September 17, 2009

Alice's therapist cried

"Alice hated the taste of booze but loved being drunk."

Hi Grier,
Your August 25 blog brought back memories of the summer of
'92. Mike took me to Saratoga 2x and it was fun to dress up and wear a big hat at the race track.

He had good friends whom we stayed with who had a bar just across from the entrance to the race track. I think it
was called "King's Bar".

We met some interesting characters at the
bar. Some of them became Mike's friends for life and they used to visit us on the Cape.

All were pretty hard boozers and many have since died.

Alice was notorious for the huge quantity she could put away.

She used to come visit me because Mike didn't like her around due to her 300 lbs of flesh. The bar owner is dead now but I'm still in touch with his wife Patty.

I wonder if the bar you went to was the same one? Next time you go ask if it was Dick Bendon's bar? He was certainly a character; addicted to his own adrenalin. He drove poor Patty crazy.

On my 2nd trip there, I skipped the races and spent 5 hours walking up and down the main drag with the big beautiful hotels. Saratoga must have been quite the destination at one time.

I've always wanted to go back to Saratoga someday. I know I would be welcome at Patty's.

Getting back to Alice. She had a dear male friend Joe whom she met at King's bar. His wife wasn't interested in horses. So Alice and Joe traveled every year to The Kentucky Derby. He could drink Alice under the table.

Alice died a few years ago at 62 of a massive coronary, just a few weeks before her scheduled stomach bypass surgery. At 55, after she had had a heart attack, she decided to give up boozing and cigarettes. Then she became addicted to food.

She told me she hated the taste of booze but loved being drunk! She became very depressed when she couldn't get high anymore. She spent 6 months talking to a therapist. Alice was from a large Irish family and she was funny as hell.

At her last therapy session, her therapist broke down and cried; said he would miss seeing her every week. Everyone loved Alice. I certainly miss her calls and her visits.

P.S. I forgot to mention that Alice had a heart of gold and always put her friends' needs ahead of her own.

This email was from Carol Haeberli, my wife's sister and a good friend. None of the people in my Saratoga photographs are those mentioned in this post. Click on the photos to enlarge them.

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