in "Seattle Times", juillet 2002 (à l'occasion du 100° anniversaire de Doug Richardson, dit Zingo Le Clown)
Richardson, who was an entertainer in his youth, a jack-of-all trades in his middle years and a legend in local Alcoholics Anonymous groups for the past five decades, was feted on his 100th birthday this week by scores of people he's influenced over the years, many of whom still visit him and come for counsel.
"When I met him he had 40 years' sobriety, but he made me feel like he had one day, just like me," said Dave Jager of Seattle, who knows Richardson through AA. "He taught all of us the importance of welcoming the new guy."
Bill Smith of Seattle met Richardson 21 years ago when the older man was punching a speed bag in a boxing gym at the Elks Club in Lake City. Richardson is still Smith's AA sponsor and Smith visits him a couple of times a week.
He played Zingo the Clown at the World's Fair in Seattle in 1962. His exploits have been widely reported in other papers as well, including the Los Angeles Times, several New York papers and The Seattle Times, which in 1963 called him the heartthrob of Seattle Center.
But Richardson's drinking intensified over the years, according to his 75-year-old son, Daly, and midway through his entertainment career, he gave it up, joined AA and moved back to Seattle.
He still occasionally attends AA, going almost exclusively to first-step meetings, where recovering alcoholics take their first shaky steps toward sobriety.
"He was always the first one to hold out his hand," said Smith