One day he picked up a book, "Blood on the Boards," by William Campbell Gault, and read:
"Slopping through life with no discipline, no goal! And they find themselves 40 and empty, and go looking for what they missed in a bottle."
The words hit him, he says, with the impact of a sledge hammer. Nothing had ever made such an impression on him.
He stopped and reread them. He has reread them many times. He has made copies of them.
At the time he asked himself two questions:
"What have I lost that is so important to me?" "What do I want?"
Both answers came within seconds.
"I am now well on my way to achieving what I desire to do," he says, "and recovering what I lost. And I haven't had a drink from that moment to this."
IN THE MAIL Monday an employee at Gibraltar Savings & Loan Association of Beverly Hills came upon an envelope containing $5,000 in $100 bills with no clue to the identity of the sender.
On Wednesday, a customer appeared, claimed the money and directed that it be deposited in a savings account.
He explained he'd been in an all-night poker game and had been filling full houses and inside straights like crazy. At the height of his run of luck he'd stepped outside, stuffed his winnings in an envelope and mailed it to Gibraltar, then returned to the game.
Will all gamblers who wish they'd done the same at one time or another please bow their heads in reverence to the man who did.
MISCELLANY -- Note on the bulletin board at the Valley Elementary District Board of Education office: "I pledge allegiance to the City of Los Angeles and to the smog under which it stands. One city, invisible, with eye drops and cough drops for all."