From the July 2007 magazine.

A Beer, Apaintbrush, And Abig Book

An AA reaches out and passes it on

On april 14, 2007, I celebrated ten years sober--and I was here, in the hole. I have been involved with service work pretty much since I first walked through the doors of AA. Learning that cold water heats faster than hot water for coffee was easy. Listening to the seven guys I have sponsored, and helping them, was not.

I guess you could say that I was born with a paintbrush in one hand and a can of beer in the other. My father taught me how to use them both very well. I took my first drink of beer when I was five years old. Dad took me and my little brother to work with him every summer painting houses, apartments, and office buildings. After work we often waited for him in the car with a six pack of our own while he sat in the bar until closing time. On Sunday afternoons, he took us with him to play softball. But not once did my brother or I actually get to play. We sat on the bench drinking beer from the many coolers to choose from while my dad and his buddies played. My mom yelled at him more times than I can remember for bringing her sons home drunk, and once, when I was in second grade, she had to skip work and call the school because I was too hungover to attend.

-- Michael G.

Tecumseh, Nebraska

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