From the February 2013 magazine.

February 2013: Band of Angels

An old-timer remembers the special “team” who helped him get sober in 1961

At the age of 6, I had my first taste of beer. One Halloween afternoon, a neighbor took my friends and I to a local beer garden to show off our costumes. I was given a mug of beer, and I remember enjoying the taste. I kept enjoying that taste until the end of my drinking days, when I drank beer to chase down my scotch. This ended on September 20, 1961.

Around 12, I went to see the movie “Angels With Dirty Faces.” I don’t remember what the movie was about, but I do remember liking James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart for being tough, and the Dead End Kids for being crazy. But it was only recently that I realized the title of the movie relates to my AA experience.

-- Ralph B.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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