a giant computer, capable of storing and understanding EVERYONE'S life, pivotal moments and all! And finally to realize how much alike...we are. REALLY!

    Yup! Music—one of God's gifts, does its part. But, as you know, it is SO MUCH MORE! Not the least of which is reading the blogs and comments of you Peeps I met here 3 or 4 years ago. Nice to 'see' you, Syd.

    I gave your info to a female AA blog-friend in South Carolina. But really, you are the one to make those contacts...as I see you have been doing. GREAT! Keep coming back—to the meeting rooms.
    Bless you, 'new' Peep!

    Thanks, my friend!

    Music a 'religion'? That's good! I used to have the idea (as a child) that's all the angels did, was fly around singing praises to God Almighty! And a few of them got here and sang, “Peace on earth, and Good Will to men!” HA! We better start hearing the message of that brand of music....

  13. Wow, you have lots of great and fun memories. You know, I heard that Geminis, hey, your birthday is coming up, are obsessed with remembering, recalling, analyzing, evaluating and replaying events. Is that true? I don't believe it because I am Gemini and I never do those things. Have a wonderful weekend. Hey, did you notice that all of my personal photos, info and posts are gone iin FB? I did that just to prove my point above. :)

  14. Steve, I am a Peep with much in common, except I was never classically trained... at music. I was, however, capable of stirring or shaking a very dry martini by age 7.

    Mom was a singer; we had similar parties, only all jazz, no dancing, just performances, acoustic solos, and only audience members invited were those who knew when to be quiet during a song... thus, many gay and lesbian friends, my aunts and uncles.

    I made my singing debut at 5, performing "K-K-K-Katie." The thrill of the applause, something you never forget. Played professionally, still keep my hand in. I know your mom and dad are watching and are proud... your dad was lucky in a way, to have that extra gift of auditory senses to compensate. Love, Amy (Song and lyrics:)

  15. turning points.
    that is what it is all about.
    you have been a part of mine.

    even as i struggle still.
    i seem to always turn back to writing.

    and the comfort and relief of getting the demons out in words.

    thanks for this post. it is reflective and i ponder.

    hugs friend.


  16. What a life you've lived! An experience like that is ageless and profound. Your life has truly been such a mix of opposites...I'm glad you've found the peace.

  17. Steve,
    You are a wise man, finding a way out of such a terrible addiction. I see many of my nursing home residents with history of alcoholism falling into dementia and aggressive behaviors, not a pretty end of their lives. Unfortunately, I also have dealt and still deal with loved ones who are trapped into alcohol abuse. The worse part is when they don't recognize it as a problem.

    Thank you for sharing about your journey.

    Blessings, my friend.