It was a black-tie affair, mostly. Every now and again, someone walked by in drag, in leather, or in jeans. I’d peg the formalwear-to-not ratio at about 97:1. All told, we were two-thousand people at 200 tables in the Grand Ballroom of the New York Hilton at 54th and 6th. The mood was raucous. Peals of laughter rippled across the floor with great and wonderful frequency. Every speaker was met with loud and boisterous approval.
But no hangover for me, this morning. Or for any the two-thousand people at last night’s shindig. Why? It was the Bill W. 71st Anniversary Dinner, and every single attendee at the $100-per-person affair was sober. Even the guests.
To sit in the ballroom, look across at the thousands of attendees, and think: “all of these people lost the same battle I did, all of these people reached their own point of desperation, and all of this people are having one hell of a time…” Well, it was pretty fantastic.
Very few problem drinkers make it to AA. Fewer stay. Last night was, as one speaker put it, possibly the biggest room of blessed people in New York City… at least at that moment.
How lucky are we?