From the April 1999 magazine.

A Place of Either/Or

My name is Alf and I am an alcoholic. I was born in July 1915, and I had my first drink of alcohol in 1925, at the age of ten. It happened this way. Because of prohibition, moonshine was delivered to customers in tin cans. Our brand was called Minnesota 13, and we supplied Al Capone in Chicago. A young man (who later died of alcoholism) poured a little moonshine into a tin cup, added water, and placed it in my hands. I drank it down and my love affair with alcohol began immediately.

My drinking progressed and during my college days in the nineteen-thirties, I first saw tears in my mother's eyes. She and my father came to see me in the county jail where I'd been kept overnight after being stopped by the police while leaving an all-night place called the Bloody Bucket. Perhaps some of you have memories of a place such as that. My road to the pain and darkness that comes with alcoholism had begun.

-- Alf S.

St. Cloud, Minnesota

This is a preview. To view the full article, use the link below to begin a free 7-day trial!