enough, or by some queer quirk, I became acquainted with
the "hilarious life just at the time in my life when I
was beginning to really settle down to a common-sense,
sane, domestic life. My wife became pregnant and the doctor
recommended the use of Porter Ale . . . so . . . I bought
a six gallon crock and a few bottles, listened to advice
from amateur brewmeisters, and was off on my beer manufacturing
career on a small scale (for the time being). Somehow
or another, I must have misunderstood the doctor's instructions,
for I not only made beer for my wife, I also drank it
As time went on, I
found that it was customary to open a few bottles whenever
visitors dropped in. That being the case, it didn't take
long to figure out that my meager manufacturing facilities
were entirely inadequate to the manufacture of beer for
social and domestic consumption. From that point on, I
secured crocks of ten gallon capacity and really took
quite an active interest in the manufacture of home brew.
We were having card
parties with limburger and beer quite regularly. Eventually,
of course, what with all the hilarity that could be provoked
with a few gallons of beer, there seemed to be no need
of bridge or poker playing for entertainment. Well . .
. we all know how those things go. The parties waxed more
hilarious as time went on, and eventually I discovered
that a little shot of liquor now and then between beers
had the tendency to put me in a whacky mood much quicker
than having to down several quarts of beer to obtain the
same results. The inevitable result of this discovery
was that I soon learned that beer made a very good wash
for whiskey. That discovery so intrigued me, that I stayed
on that diet almost entirely for the balance of my extended
drinking career. Yes sir, the old Boilermaker and his
Helper. The last day of my drinking career, I drank 22
of them between 10 and 12 A.M. and I shall never know
how many more followed them until I was poured into bed
I was getting along
fairly well with my party drinking for quite some time
however, but eventually I began to visit beer joints in
between parties. A night or so a week in a joint, and
a party or so a week at home or with friends, along with
a little lone drinking, soon had me preparing for the
existence of a top flight drunkard.
Three years after
I started on my drinking career, I lost my first job.
At the time, I was living out of town, so I moved back
to the home town and made a connection in a responsible
position with one of the larger companies in the finance
business. Up to this point I had spent six years in the
business and had enjoyed the reputation of being very
My new duties were
extremely confining and my liquor consumption began to
increase at this time. Upon leaving the office in the
evening, my first stop would be a saloon about a block
from the office. However, as there happened to be several
saloons within that dis-
I didn't find it necessary to patronize the same place
each evening. It doesn't pay to be seen in the same place
at the same hour every day, you know.
The general procedure
was to take 4 or 5 shots in the first place I stopped
at. This would get me feeling fit, and then I would start
for home and fireside, thirteen miles away. Well . . .
on the way home numerous places must be passed. If I were
alone I would stop at four or five of them, but only one
or two in the event I had my mistrusting wife with me.
Eventually I would
arrive home for a late supper, for which, of course, I
had absolutely no relish. I would make a feeble attempt
at eating supper but never met with any howling success.
I never enjoyed any meal, but I ate my lunch at noon for
two reasons: first, to help get me out of the fog of the
night before, and second, to furnish some measure of nourishment.
(My enjoyment of meals now is an added feature to the
Seven Wonders of the World to me. I can still hardly believe
it). Eventually, the noon meal was also dispensed with.
I cannot remember
just when I became the victim of insomnia, but I do know
that the last year and a half I never went to bed sober
a single night. I couldn't sleep. I had a mortal fear
of going to be and tossing all night. Evenings at home
were an ordeal. As a result, I would fall off in a drunken
stupor every night.
How was I able to
discharge my duties at the office during those horrible
mornings, I will never be able to explain. Handling customers,
dealers, insurance people, dictation, telephoning, directing
new employees, answering to superiors, etc. However, it
with me, and when it did, I was a mental, physical and
I arrived at the stage
where I couldn't quite make it to the office some mornings.
Then I would send an excuse of illness. But the firm became
violently ill with my drunkenness and their course of
treatment was to remove their ulcer in the form of me
from their payroll, amid much fanfare and very personal
and slighting remarks and insinuations.
During this time,
I had been threatened, beaten, kissed, praised and damned
alternately by relatives, family, friends and strangers,
but of course it all went for naught. How many times I
swore off in the morning and got drunk before sunset I
don't know. I was on the toboggan and really making time.
After being fired,
I lined up with a new finance company that was just starting
in business, and took the position of business promotion
man, contacting automobile dealers. WOW . . . was that
something??? While working in an office, there was some
semblance of restraint, but, oh boy, when I got on the
outside with this new company without supervision, did
I go to town???
I really worked for
several weeks, and having had a fairly wide acceptance
with the dealer trade, it was not difficult for me to
line enough of them up to give me a very substantial volume
of business with a minimum of effort.
Now I was getting
drunk all the time. It wasn't necessary to report in to
the office in person every day, and when I did go in,
it was just to make an appearance
bounce right out again. Was that a merry-go-round for
the eight months that it lasted???
Finally this company
also became ill and I was once more looking for a job.
Then I learned something else. I learned that person just
can't find a job hanging in a dive or barroom all day
and all night, as jobs don't seem to turn up in those
places. I became convinced of that because I spent most
if my time there and nary a job turned up. By this time,
my chances of getting lined up in my chosen business were
shot. Everyone had my number and wouldn't hire me at any
I have omitted details
of transgressions that I made when drunk for several reasons.
One is that I don't remember too many of them, as I was
one of those drunks who could be on his feet and attend
a meeting or a party, engage in a conversation with people
and do things that any nearly normal person would do,
and the next day, not remember a thing about where I was,
what I did, whom I saw, or how I got home. (That condition
was a distinct handicap to me in trying to vindicate myself
with the not so patient wife).
I also committed other
indiscretions of which I see no particular point in relating.
Anyone who is a rummy or is close to rummies knows what
all those things amount to without having to be told about
came to the point where I had no friends. I didn't care
to go visiting unless the parties we might visit had plenty
of liquor on hand and I could get stinking drunk. Fact
is, that I was always well on my way before I would undertake
to go visiting at all.
this condition was also a source of great delight to my
After holding good
positions, making better than average income for over
ten years, I was in debt, had no clothes to speak of,
no money, no friends, and no one any longer tolerating
me but my wife. My son had absolutely no use fore me.
Even some of the saloon-keepers where I had spent so much
time and money, requested that I stay away from their
places. Finally, an old business acquaintance of mine,
who I hadn't seen for several years offered me a job.
I was on that job a month and drunk most of the time.
Just it this time
my wife heard of a doctor in another city who had been
very successful with drunks. She offered me the alternative
of going to see him or her leaving me for good and all.
Well . . . I had a job, and I really wanted desperately
to stop drinking, but I couldn't, so I readily agreed
to visit the doctor she recommended.
That was the turning
point of my life. My wife accompanied me on my visit and
the doctor really told me some things that in my state
of jitters nearly knocked me out of the chair. He talked
about himself, but I was sure it was me. He mentioned
lies, deceptions, etc. in the course of his story in the
presence of the one person in the world I wouldn't want
to know such things. How did he know all this? I had never
seen him before, and at the time hoped to hell I would
never see him again. However, he explained to me that
he had been just such a rummy as I, only for a much longer
period of time.
advised me to enter the particular hospital to which staff
he was connected and I readily agreed. In all honesty
though, I was skeptical, but I wanted so definitely to
quit drinking that I would have welcomed any sort of physical
torture or pain to accomplish the result.
I made arrangements
to enter the hospital three days later and promptly went
out and got stiff for three days. It was with grim foreboding
and advanced jitters that I checked in at the hospital.
Of course, I had no hint or intimation as to what the
treatment was to consist of. Was I to be surprised!
After being in the
hospital for several days, a plan of living was outlined
to me. A very simple plan that I find much joy and happiness
in following. It is impossible to put on paper all the
benefits I have derived . . . physical, mental, domestic,
spiritual, and monetary.
This is no idle talk.
It is the truth.
From a physical standpoint,
I gained 16 pounds in the first two months I was off liquor.
I eat three good meals a day now, and really enjoy them.
I sleep like a baby, and never give a thought to such
a thing as insomnia. I feel as I did when I was fifteen
Mentally . . . I know
where I was last night, the night before, and the nights
before that. Also, I have no fear of anything. I have
self confidence and assurance that cannot be confused
with the cockeyness or noise-making I once possessed.
I can think clearly and am helped much in my thinking
and judgment by my spiritual development which grows daily.
From a domestic standpoint,
we really have a home
I am anxious to get home after dark. My wife is ever glad
to see me come in. My youngster had adopted me. Our home
is always full of friends and visitors (No home brew as
Spiritually . . .
I have found a Friend who never lets me down and is ever
eager to help. I can actually take my problems to Him
and He does give me comfort, peace, and radiant happiness.
From a monetary standpoint
. . . in the last few years, I have reduced my reckless
debts to almost nothing, and have had money to get along
comfortably. I still have my job, and just prior to the
writing of this narrative, I received an advancement.
For all of these blessings,
I thank Him.