Last revision : 2001.07.04

The Fremont Hymn

On Tax Day, 1987, the Aurora Fellowship closed (3414½ Fremont Avenue North is now yuppie environmentalists' offices, the Cascade Nature Conservancy), and for several months the Fremont AA groups were homeless, or at least decentralized. Some met in churches (Fremont Baptist, St. Paul's UCC, Ballard Nazarene), some in restaurants (Phinney Ridge Café, Pizza Ma Heart @ Green Lake), some in homes or parks or libraries, and some at least temporarily abstained from meeting. Eventually a new hall was procured, Fremont/Greenwood Fellowship on North 85th Street just west of Greenwood, in the Eleanor Roosevelt Building next door to the Roundup Tavern. (Where the hall was is now a Malaysian-Thai Restaurant.)

A great many of our core oldtimers took the opportunity to stop coming to Fremont (though thankfully most of them continued to attend meetings, mainly in Ballard) with the result that much of the lore and wisdom that had been ubiquitous at the Aurora Fellowship was rarely heard at FGF.

Concern over this loss of grounding for newcomers, and a desire to preserve at least anecdotal evidence of some of the ethos of "the real Fremont" as I had perceived it during its last three years on Earth, led me to write "The Fremont Hymn", and a dare from my then roommate Lisa B. got me started going to Fremont in drag, standing on chairs, and belting it out. Especially in September, my birthday month, I still sing it when begged to.

Mi staras sur segxo
kaj kantas (sep 98)

Marc W., also a September baby, has been known to accompany me on the bagpipes, and Rocker Kevin often unobtrusively supplies backup vocals. I usually only sing verses 1, 3, 4 and 7, and many people at Fremont have these memorized and sing along with me. I usually preface "The Fremont Hymn" with my "Salvation Army Song"; if it can be timed to coincide with the passing of the basket, it makes an effective offertory.

The Fremont Hymn

My Webb Site

  1. Stand up, stand up for Fremont, ye sickest of the sick!
    Defend in tones vehement its honor and be quick
    To say it's kept you sober and taught you all you kno-ow:
    Exaggerate thrice over. The Big Book tells us so!

  2. Stand up for all four Fremonts, Jurassic, old and new!
    We're mostly staying sober just like they used to do
    Between and during meetings, those pebbles, stones and bri-icks
    Composing our foundation, and proud to still be sick!

  3. Stand up, stand up for Fremont, the ER of AA,
    And Western State's north dayroom, where loons and winos play
    As dope fiends wax poetic above the background ro-oar,
    And we stay clean and sob'r, as we've never done before.

  4. Stand up for Ralph and hootowls, for sponsors, Steps and God*!
    * God: as we more or less
    fondly referred to the late
    Jerry Steinmann

    We're following the path our old-timers' feet have trod.
    The good news--a solution. The bad news--this is it!
    If your ass falls off, keep comin'; we'll teach you how to sit!

  5. Stand up, stand up for Fremont, for Joseph and Chuck A,
    For fellowship and cusswords day after sober day.
    For growth and change and quiet another group may do,
    But for life, we go to Fremont--the Big Book tells us to!

  6. Stand up for smoke, the First Step, and endless drunkalogue,
    For coffee, sideline bullshit, and Boxcar's sober dog.
    We pour the tough love, lave it o'er new girls and new boy-oys
    And Harleys are our fav'rite till-death-part sober toys.

  7. Stand up, stand up for Fremont! Don't drink, you won't get drunk!
    Outsit the fuckin' assholes! Don't think, you won't get thunk!
    From Greenlake unto Hilltop our reputation's lo-ow--
    Yet Fremont's where they got it--the Big Book tells us so!

1996-2000 Leland R.

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