79th Street Workshop New York, New York

April 28, 2005 7:30p.m.


DOROTHY: Hi, I'm Dorothy, I'm an alcoholic. I want to welcome you all to the 79th Street Workshop. I'm real pleased to be hosting this. Morene is our reporter. She's kind of requested that we only talk one at a time, because she can't take notes with three people speaking at once.



RICHARD: I'm Richard, alcoholic.

Maybe I'll say a little bit why we're here.

Dorothy and I were talking about a month ago, I think it was, about; I was realizing I was forgetting a lot of details about what happened when we got Ground Zero rolling, like I couldn't even remember the exact date anymore.

And so, I thought this was really an important event in AA, and also, it would be good for those of us who were there, especially the ones who got there early on, to just sit down together and kind of chat with each other and see if we can get down on paper our remembrances about how it all took place.

So, that's the idea behind us all being here.

And we just got in touch with people as best we could. A lot of people, the phone numbers we have, it was almost five years ago, aren't working numbers anymore; a lot of e-mails have changed, some people have left town, all that sort of thing.

So, we figured we could probably not get a whole lot of people, but we really wanted to get, as I said, people who started --helped us start out with this and just go from there, see how much information we can get down to, kind of fill out the record, and maybe eventually get this all typed up and submitted somewhere as an archival piece.

So, that's the idea of us all being here tonight.


DOROTHY: You know what I was wondering at first, if we could try to get some chronology down, cause my memory is not good these days. September 11th happened, and on September 28th, Susan U. at the General Service Office got a call from


RICHARD: It wasn't the 28th.


WALTER: 22nd, I believe.




DOROTHY: September 26th, she got a call that the Red Cross had been approached by the uniformed services.


RICHARD: Who did you get a call from? You didn't get a call from Susan, right?


DOROTHY: Okay. I was home; I got a call from Doug R., staff person at the General Service Office, saying that there had been a request for AA participation at Ground Zero. He said that he thought Richard had been called and I should probably talk to Richard. Before I called Richard, I called Bob R. at Intergroup, who was the executive secretary, to ask him what he thought I should do. And he said, well, I think you're going to have to do this by phone. You'll have to get volunteers by phone, find out where and when to go and what has to be done and call Richard.

He said but I wouldn't plan on making a flier and mailing it out.

I said, well, that's a good idea, cause that probably wouldn't work.

So, I called Richard or he called me, one or the other, we talked, and we each made a list of people we thought would like to do it.

I had a list of people from, mostly from this part of New York, because I

live -this is my home group. And I remember I called Eddie 0, Walter, Kathleen, Brian, and several other people I knew in service.

And at that point --the funny thing is, yeah, we both have our original lists, Richard and I both have our original lists. At that point we didn't know how much people were going to be allowed to participate. We didn't know what the physical facility would look like. We didn't know where the physical facility was going to be.

All we knew is, in Brooklyn Heights, the Cadman Plaza Red Cross, was the place that we had to go to get credentialed. And for a bunch of people from Manhattan to go to Cadman Plaza was a very big deal, cause we don't leave the borough. But everybody said yes, I'll do it, just tell me where and when.

So, that was on a Tuesday Wednesday, right?


RICHARD: As I recall, Wednesday I got called by Susan U., so you probably got called the same day, which was the 26th of September. And my recollection is, after you and I talked, we each started getting in touch with people.

The nice thing about this by the way was, Dorothy was --I was in cooperation with professional communication chair for SENY, so what we were tapping were two different groups of service people, Intergroup type people that Dorothy knew a lot of that.

I didn't know, I was in touch with a lot of SENY people who Dorothy knew, but I was more --they were more of the type of people I would reach for immediately. So, we were reaching out to different --these two big arms of service in New York area, AA service.

And my recollection is that we went out to the Red Cross two days later, which was Friday, the 28th. And that's what we've always considered to be sort of the birth of Ground Zero, was the 28th of September 2001. And I don't know how many people we got out there. It may have been 15 or 20 people.


WALTER: Yeah, 15, 20. Yeah.


RICHARD: So, as I recall, it was in the morning on Friday, and we cooled our heels there for several hours, and there was a lot of red tape behind-the-scenes negotiating going on that we didn't know about.

I found out later that, and I never thought about this, but if you're in a disaster area there's a lot of overlapping authorities that are involved, and especially in this case which was a crime scene and it involved a terrorist act and all this stuff.

There were a lot of competing authorities that had --they even have insurance policies that are in effect concerning the areas that were set up for serving the people who were working down there.

So, all that was going on, and there was probably a lot of political stuff going on to that I don't really know about.

I do know that our Red Cross contact, her name was Kelly, Kelly worked very hard. I believe she had a member of her family, she never made it entirely clear to me, a member of her family was in AA, but she was very attuned to the needs of recovering alcoholics to have at meetings. So, she was really pushing for this.

And so, we sat around and cooled our heels for several hours. Nothing happened. Everyone left except for me and Brian and John Friedlander, the three of us stuck around until I think it was late afternoon.


BRIAN: Yeah, we're the only three that they credentialed. They would only ensure three. Three of us.


RICHARD: And it was probably about 4 or 5 in the afternoon.


BRIAN: We got there about 6 at night.


RICHARD: So, the three of us hung around at that time, finally got credentials, got there about 6:00 or so to Respite Area 1, which was St. John's University building down on-­


WALTER: Murray Street.


RICHARD: Murray Street. Murray and West.

So, we got down there with no idea where we were going, what we were going to do. It was just the three of us, but we got in finally. And it

was pretty exciting just arriving. I mean, it was like going through --you went through all kinds of check points before you actually got in down there.

And so, we got down there, you know. It was just, what was that, two weeks after 9111, a little bit over two weeks, so everything was still smoldering and it was stinky. And we got into the respite area, and I think we hung around are again for another maybe hour or two without going what was going to happen.


BRIAN: We kept pestering them. They didn't know what to do with us.


RICHARD: Yeah. It was, again, this crossing lines of authority thing, one hand didn't know what the other was doing, and we just tried to be patient as much as we could. We knew we were being offered a chance to do something, that if we got too rambunctious about it, we might annoy people. So, we sat around pretty quietly and waited for something to happen and we finally got a room up on the second floor. We went up there. It was about 8:00 or so.


BRIAN: They told us we had to get out of there by midnight and that was it, that we were finished.


RICHARD: So, we got up there, John and Brian and me, kind of set the room up as best we could. We didn't have anything with us, really, to use.

We made a little sign, Friends of Bill W., put it down on the front door of Respite Area 1, and we did a few things in the room. And we just sat there, sort of waited, talked with each other until somebody showed up.


BRIAN: Nobody showed up the first night.


RICHARD: No, they did. They showed up -­



We came back on the Sunday. We had it till midnight. And then Saturday, I got the call from Dorothy that they agreed cause they still didn't know what to do with us and we went back Sunday. It was Sunday night that we had -­


THE CHAIRMAN: But I think somebody showed up Friday night. We didn't really have a meeting, but I think a couple of guys just wandered in. They saw the sign.


BRIAN: No, because the sign went up Monday. You were with me when I put it up. We came back on a Monday.


RICHARD: Well, you may be right. As I recall we put it up on Friday.


BRIAN: No. No.


RICHARD: This is why we're doing this.


DOROTHY: On Saturday I got a call from Eddie and from Joe Harvey and they said it's --you know, we're not getting credentialed; we're having trouble getting a classroom. What can we do?

Well, I had become politically active that year, so I called the administrative assistant of someone I had volunteered for and she said --she listened to me, she was wondering, she listened to me and she said don't use your phone, I'll call you back.

And she called me back in an hour and told me wait two hours, get your people: down there, you're all set for 24-hour-a-day room. You won't have a problem. An4 it was really --the Red Cross people were amazing. They hopped right to it.


RICHARD: What day was that?


DOROTHY: That was Saturday.


WALTER: Saturday.


BRIAN: They didn't come in until Sunday.


DOROTHY: I remember I went down on Sunday with a bunch of people, a whole lot of people. We all went down on Sunday and they credentialed us, which included a photo ID. And that was the beginning of--you know, we had a little status then. They credentialed nine that day.


WALTER: Joe and I did the first meeting. We got there about 4:00 till midnight.

KATHLEEN: On Sunday.


EDDIE: Just a funny line on that Friday when we were there and they were trying to figure out what to do with us, two topics of where or two suggestions of where to put us came up. They were talking, what do these people do? Well, let's put them in mental health, cause they had categories. And then someone else said no, they belong in Religion.


KATHLEEN: So they were moving us from room to room to decide what area we should be.


BRIAN: They were trying to figure out whose insurance we went under.


KATHLEEN: Is that why?


BRIAN: Yeah, whose umbrella we went under. Finally, we went under mental health.


KATHLEEN: Right. We all laughed about that one.


RICHARD: We were under mental health all the way through the rest of it. From that point on all our contacts with the Red Cross were with the mental health division.


EDDIE: We did get free lunch in the cafeteria.


WALTER: That's right.


KATHLEEN: Monday, I was at 6 a.m.


BRIAN: We were all out there Monday on the lawn when they had a terrorist alert drill. Remember? We all --the alarms went off. Now we had to go back the ones that were credentialed. Richard and I and John, we had to go back on a Monday to get credentialed again, the two weeks credentialing, and remember the alarms weren't off, we all had to march out.

Now we're on the lawn and I remember Kelly getting the phone call and I remember her saying, I mean, do I have to watch my back in this? Do I have to watch my back? That was when she got the phone call from her headquarters and they'd say no, that that comes from the top. You're cleared. I remember turning around to Dorothy and giving her the high sign, a big smile: We're in. And it was Monday that we finally--they gave us that room, you know, carte blanche.


WALTER: What was the number?


KATHLEEN: 221. Never forget it.

I was 6 a.m. on Monday morning and it took me an hour and a half to get to the site from where I could be dropped off, cause I was walking in a maze and it was dark in the morning and nobody knew how to direct me.

By the time I got there it was 7:30, a quarter to 8 in the morning, I was in tears, and there was a gentleman there from Long Island, Joe H, and he just hugged me and held me in his arms, and he said we're going to do fine today.

And we read “Came To Believe” to the first person who walked in, and the three of us just sobbed.

And that's how we started it. It was great.

Then Brian came, Brian and Nestor, and relieved me, and then I stayed and hung around with them.


BRIAN: No, Nestor came way after that.


KATHLEEN: You came, then, that afternoon. And I hung around till about, I

don't know, 3 or 4:00. Couldn't pull yourself away. I couldn't pull myself away. Once you were in it you were kind of stuck. Couldn't move. And I couldn't move.


EDDIE: My particular memories are, it's the greatest thing that ever happened to me, I think, both as a member of AA and as an American, because I was frustrated, what can I do?

And then Dorothy called me and I had something to do. And I remember the

first --I was a morning shift, too, a Tuesday, and it was still dark and eerie, the lights from the search light, and it was smoldering. I'm Irish, and I swear to God there were spirits in the air. I just felt it. It was still like a Chinese fire drill in terms of bumping, which way are you going? Getting hosed and everything. And then you went up there and sometimes people came and sometimes people didn't, but a few things stick in my mind.

One was, a fire officer, retired, that came in, and as we were talking it came out that he had lost both sponsor, who was Father Michael Judge, and his sponsee, who was Captain Timmy Brown.

And the courage and the belief and the things that he was still going out there to dig. And then when I used to go down into the cafeteria area and I looked in the faces of the people who were actually working in the dig and they had that hundred-mile stare, their eyes were haunted, and they were beat, but they were still going on.

And then we would get people in the room that said they drank, but they want to come back, and then there were people who wanted to drink, and then there were people who came into the room that wanted to know what we did. And they sat and they listened.

And just a wonderful experience. Strengthened my sobriety. I know that. And strengthened my patriotism.

Probably one of my greatest laughs on the comer of Murray and Greenwich was one of these strip joints, a singular act of patriotism in the window of the strip joint right in the comer, "Free lap dances for firemen."

I said God bless America, free lap dances for firemen.

And let me tell you, I don't know whether the firemen took advantage. They must have been losing money, cause the sign came out. I looked about a week later, it was gone. Free lap dances.

Anyway, you guys that were all there will be in my heart forever. And one other thing, when they opened up the commissary, I got a call from Joe H., he said they got great stuff down here, bring a shopping bag.


RICHARD: Well, I think we started really getting people --I have a schedule and I set it up as early as the 1st of October, so I think we by that first week of October had pretty much lined up a lot of people and were scheduling you all to come in. Began to move things around a lot.

And we did, for the first two weeks, we did 6 to midnight, is what I've got down, and then we added on a midnight shift from midnight to 6 a.m. the middle of October, I got October 15th was a Monday.

Frank, do you want to tell us a little bit about how JIIF got started with the midnight to six shift?


FRANK: Yeah.

Hi, I'm Frank, I'm an alcoholic.

I got the call from Dorothy and Richard about midnight that they wanted to do midnights, and I jumped on it, I said it's done.

I says Dorothy, it's done, you know? And I remember going down there midnights, it was like going into the twilight zone, because it was always dark and things.

And I was down there September 12th, but I ran away, you know? So I had like --I'm a retired steel worker, so I can cut steel up to 12 inches thick, but what they wanted me to do had nothing to do with steel.

So, I backtracked and then I came down on the 14th and I slept on the sidewalk of the Javits Center for a day to try to get in, and it just didn't happen. So I was so happy to hear that I could go back down there and do the job.

And the first couple guys in the room were firemen, and I'd lost some friends that were in the department from the groups out in Queens, some from Queens, but I originally was from New York Intergroup with the Institutions Committee.

And I remember one day, I'll just give you one of the stories that happened to me that makes me--I'm not a big Came To Believe, the book, Came To Believe, but I was there about 3:00 in the morning by myself, we had some firemen came in before, they were there from day one. They were saying how the Tower I went down, they ran to Tower II, that one went down, they ran down the block. The street was blowing up, this and that.

And they said, you know, what they saw, the reinforcement coming, he said let them have it, like we're done, you know? And they were talking about that I think the bar was still open. They were still serving drinks. And the guy said no, we don't want a drink. And they came in and they had these little like grates they were scratching for the pile.

So we were talking and then they left. And like I said, it was 3:00 in the morning and I'm reading the book and, like, I fall asleep out of my chair, and all of a sudden something goes by me, big gigantic red flash, and it says 84.

So I figure it's a truck with 84. 84 house is a ladder, is up in Harlem. So, I pick up the book and I say oh, man, the story doesn't start on 84, it starts on page 83, and it goes to 85, but I says at least it's written by somebody from New York.

So, I'm half asleep, I tell my relief man. So, the next day when I'm awake, I say, dummy, read page 84. I mean, how many people get flashes, you know? You got a red book in your hand.

So, I was reading it, and on page 84, it's the second paragraph, it says in Step 2 a power greater than ourselves meant that AA's were not just AA members, that I knew it meant all AA and all of us everywhere sharing a concern for each other, thereby creating a spiritual resource stronger than anyone could provide.

He says a woman in our group believes that this is from all the dead souls of alcoholics. And I said holy smoke! I mean, I got the chills, cause I remember walking around down there and it felt like a hurricane, you'd hear like the winds, you could hear the swirling, but there was no wind. You know?

I remember even one day I went into a church over there just after my time and I walk in there and there was a priest there and he was all by himself and he had like the chalice set up. And I was kind of like, I was shot, and so I just wanted to get like a spiritual recharge. And all o fa sudden the priest went back into the thing and he started bawling, crying like a banshee, crying, like wailing, unbelievable, enough to scare me out of the church. And then I realized the church was empty. All his people that used to go there to mass were dead, gone. And I said --so I had a lot oflittle things like that, you know?

I've met people from all over the world in all departments that came into the meeting, and I heard the rumor that we got the second floor, 222, cause it was requested to protect the guys' anonymity. In other words, cause I saw a lot of big brass up there, police department, and they didn't want to be on the first floor where the regular guy could see them. The second floor, they had a little more privacy. So, that's what I heard about the second floor.

It was one of the toughest, but the best thing I ever did in my life. I used to write thank you, to call Dorothy up every day, thank you, thank you, thank you for the commitment, you know? And it just made me look at life a whole new way, you know? I was just grateful that I was able to be part of that.

Thank you.


BRIAN: I want to tell a story. Sometimes I take my break, I'd walk gown to the pile and I'd watch them digging the people out. And when those buildings collapsed, that pile was about 20 stories high. It was like mountains, and the bubbling cauldron, the smoke was just bubbling out. And some of the firemen out there, the other volunteers and the ironworkers and all the laborers up there, some of them looked like little puppets up there digging.

And this time I saw this young blond, she was a Red Cross worker, and she had this smock on with the Red Cross and the things, she had a pair of sneakers on and she had a skirt and she's giving out water, bottle of water, she's got a couple of six packs of water.

And up in the hill there's two firemen, one over here, one a few feet away from him, and he's blinded. He's up there, he's blinded. You could see him up there, he's rocking back and forth. And she spots it, this blond, this young blond, and she jumps on the pile and she starts making her way up toward the fireman. And I see her with the sneakers on, they're up there with their helmets and boots and that, here she is making her way up.

I start screaming at her. You know, what the hell are you doing? She falls, and I· see her pull her hand up, and I think maybe she burned her hand, and she kept going. So I start screaming. A couple of cops are going by and I stopped them, and I'm pointing up that she's up there. So, they get on the walkie-talkie.

She gets up and she starts washing the fireman's eyes, she gets up there pouring the water, washing the fireman's eyes and all of a sudden the other people up there, they stop what they're doing and they start to merge on her, and they got her.

And they had a couple of paths roped off where they would carry the dead bodies down. Remember the pipers? You could always hear the dreaded pipes, the goddamn pipes, you know? And so, the two of them are carrying her down. And I said to myself: Now, this is a hero. This is a hero. Everybody, the firemen are being praised and everybody's being praised, but you don't hear about a person like this.

And that's the reason I'm telling this story, cause I want her story to go on.

And she was down, they took her down, and that was way down at the other end.

So, a couple of days later I'm up there on the second --you know, you're waiting for a lot of things to do. Used to watch the line when they lined up to eat.

And I'm standing there looking, and through the comer of my eye I see her. She got the hand bandaged, she's got a tray, and she's cleaning off the plates down there.

And I said: There's my hero. And I sent a white light and prayers, and this is really my hero. About an hour or so later, I'm sitting in a meeting and there's nobody in there, and then all of a sudden, who comes bounding in but her? She's got this big hand, big smile, she says hi, my name is Bonnie and I'm a happy member of Al-Anon.

And she starts saying that her mother is 28 years in AA and she never saw the mother drink. And she had seen the sign on the door that we had put up, Friends of Bill W., Room 221.

And her mother was saying: You get to that meeting, you get to that meeting. And a couple of days later, they transferred her out. But here was a woman, let me tell you; you want to talk about a hero, this was a hero.


DOROTHY: One of the things that moved me a great deal was, I used to go down like 4 in the morning, sometimes 3:30,4, 4:30, and I would always go over to West Street and drive down the West Side, cause you could get to the St. John's site very easily from there.

And on West Street, one of the comers, near Canal or maybe below Canal, there were a group of young, seemed young to me, men and women who were there 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the longest time. And when you drove past going down, they cheered you on; they had signs.

I mean, I'm still, when I think about it, still brings tears to my eyes, that they wanted to do this cause they felt that that was going to be their commitment, was to cheer people on. I was incredibly moved by that.

And when I think about it now, you know, I think about how they really wanted to do something, and they did.

And, you know, the other thing--I don't know if Drew's coming, but there used to be little stuffed animals with notes pinned to them put on the beds where people went to rest after their shift, or recliners. And they were from school kids all over the country and there were little notes, we're praying for you. You know, you're doing good work and so on.

And Drew used to take a couple of them every day and send the school kids a note, and a lot of them are back. It's such a small thing to do, write a little note and put it on a little stuffed animal, but it was so much for people, like we do in AA, we try and speak from the heart. And it was from the heart of these little kids that they were praying for us and everybody was trying to help. Very moving.


BOB: Brian and Richie were talking about being credentialed out at that place in Brooklyn. The young couple that was there that were describing the incidents to you, and what's a blue badge and what's a --you know, and they were from somewhere, who the heck knows where.

I mean, they had never been to New York. They had never --these were foreign people, but they gave that up and say, you know, we're going to go to New York and we're going to do this and stay here as long as they need us. And they were terrific.

And the people in the respite centers, the same way. A woman wanted to know how big was the World Trade Center. She had never even seen a picture of it. She was from someplace up in the very far northwest, had never visited New York, had never --she had no clue of how big it was.

You try to describe it and you become jaded. Sure, I've seen it a gazillion times. I've been in it a gazillion times. But here's a person who --they're really doing something. They're leaving their homes, they're coming here.

I was honored that Dorothy asked me to come down and do it, but all I had do was come from Astoria, get on a train, I was there in 30 minutes and do four, six hours, whatever it was, and go home.

Those Red Cross ones, they were incredible. They gave every single bit.


MITCH: My name is Mitch, I'm an alcoholic.

You know, it's funny, I think one of the most closely guarded secrets of AA is that our lives get incredibly better if we are of service to other people, you know? And it's like, I think it's a jealously guarded secret, because the function of how well your life is today really depends upon who you helped yesterday. And when I came into the program, like everybody else, I had nothing, but I did a tremendous amount of service.

And the small office, law office, that I had on the comer of Vesey and Broadway, mushroomed into a much larger office and a much larger office and a much larger office. And on 9/11 I had an office that was about 10,000 square feet on the comer of Vesey and Broadway, about a block away from the World Trade Center.

And I was down there that day and I saw the planes hit. And ofcourse, they evacuated me from that office, and I was not able to return for about two months because I was on the wrong side of Broadway, and they effectively put me out of business, you know? And they brought me back down to where I had come from.

And the fact is, is the service that I was able to do in both respite centers basically allowed me to build back up again what I had lost the first time.

You know, and I had about a day when I was feeling sorry for myself, because I'm an alcoholic and I'm a little self-centered, you know? And I got out and I started helping people again. This service allowed me to help other people again. You know? And get outside myself and my problems.

And the fact of the matter is, just like --and it worked the same way as it did when I first came into the program, because now that office that I had, that I was put out of business from, was about twice the size it was when I was put out of business, but the ability of being able to focus on other people and other problems and not myself was the cornerstone of rebuilding my own business that had been ripped apart to some extent by 9/11.

It was a very healing experience for me; it sounds a strange thing to say, but since I had been in that comer of the world for over 25 years and I knew block-by-block everything that was there and what wasn't there, and just to be able to go into the zone unfettered and to see what had happened and to see it being rebuilt in that fashion before it was sanitized and the rest of the public was allowed in, was strangely a very healing experience for me.

And I think it really put things in perspective, because you notice a lot of things that I don't think that people noticed when they were finally let back in.

For example, the first thing that I remember when I went back in, I think I was working at the Marriott Center to begin with, was where there were these open-air garages filled with cars that were covered with soot. And you knew when you looked at those cars that each one of them belonged to someone who was never going to drive that car again, because there were spaces, but there were cars in that hadn't been moved, you know.

And again, it puts you in the proper perspective, because that wasn't your car and you didn't drive it, you don't have to worry about it.

I remember that I think the saddest thing that I ever saw when I was down there was, I think they had a ceremony for the victims' families, and each one was given a teddy bear, and down by the river there was like this little cui de sac where they put these teddy bears, and literally it was like, almost like, an alleyway, it was piled high with these teddy bears, and interspersed between them were love notes that the children had written to the dead: Dear dad, I'm sorry that you didn't come home. We miss you.

And little memorials interspersed between these teddy bears.

And I thought it was the saddest --it was very hard for me to actually stand there and look at the notes and read them, because it was like --but the reality was, is that, again, it put me in proper perspective, because I think the message that I came away with from the event itself is, you never know when you're going to go.

All those people just went to work that day, and some of them ended their day jumping out of a building, you know? And they hadn't intended that.

And I felt throughout the experience very lucky to be alive and to be able to be of service. I remember one of the meetings that I had, you know, and I'm sure there's a million stories like this, but some guy who had like two days came in, and his job was washing off the trucks that were coming in and out of the place, and here was somebody at Ground Zero who was basically starting his journey in AA. You can't, you know, buy an experience like that anywhere.

I kept on thinking throughout the time that I was down there, that line from the Big Book; you know, you carry the Big Book into the trenches in World War ll, that little thing, because here it is again, you know, it's the Big Book; it's not World War II, but it's the Big Book in action in a very bad situation, carrying people through as it did me, and I'm sure a lot of the other people that were a member of this group at that time.

MIKE: I have a friend who was a union captain, and I seen him one day walking down Woodside A venue and he had a broken arm and a brace on his neck.

Said Pat, what happened to you? He says, well, I was in the 9/11, wasn't I?

How'd you get out?

He says I walked down the stairs, didn't I? What? Yeah, I walked down the stairs. Just like that. Went right into the bar. Couple of his friends died, I think.

ALLISON: Hi, my name is Allison and I'm an alcoholic. I wasn't going to cry, and when someone mentioned Michael Judge, that's when I

lost it. I knew Michael Judge before September 11th, and I knew a lot of the guys, and I was at City Hall the day this happened. It was Primary Day.

And you guys have no idea the impact knowing that there was this meeting at Ground Zero for a lot of people. Both at the Police Academy after this happened and at the Javits Center where a lot of people were based, after the fact word kind of got out, cause I'd been sober a couple of24 hours, and there were other people both at the Police Academy, at the Javits Center, that were sober as well.

And we would have little ad hoc meetings in these places, because we couldn't get to Ground Zero, or times that we would go in with pools several times when we would go in, I'd go in a pool situation.

And one of the things I remember more than anything else was how okay it was to talk about depression and addiction issues, which was something new that I hadn't seen before. I think there was an awareness both with the powers that be at City Hall and the police commissioner and the fire commissioner. There was very much an awareness that this was a very serious issue and that it needed to be addressed.

And in the weeks and months following this, that was something new, that was something really new that I hadn't seen before.

One of the things I can share that I think is interesting here is that I think, you know, all of us have memories of things and all of us have things that happened, and some I can share here and some I can't, but I think there was a unity and there was an understanding that I haven't really seen.

There was like, when we were talking about all the different agencies that were here and here and here, there was a coalescing that we really hadn't seen before, and also I guess that's --I don't want to share too much personal stuff, but that, I wanted you guys to know. There was really an awareness. Everyone knew about Room 221. Everybody knew. You know?

Firemen I talked to, iron workers I talked to, family members I talked to. And the other thing that you guys aren't mentioning so much about, because the family members didn't have access to that as much as other parts, but family members who were sober, too, who came in and needed support and who knew of sober people.

It was incredibly helpful all the way around and very healing, and the impact helped us, who were either covering the story or were involved with it in another way.

And I think one of the things I remember is, I mean, one thing that I will share, that the first day --please excuse me if I lose it --I stayed in between the two towers falling, so I was one of those people too, and in the middle of what had happened when --it was like a mushroom cloud turned inward. You really didn't know what was happening until it happened. Like if you looked up, you didn't know what it was.

And I remember leaving a room, like going into a room and seeing a flash of blood and not knowing what it was, and then coming back out. It went from dark to light, and you came back out afterwards, and in the middle of the street, someone I knew from AA was in the middle of that street, someone I knew from the rooms, you know.

And they say that there aren't any coincidences, but I can't tell you how important that was, that flash of grace.

And I guess that's why I'm here. I wanted you guys to know how important knowing that room was down there to so many people who were not necessarily at Ground Zero day after day but were involved with this in other ways. And that's why I'm here. Thanks.


KIRK: Hi, my name is Kirk, I'm an alcoholic.

And I also want to say I was not one of the volunteers, but I was one of the beneficiaries of what you guys did. I'm a New York City fire fighter, and right afterwards it was --I think, like everything else in this program, what happens is borne out of necessity.

And when we were down there, from the very beginning there would be clusters of us who recognized each other from not only from the rooms, these rooms, but from the counseling unit down at the fire department.

You know, we knew each other from being in fellowship, because at many, many fire department functions before that where there was a lot of alcohol, we kind of clustered together for our own sobriety.

So, we knew each other when we saw each other. And there were times when, like many people in this program, you can tell when someone's in program from just hearing them speak. And when we were at the dig and when we were on the pile and the frustration was starting to set in, mainly at the end of the first week when it started to slip from rescue mission to recovery mission, it started to get really, really frustrating, it really got sad and really got hard then, and a lot of guys would say I'm going to go home and get good and stinking drunk tonight.

And somebody would always say that's not an option for me today. And everybody would kind of look around, and then you'd kind of go over and introduce yourself, and the next thing you know, we were having this little ad hoc meeting over on the side of the pile, you know, just guys, because --and then after a while I guess --and I didn't know the dates, but 1 guess two weeks later when you guys came down word started to spread and many of us, in all the dust and all the stuff that was on the glass, in order to keep ourselves going and a lot of other people, we would write notes on the glass, like hang in there, Fred, or hang in there, Bill, whatever. We'd write stuff.

So, I guess by the time you guys arrived and the signs started to go up, I was with a friend of mine who's in program, and we were with another guy, and he came over to us, and he said: Who's this Bill W.?

And I just had this story repeated to me today by a good friend of mine.

He said what company was he in?

And we said he wasn't on the job. You know? And he goes well, it says Friends of Bill W., Room 221, and there was another meeting.

And we told him, and he finally got it, because at that one point there were three ofus that in the same fire house that he knew were in program, and when we all three knew who Bill W. was, he kind of goes: Oh, I get it.

But it was really, really important, because after that, probably by November 1st, I had taken a detail then to the counseling service unit, and it was important for us to be able to tell guys that that's where they could go, because the counseling service unit when guys go for treatment it's right off Broadway, right near City Hall, and the meeting that they would go to every lunch was in the World Trade Center.

So, they were out of sorts. They didn't have their usual lunchtime meeting. So, we told them there was a meeting there. And as one guy said, you know, and some of

you who know me have heard me say this before, it was the most God-forsaken place that I was ever at. It was, the first couple of days, it felt like it was totally devoid ofanything worthwhile. And then suddenly we started to, you know, mingle.

Not to be flippant, but we really had to have an option for people in program, free drinks and free lap dances, because it seemed like a good idea at the time and it seemed like a good idea to a lot of us at the time. And that word spread real fast, you know? That sign was right there, right in the comer there, and that word got back to the pile in a hurry, that you could go there and it was, you know, there was all the alcohol you wanted to drink. All you had to do was show up in the coveralls. You didn't have to show ID or anything.

If you showed up in coveralls there, it was carte blanche. And, you know, for a lot of us, that wasn't a viable option cause it wasn't a safe option for us. And guys had to know that.

And you guys made that possible, because I don't know how many --I mean, I have no idea how many sobrieties were saved by that meeting, but I'm telling you I'm sure there's more than a handful, because there were a lot of guys and people right on the verge every night that we were there, cause, you know, they tell you the thing that keeps people going is the installation of hope, and it just didn't feel like there was hope, there was nothing, you know?

And I heard you describe the little--you know, this was a 20-story pile and they gave us a little cloth rake that was this long, and everybody had one and a little shovel and that's what we were working with. And it just seemed like, you know, you're chipping away at a bolder with a little tiny hammer.

But you know what? And thanks to everybody else, I mean, I agree with you, the people who came down there afterwards and stayed for no other reason except to serve, they were really, really heroic in all our eyes. And I think that anybody who was there knows that, and I'm glad to have been able to come here and tell you that to your face, cause it was big. It was huge.

And anything that we needed there, it just seemed to pop up. When your face was dirty, somebody rinsed it off. And it was almost like there were so many people volunteering, if you lost a glove, there was another person there to give you a glove, or · there was somebody there to give you everything you needed.

And this was just a piece of the puzzle. And for me and other guys like me, it was a big piece of the puzzle, probably the biggest piece of the puzzle.

So, I just came down to say thank you. And I'm glad that you guys felt this, you got something out of it, because you definitely gave something bigger than you could ever imagine. It was really, really important and it was really, really special. So, thanks.


KATHLEEN: Hi, I'm Kathleen, I'm an alcoholic. As I had mentioned earlier, I was an early morning Monday volunteer, and I think it was Mitch that talked about people coming in who had been drinking. I would find that sometimes people would come in in the morning who had some experience with the program and had gotten the free booze or were with other people in their companies and working or just so emotionally drenched that they would have slipped or had drinks that they didn't necessarily want to.

We would find people coming in in the morning that were hung over and really depressed and sad that they were hung over cause they had to go back and work and they didn't feel really good. And that was always very tough, but I think the best thing for me as an alcoholic, I had been down there for two weeks and I didn't know the area very well; I was on jury duty and I had just gotten a case that Thursday, and it was a big criminal case.

I was unemployed; I'd lost my job. And I thought, well, this is great, I can be of service. I can do this case. And the Monday before, I was actually at Mitch's office and I had lunch with Ron B. who showed me some parts of downtown, easier ways I could get to the courthouse.

And then the next morning was primary morning, and I had to be at the courthouse at 12:00. So, to say the least, we know what happened. And then I got the call from you.

So, it was so wonderful to be back down there, cause now I thought I knew the way. And of course I was totally lost when I got down there, but I think what affected me most is, as Brian mentioned, I can't even express the experience that was felt, the energy in the room when a body was found and the pipes would play and everybody was silent.

I mean, you could just hear, you could hear the smoke almost, and the air, the wind. And it was so silent. And I was there the Monday morning when it was the one-month anniversary, and there was a service by a few different religious organizations down in the lobby of St. John's, and it was beautiful.

It was right after the first month that I didn't even know my cousin's son was killed. He was 22 and he was at first his job for a week at the World Trade Center, just graduated from college. And I had gotten a call from my brother that Regina's son was one of the people that was killed.

There was so much chaos the first couple weeks, and I think they were still looking for Danny, that it took that long to kind of pass the news around to relatives that he was gone.

And it made the whole situation change. But I think what happened was, it was very sad. And then there was this camaraderie that happened with not just us AA's, but everybody. And as we're talking about, if there was anything you needed, it was right there. There was this language of just reaching out, this language of help.

I learned for myself, as somebody who's a big talker in AA and a big person who did service, that what I could do best was just be. What I could do best was just be and listen.

And it was introspectively probably the best part of my own recovery, because I spent from 6:00 in the morning till 1:00 in the afternoon sometimes very quietly; two people would come in. And there was a woman who worked in the kitchen who was in Al-Anon, and she worked on Monday mornings, so she and I, she would come up and we would just read the board.

Remember the board? Everybody would put notes on the board. And I just felt so proud to be a member of AA when I saw all these notes from different groups and different people who had something special to say.

As we got to be friendlier, I remember the environment getting to be even more serious, where we had to now wear helmets, and they were issued to us, and then we had to be cleaned off. And, I mean, the idea of having your feet wiped off and being sprayed before you went in, it was all of the seriousness that in the beginning was just reaching out to people that we realized that what we were in the middle of was something so devastating. And I didn't realize how weary it was on me physically sometimes and emotionally, but how important it was on my soul, to be a part of that, and how important it was for me as a recovering drunk to be a part of that, because it absolutely flipped my sobriety to being more of--you know what it talks about, love and service.

It truly just emphasized what love and service was. And anyway, just being available if somebody needed you.

Nobody wanted to hear my story. I never told my story down there. I just was available if somebody needed to come in and read the book together; we would pull pages, just like you said. Sometimes it was just a number came to somebody and we'd turn the page in the Big Book and read it out loud together. Things like that. And then at lunchtime when we had the organized meeting.

It was nice to see every week that they got bigger and got bigger and got bigger. You know? That was so special. It's not one of the things I talk about. It's interesting.

You know, I have my little plaque and my little photo thing and I have my vest and I still have my helmet in the closet, and it was just --and I remember I was talking to a priest one morning down there, and he said we're so fortunate in one way to be a part of something that's so sacred, we're doing sacred work in a sacred space. This is always going to be for the rest of your life a sacred space.

And when anybody ever talks about downtown, it feels like a sacred space, cause I had an experience that very few had down there but you guys. And I can't tell you how much it's done.

I absolutely feel that whenever I think there's something wrong with me or that I don't need to be a part of this fellowship anymore or that I've learned all I need to learn and I can experience life differently than being just--you know, I remember that being a member of AA was the most worth I've ever felt in my whole life. Thanks.


NESTOR: I'm an alcoholic, my name is Nestor.

I was late cause I was at an anniversary meeting of a dear friend of mine.

I used to see you down there a lot, Kate, and used to go down there with my buddy Brian, and I had some funny experiences, and I told Dorothy about them. And one of them was, the first time, I was volunteered by Brian. He calls me up and says I volunteer you to be a helper. I'd just come back from Cape Cod.

I went all the way to Brooklyn, I went through all the procedure, and then they couldn't find my name, and I went ballistic. How dare--I mean, how many Nestor Z. are there in this world?

And what happened was, they didn't take my last name, they took my first name. They thought my first name was my last name. So I came all the way back from Brooklyn, came home, got a call around 6:00 and said we found you, would you like to· come down? And I said no, I'm not going.

I went Monday, and that started the journey. I used to go down there with Brian. At first it was kind of devastating to go down there. I had to get permission from my doctor. He said I don't think you should go down there, you've got a bad heart, two artificial legs and what-not.

And I said yeah, but I may help another alcoholic and another human being. And he looked at me and he said okay.

We used to go down there and it was just amazing, because, like Kathleen said, I would listen to a lot of these guys that come in halfbagged, and you didn't know what to do, you know?

And it was okay, you know, because I didn't drink. There's one young man that I met who's a cop, I met him when I was a kid. His father died from the disease. He got burned to death. And he asked me what I was doing there, cause he saw me go off to the hotel for the AA meeting.

And I said that's for AA. He said what's AA? I said Alcoholics Anonymous. He said but you don't look like a drunk, an alcoholic. And I said you don't look like a cop either, you know?

And he's sober today, which is another miracle. I got it through the grapevine.

I remember seeing these cops and firemen and people and all these workers, and the unity, it was unbelievable. Nobody cared where you came from, what you had in your pocket. You were there to help, and it was really an honor.

And I'll never forget, one night Brian and I came, both beat, tired as hell, walking up with our helmets on, and hear these applause, and there's somebody behind us. Brian stopped and looked at me and I looked at him, we smiled at each other and we just kept walking with our heads down.

Another time I went down there, I'm kind of a SAR. For those of you who don't know what a SAR is, it's a smart-ass.

I went to that room 221. We had to go to that other one, we figured we were there early. It was around 11 and we didn't have to start till twelve, so we went to get something to eat.

I saw this fireman, he looked really beat down. He was around six foot five, 250 pounds. He was a monster. And I went and got right in his face, and I looked at him and said: Smile, let your face show it.

I looked at him and he looked at me, and all of a sudden he put the tray down, and I figured this guy's going to whack me, that's it, I'm done. He looked at me and he put his arms around me and he hugged me, and I felt so touched. I figured I'll never see him again. I went into that room about a half hour later, who do you think walks in? The fireman. And we both started crying. But there were tears of joy.

That's the gift that I got. I have this (indicating a badge), and I look at it every day. This is my little gift that I look at, my reminder that I wasn't apart from, I was a part of.

I was always away from people, you know? I never wanted to help anybody cause I didn't think I had the capability, but it's such a great reminder.

It really gave me an insight of what life is all about. It's not drinking one day at a time and helping another alcoholic. It is just sitting there and listening.

I made a lot of phone calls to people that work there that were in AA and feel like drinking and I would get on the phone and call them and say it's not worth it. You have gone too far to pick up a drink.

One night I came home, I was dirty, and you know what's amazing, when you get into the subway, whoever was there would let you go through. I used to have my helmet They'd cover the Metrocard, the guys would just cover that, so I felt kind of embarrassed, because I had the helmet and I felt kind of funny, but that was okay.

And the one nice thing was, one night I came home, I was kind of beat, feeling kind of low because of what I seen and smelled and all that. When I opened the door, my significant other said: My hero.

And I never was a hero to anybody, but I was a hero, because I did what I had to do because I wanted to, not because I had to.

It's a gift, really; when you think about all those people that died there so we may live, and all those people that gave of their time and energy with no reward. We did it freely.

One night I went to a men's meeting and this guy comes up to me, he says: Hey, Nes, I hear you're a volunteer down at the World Trade Center and blah-blah-blah. Why don't you tell the group? And I said it's a program of attraction, not promotion. Don't you open your mouth. I don't care how big you are.

I was really, really pissed off at him. I'm not here for applause.

I heard a guy tonight at a meeting say he quit drinking, he was drinking Johnny Walker Blue. I know a liter costs $218 plus tax. I said better you than me, pal.

But this is great, this being here. I put my name in Spanish in Room 221 and I said: Vaya con Dios. Really good memories. I'm really grateful that my friend Brian asked me to come down here. And thank you, Dorothy, for inviting me.


RICHARD: I just wanted to mention that we haven't talked a lot about it, we started out with Respite Center 1 and we eventually, somewhere late in October, moved, added another room down in the former Marriott Hotel and started a second group of meetings and just another area for AA folk to show up and find a home.

Do you want to talk a little bit about how we got that one going?


DOROTHY: Yeah. It was a very difficult to walk from the one side of the pile to the other, and so someone had suggested that Respite Center 3, which was the Marriott, have a meeting in there. Respite Center 1 was St. John's, there was a Respite Center 2 which was a boat, a Coast Guard boat.

Well, that didn't last very long, because they had to dredge the channel to bring in some other bigger pieces of equipment. So, then we had Respite Center 1. Then Respite Center 3 was the Marriott.

I met with the Red Cross woman in the Marriott, and she's kind of the coordinator for all the volunteer services there. And she said, you know, we know you need another room, and we thought maybe you could do it --they had this huge ball room that had tables and chairs. We thought you could use that side of the room over there.

And I said, well, you know anonymity is an issue, and I explained to her about that. And she said, oh, so you want a separate room? And I said yeah. She said there's someone here in charge of space allocation.

And this woman came, and I said what we needed was a place where people could go in kind of discreetly.

And she said, oh, yes, I understand completely. So, the big Red Cross lady led the way, and this other one followed me.

And as we got going up the stairs, she whispered into my ear, she goes: I'm a friend of Bill's, too; don't worry. And she said and I'll get you a tripod and I'll get a sign and you'll have your room and it will be private.

And we went in the room, we set the chairs up, and we were talking, and she left. And she came back about 25 minutes later with the biggest sign you have ever seen that said Friends of Bill W.

The letters must have been six or seven inches tall, like the Alcoholics Anonymous sign up there, it was really funny, and a big arrow. And she was so proud of that sign. I didn't have the heart to tell her we'd like something a little more discreet.

She was like: See? I got you a sign. And people were asking like who is Bill W.? And if I was away from the room I might answer, but it was a very touchy issue, the anonymity issue.

I found myself grappling with it every day, how much do I say? What do I say?

I really feel that I was a channel; that Richard and I, who had known each other and been friends, but through this experience I was talking to Richard five, six times a day: Who do you got? Who can you give me for my respite center?

And it was like I was there and God used me and I did the next right thing in front of me. So, it was always a privilege to do service, but this was really an incredible privilege.

The other thing is, I'm very touched to see that some of you are wearing your badges from the World Trade Center. I find that very touching.

Peter, would you like to talk?


PETER: My my name's Peter B and I'm an alcoholic.

I moved to New York City and got sober in 1998 after a long, long run, 28-year people down there. I was so glad.

I said, Lord, thank you for giving me something to do; I might be able to be helpful. Me and Drew were tight back then and he was the greatest and he brought me down there. He'd take me down. Anywhere where it's not a numbered street, spin me around once and I'm lost. And he took me down there, walked me through. He was very helpful. And I wasn't going to drink down there.

I knew at that point that AA, I was there for a reason. And we did a lot of good down there. And nothing makes you feel better. I mean, to have a fireman come up to you and say you don't know how much you helped me today, I'm going: What are you, crazy? I should be paying you for the honor to wipe the dust off your back.

There was a guy used to come in there every day, he was like six foot. Everybody seemed much taller when they're in a uniform doing that kind of work. But there was a crane operator that came in there, and I couldn't tell you his name. And he used to come in there every day. What a mountain of strength this guy was, you know, sober 30 years, and to be digging in that pile with his chin up, hurting like he was and being a beacon for the people around him that were looking for that.

The only answer was a drink to some people, because I know what it's like to have little piddly things in my life where I had to drink over.

I mean, that was an actual reason to drink ifyou ask me. That was an incredible reason to drink, and we didn't have to drink through that. And I'm glad that AA afforded me the opportunity and I am very proud.

They wanted us to give these in to get another one (indicating a badge). I said I gave it to you already. I've got four of these. I will give one to my godkids to show them how proud I was to be able to have done something, cause these days people like to see me coming as

opposed to see me going, and that's because of Alcoholics Anonymous.

BRIAN: When Richard and Dick and I got down there, we were told in no uncertain terms out in Cadman Plaza to touch nothing, everything belonged to the St. John's University. Touch nothing.

And we asked could we use the blackboard? And they said yeah, you could use the blackboard.

So we drew the big circle and the triangle, and Rich and myself and John went over to the right-hand of the blackboard up on top, and Richard wrote his name initial and his group, I wrote mine, and John wrote his.

And that became a tradition; everybody who came in, everybody who visited, they would write, and they'd put a little saying on it.

And I think our first official meeting was Sunday night about 6:00 at night, and the speaker was Patrick Quinn. He was a cop from the Bronx. He says he opened the book this morning.

Do you remember what he said?


RICHARD: It was Bill's writing about going to World War II?

BRIAN: That was it. Remember? It was very touching.

He said he had opened the book and it was Bill going to war. And it was really on the money. And afterward I was going to leave and we couldn't go down to the pile because you had no helmets; you had to have helmets to get down there, and we weren't issued helmets until a few days later.

And he said come on, I'll take you down. And I went down to the pile and we're looking at it and it was lit like something out of that movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, or something, the way the lights reflected.

And the stink; remember the smell? You'll never forget the stink. It was like walking on the moon; every step you took, that puff of stink would come up, and the smell. And I remember there was buildings maybe --like these 1-beams had been blown out of one building and they were stuck like darts in another building. And there was the paper remember? Millions and millions and millions ofpieces ofpaper all over the place.

And I'm standing down there, and Pat turns around, he says in wonder, he says: l just can't believe it, he says, that when I left the house this morning, I'd be speaking at an AA meeting at Ground Zero tonight.

And I heard that Ground Zero, and I went back, it was Rich and John and I, said what a great name, Ground Zero, the Ground Zero group. We agreed, remember? And wrote it up on the blackboard.

And then somebody came along in wood and he burned it in wood, the Ground Zero. Remember that?

And everybody who visited from Arizona, from New Orleans, from Indiana, Illinois, this was --I mean, Pennsylvania, they just piled in, and the board had the little sayings upside down. Remember that?

And then the last day I was on the 12 to 6 shift, and I had taken the plaque down, I had taken the signs down, I had them all wrapped up, I was going to give them to Dorothy for Intergroup, and Cookie relieved me; she was the last one there, Cookie, and a couple of other ladies, she had asked that she wanted to give it to 080, and I gave her the stuff, but I kept some of the signs for Dorothy.

I remember looking at the board, and I swear to God, it was like my heart was being ripped out. I mean, truly, here was the history of Alcoholics Anonymous, the very beginning to the very end, it was all written on that board. These people from all over the world had come there, and there it was, I don't know how many, you couldn't even find the spot to write on. And if there's one thing I wish I could have done, if l had the money, I would have loved to have bought that blackboard. You know?

I remember coming back, being heart-broken a few days later, I'm talking to Dorothy about it, I says the blackboard, because it hurt me thinking, some janitor is going to come with a wet rag and just wipe all that out in seconds.

And I remember Dorothy saying to me, well, that's really what AA is all about. We come, we carry the message, and we move on. And that really helped me, because it broke my heart thinking in seconds, that history of all those people that got sobriety would be wiped out by a janitor.

I mean, what a moving experience. I say my beloved blackboard.


UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: We have pictures of the blackboard.


RICHARD: I've got some with me actually.


RICHARD: Brian, do you remember what the last day was? I remember December 7th Pearl Harbor day.


DOROTHY: That's what I have in my book.


NESTOR: It was December 7th.


PETER: Where's the logbook?


BRIAN: Gone.


RICHARD: The logbook sat the General Service Office archives.


DOROTHY: You know, after how many months later that we did the radio

show? There was a radio show, there is a radio show that many people here have been on and we decided we would do a Ground Zero show, and Brian brought with him, I think, to the show, two plaques.


BRIAN: That the engineers burned out of the steel.


DOROTHY: They took pieces of steel and they made a circle and a triangle, it says Ground Zero Group AA, and the date on it. One is at the General Service Office.


RICHARD: Archives.


BRIAN: One went to Richard, one went to you.


DOROTHY: One went to Intergroup. One is there at Intergroup. It's there all the time if you want to go see it. The other one is at GSO.

And there are pictures of it, too, I think. Somewhere around there are photos of it. There are photos of the blackboard if anybody wants. I have some photos at home; I can get copies made.


RICHARD: One of the things that was so perplexing for me and Dorothy was, we were doing this at the request of the Red Cross and we were really trying very hard to be good guests and to accommodate them, I fit ever happened, God forbid, again, that we would be invited in again.

And so, they did things like don't do certain --a lot of things. I remember we weren't supposed to put anything on the walls or anything and we had some volunteers.


KATHLEEN: It was me.


RICHARD: Had a sheet on, the sign in sheet, and we put the sheet on the wall, and I went there day after day trying to wash that ink off the wall. It went right through the sheet. I'm sure they repainted the whole place after.

But we also were asked to turn back in our cards and I was asking people to do that and I still have some cards with me. I want to give them back to the people who turned them in, because it was --we were all trying to cooperate, but at the same time this was such an incredible time. Why wouldn't they want mementos of what happened?

Many of you may know Joan M, who lived down in the village, she died recently, and there was a gathering at her apartment a few days after she died. And I went over there and all these people were milling around, she had a big apartment, I'm just standing in her living room, and I look over by the window and there is her hard hat and her Red Cross card and it's all sitting there.

She made like a little, like, display of it. And I thought I'm so glad she kept it. So glad she's got it here.


NESTOR: You know, Dorothy, that blackboard that all those names were there, being that I suffer from terminal uniqueness, I wrote my name backwards, and people would say who is that? And I said some kind guy that's screwed up.


DOROTHY: I remember they were giving out Budweisers down there, but it was just water.


PETER: I still got one in my fridge.


DOROTHY: And Coors gave, it was a Coors can, but it had water in it.

(Meeting Ended at 9:15p.m.)


In Service, Morene B.