Thursday, May 13, 2010


Old Joke:  Termite sat on the bar stool 
and asked in a loud voice
"Is the bar TENDER here?"


Many years ago (45), when I moved to Naples, FL, there was no symphony orchestra in which to play my violin.  Naples  was--and is--a tourist area, a winter-home type city/county.

The primary businesses were churches and liquor store-bar-combinations.  Since my main occupation was, well...ummmm--DRINKING, I got a job as bartender. (What else?)

Nine years later, forced by ill health, the law, and Peeps, I capitulated to a Higher Power--God--to help me stop drinking. I stopped and stayed stopped until this day...

I was so enthusiastic about a fellowship--Alcoholic Anonymous--and its program of action, which did for me what I had tried to do on literally hundreds of occasions during the previous 20 plus years.  That is stop drinking.

STORY 1974

I had been working in a place named WITCH'S BREW in Naples, for three years.  Three years (to the very DAY!) I was fired, for the first time in my life. I was given an adequate severance, unheard of in "bartender" circles, and told to get out and never come back.
Also the owner told me I was the best bartender he ever had working for him.  Go figure.

Well, about 30 years later--still not drinking--I "figured it out".  I was SO wanting to let the whole world know that I had stopped drinking (who CARED OR CARES???) ...and specifically my bar-fly friends. I found myself, while stirring a dry martini for one customer, explaining to these folks, many inebriated, all about how to save their lives.  Also I explained in detail night after night, how their families were suffering, and how they could also have a better future, by not getting drunk every night.

All the guy (or gal) had to do was switch to coca cola, and everything would work out. Well, everything worked out.  I went home, it was 3 AM Thanksgiving morning 1974, and I got to tell my family we had to tighten our belts, that I was unemployed.

How STEWPID I felt!  And fearful, because the word would get out not to hire this non-drinking evangelist (me) anywhere in this county.  Well, I did walk into one place a few weeks later, a new restaurant in town, brand new everything--kitchen, lounge, tables, and my boss rode a big Motor Scooter!  These are "my Peeps", Peeps!  It was then that I took the risk to tell the assistant manager and the GM, that I was a recovering alcoholic.

Don't you know, they both laughed, and told me they too, were recovering alcoholics in the AA Program, and had just arrived in Naples from Akron Ohio, the birthplace of AA.  Well, we got along famously, and had an AA meeting every night right there on the job!  I got to continue working the bar, making drinks, playing the violin, and all lived.....I was going to write "happily ever after" but that is not the way it happened.  The rest of the story deserves a posting of its own.  The bottom line--for me here--was that (again) God did for me what I could NOT do for myself. Got me a job in an occupation I knew, and WOW! the money was Goood!

You know, I often ask God to change me, and He does!  But he keeps wanting to change things which I DO NOT WANT changed! Oh, well....

Lots of yard work to do.  Now that it is summer it is ongoing in this tropical paradise.

Blessings for all of you, Peeps.  Please SMILE today at someone who is probably not expecting it, OK?

Lagniappe:  Two weeks ago, i met a man named Bob (real name) who remembered those days of which I just wrote, all these 36 years later...and he was sitting in the meeting room--for the first time!!!  Believe THAT! (OK, God! What next?)

DEVIANT ART: Zelda__Link___The_Last_Guest_by_Dayu


Carol said...

There's a page in a religious reader that says you can't do God's work and 'worldly' work at the same time. I think that your soul chose God's work.

Sam Liu said...

What a wonderful story, a most interesting read. It is brilliant when things work out, and I'm glad they did for you :)

Syd said...

It always seems so incongruous to me that recovering alcoholics bar tend. I know that the obsession to drink is removed, but it just seems like walking a tightrope with snapping alligators swarming below. Just sayin'.

Gabriella Moonlight said...

I constantly smile at those who don't expect it, in my car, or out and about...that makes me happy also.

What a story you share, what a story you have, you are always amazing to me in your shares....much love and enjoy the yard work...

xo G

Heather's Mom said...

I've got a big smile on my face :) I guess your one boss was all about the money huh? I don't think the soft drinks bring in as much profit! lol What a great post - an amazing story of the faithfulness of God.
God bless.

Bananii said...

Interesting..... :)

(p.d: do you mean you feel like happy to see the love story in my blog? hehe sorry I didnt get it very well)

steveroni said...

HEATHERS MOM: Keep that smile on your face, and it reflects in your heart--(I just made that up! 2nd time this week for an original thought--grin!)

GABI: And a beautiful smile you DO have--it's in your eyes also! Yep, I too have found that a smile begets smiles...all over the place.

SYD: I often believe that God allowed for tending bar to keep me sober--I witnessed first-hand all the stupidity which went on around the bar, as Peeps progressed from being "tired" at 5-6PM to being completely immobile
or near-coma at 2:30AM...But I do see your point. NOTE: I do NOT recommend the bar business. Thanks

SAM LIU: I am certain you have experienced MANY "things that worked out" in your life, else how would you know the "wonder" of it?!!! Thanks for your comments.

CAROL: Thank you. But ya know? I believe more it is God Who often does the choosing first, and in His Own time--and ours--we choose Him back. And therein lies happiness.

Oh! I wish it were that easy! Simple, yes. Easy...NO!

steveroni said...

BANANII: You have assessed correctly
...old Peeps LOVE to see, hear, and read about "young love" and lovers. It makes them feel a certain "youth" again.

Answer: "YES"

Brian Miller said...

so cool about meeting Bob...God found the right position for you for the right time...if we tried to figure it all out we would go crazy, but He's got a plan...

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Have a blessed and wonderful weekend my friend! We still re-live the wonderful experience with steve-a-roni the scooter king up here in Chas... anytime you want to revisit we'd love to see ya!

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Would love to see Anna too!

JStar said...

This is a great story....Mmmn it takes a strong person to be able to work around something that held you down for so long...But your point is well taken, you see how stupid it makes you...

Ginnie said...

I love your (for real) story. Those are the wonderful tales that I have come to accept as miracles in our AA program.
By the way, the "Hx of AA in Moore County" is at the printers. You said you wanted a copy so just email me your address and I will send one to you.

g-man said...

You couldn't have written this in 55 words?

Jingle said...

you are challenged by G-man,
what a take,
Glad that you made a post for 55.

steveroni said...

JINGLE: Some Peeps are so outstandingly good at writing that I shy a bit when I am on their blogs. Jingle, you're one of those.

But you DO also have a sense of humor
which is good. That is a direct inheritance from God.

G-Man...Whoooaaa, I had this "brian" thing in the oven overnight, just waiting for your push/shove...

GINNIE: OK!!! Thanks. You now have our address: Steve Naples FL

J Star: (Like your new hairdo!) It sure is fun to be sober at a party--where I play violin, strolling. And I can coast around the room and "listen in"...FUN-NY!
(Like your new hairdo--OH! Did I already say that?--grin!)

steveroni said...

JESS: If/when i ride up that way, I'll call first and see if y'all are around, I'd sure like that Chinese dinner repeated! And other stuff, too like a mass which wasn't exactly the kind I'm used to--grin! Remember? I thought it was some Nuevo-Catholic Sect!

BRIAN: YOU Sir, take the cake for your prolific and entertaining writing. Thanks for letting me "use" your "55" today in my own.

Findon said...

Nice post Steve, particularly the end bit. Just goes to show.

Susan Deborah said...

Your journey always inspires me. Not about drinking but about the other addictions that so unconsciously sticks to us viz., negative feelings, procrastination, tendency to give up, etc.

You are worthy of admiration and emulation.

I am so proud of you dear wonder Stevie Wonder!!!

Joy always,

Jingle said...


Happy Monday!
Friendship tags 4 u.
I enjoyed your company!

Carolynn said...

Ha! I love it. I'm always very careful when I ask God for something...gotta be veeerrry careful how I word it. *grin*


Jingle said...

thank you for the encouragement on my magpie tale...
Happy Tuesday Ahead!
Take good care!