From the August 2012 magazine.

August 2012: Too Cool for School

The fancier the job, the more he drank, until years of fast living finally took their toll

After 30 years in and out of AA, I’ve known some folks too smart for the program. I deal with one of them every morning in the mirror.

I grew up in a mid-western university community. My father did not want to have anything to do with me. He smashed dishes and threw food on the floor when Mom fixed meals he didn’t like. In public, he was charming; in private, he was coarse, angrily inpatient, and profane. He operated a radio repair shop down by the river. The rent was cheap and we got by on watermelons grown on an uncle’s farm and other produce families grew on the flooded river mud flats. My mother was a gentle woman who educated herself to help support us.

-- Josef H.

Minden, Nevada

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