Recently the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous lost one of our most hard-working and loving members. His name is Deandre Moore. Deandre was a larger-than-life type of person. He grew up in the Watts area of Southern California. I met him in 1994 when I moved to Lancaster, California.
I started going to AA meetings at a group called the Open Door. It was quite clear that there was a hard-core clique here and that they did not welcome new members. I had almost 9 years of sobriety at the time and continued to go to meetings at the Open Door in spite of the clique. After the meetings noticed an African American man who also appeared to be excluded from the clique. He and I became friends based on our mutual exclusion from the clique. Deandre and I ended up going to meetings together and we had a similar type of sense of humor. We would whisper to each other during the meeting remarks about what the clique was doing wrong. We had lots of laughs and spent time together.
Deandre moved back to the Los Angeles area in approximately 2003. We kept in touch all these years and would see each other 2-3 times per year. Deandre and I started the 12 Step Seminars at the Open Door. This was a one meeting a month with 3 steps discussed. We had 3 speakers, one for each step. It took 4 months to complete the 12 Steps. We did this over the years a total of 3 times. Some people who were newcomers at the time of the seminars are still sober today with double digit sobriety. We had balloons and food at these events, and they were enjoyed by many people.
Deandre started a group in the South Bay area called the “No Nonsense Group.” Many people attended the meetings for this group and it became their home group. At the time of Deandre’s passing there must have been 150 plus members of this group. They had barbeques, birthday parties and retreats. Deandre was a well-known speaker in the Greater Los Angeles area. He also travelled to New York for a speaking engagement. His story was quite compelling and helped many people. No Nonsense also had chapters in Bakersfield and Utah. This group is on the move.
When I got the call that Deandre had passed away, I was in total disbelief. He was in his mid-fifties. He was supposed to be around after I was gone!! The pain and heartache of his passing are indescribable. I expect him to come walking in at any moment laughing and asking what’s to eat? But this is not to be. Our friend has gone to that big meeting in the sky. I hope he will be waiting for me when I arrive up there. God bless you Deandre and thank you for all that you have done for us.