Saturday, June 5, 2010

No Snow in Denver

Is there still snow on the ground in Denver?  I wondered when getting ready to pack my suitcase for the trip to the LifeRing Congress.  A quick check online showed not only the absence of snow, but the presence of a heat wave.  So I packed shorts.  When I got into Denver, it turned out that the predicted 85 degrees was on the low side.  A sign outside a bank in downtown Denver at about 3 in the afternoon said 90, and Jim R.'s car said the temperature on the asphalt was 102.  Denver was in full bloom, with roses and bearded iris and other flowers making a spectacular show on the streets near the Congress venue, see photo.

The Denver LifeRing regulars have their act together.  Kathleen Gargan and Tom J. had a LifeRing banner up outside the Unitarian Church at 14th and Lafayette by midafternoon Friday.  Tom, who broke his right arm when he fell off a chair trying to hang the banner at last year's Congress in Berkeley, stayed on solid ground for the banner hanging exercise this time.  (See photo.)  Despite Kathleen's vintage Volvo shutting down with vapor lock on the way back from the airport after picking up Mona H., who was coming in from New York, everything was in place for the evening's reception.  I got to meet Phil S., a Denver regular with whom I'd only corresponded via email, as well as Bonnie and Jim and Lokken and Kirk and Anna and other Denver LifeRing participants.  It was clear that Denver LifeRing has grown significantly.  I also had the privilege of chatting for a while with Anne Hatcher, a veteran addictions counselor and teacher in Denver, and we discovered that we shared a common friend in Bill White, the author of Slaying the Dragon, the excellent history book.
Michael Walsh and Adam H. drove in from Victoria BC, an amazing scenic trek through the Northwest.  Jim R. and Karen I. as well as Dru B. drove in from Oakland.  Mary S. came in from Albuquerque, and showed off her spectacular custom-made sobriety bracelet with a gold life ring (see photo).  Andy R. got in his car at 2 pm Friday in Wichita and drove in one shift to Denver, arriving around 10 pm.  Others flew in airplanes.  By the next morning, when the Expo program began, the upstairs auditorium of the Unitarian church, with its gorgeous stained glass window, was just about full.

(To be continued).

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