From the November 2013 magazine.

November 2013: Smile for Mickey

From childhood on, he never fit in the picture, until he got to AA

When I was a kid, my grandma took me to Disneyland for my birthday. She went crazy taking photos. One photo I still have shows everyone smiling and making nice with Mickey and Donald, but I’m on the outside, looking on, not smiling. I remember Grandma saying, “Get in the damned picture. Get closer. Say something to Mickey.” That photo illustrates my life.

At 12 years old, I discovered booze. My buddy and I sat in the ivy vines that surrounded his house and we shared a six-pack. The world seemed brighter. I had stumbled onto something marvelous. I felt hopeful that day.

-- Larry H.

Flagstaff, Arizona

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