MEET HUGH McGEE
…the founder of Rivendell…
...I knew at that point that I was an addict and could not use any drugs successfully. I became “willing to listen as only the dying can”. I took their suggestions and my life began to change dramatically....
Hi… My name is Hughie and I am a “Person in Long Term Recovery”. I got tricked into trying the 12 step fellowships on June 10th, 1970 when I was released from Fairfax County Jail on the premise that I go into recovery. The previous night I had assaulted 7 police officers, attacked my father and attempted suicide because I was drinking alcohol and had taken hallucinogenics. Quite a mess.
That was the last time I used.
A gentleman named Dick Breed spent that Saturday with me at his home. He was an addict in recovery and spent his day giving me hope, enough so that I found my way to a meeting that night. It has been 52 + years since that fateful day. I have been referred to as the ”youngest old-timer or the oldest young timer in the program.
I came from an abusive, negative family. I endured emotional, physical, and sexual child abuse. I couldn’t learn as others could and spent my education only pretending to know what the teachers were talking about. I was terrified of life. I met a bunch of older men in the program that seemed to have found an exciting new way to live, so I came back the next night and the next night and the next…
That was over 18,990 + days ago, One Day at a Time.
I knew at that point that I was an addict and could not use any drugs successfully. I became “willing to listen as only the dying can”. I took their suggestions and my life began to change dramatically. Being only 19 when I got clean, I got very involved in Young Peoples Recovery. Since then, I have been deeply involved in recovery helping young people to get a foothold on a new and exciting way of life, free from alcohol and drugs.
"Find your Saturday Night" bonfire at Rivendell
I love helping people and have spent my life doing so. Anywhere I lived I always had room for people in recovery. I would take the ones who didn’t have a lot of hope left. I have been endearingly called “The Last House on the Block” or “The Loser Friendly House”.
In 1973, I decided to open my first Recovery Center in Haymarket, Va called Jackson Hollow. I became the head designer for Lebow Restaurant Equipment Co. in Alexandria, VA. I started Jackson Hollow Recovery Center in 1973 in Haymarket, VA.
I opened multiple restaurants including Bilbo Baggins and Treebeards and Frodo‘s Cafe. I had my own Marketing and Advertising company in Vienna, VA for over 32 years.
I was on the B.O.D. of The Northern Virginia Mental Health Foundation for 12 years. I became a member of the Northern Shenandoah Substance Abuse Coalition and am presently on the Executive Board of that Coalition. I have spoken all over America on addiction and also in Italy. I have spoken at International Conventions on addiction as well. I have taken meetings into prisons for over 50 years, most recently (before the pandemic) into RSW Regional Jail in Front Royal, VA.
I moved to White Post, Va in 2006 and started Rivendell Recovery Center.
I fashioned a leading Edge Recovery System that I believe is unmatched at any price. This Center is built on the shoulders of Giants in recovery including Bill Wilson, Buck & Dolly Doyle, Big Mike, Father Jake, Earnie the attorney, my father Hugh McGee, and many more. I have all hopes and intentions to open many more opulent, exciting Micro-Recovery Centers like Rivendell.
An expert is defined:
“Someone who has a prolonged or intense experience through practice and/or education in a particular field”. With that, I consider myself an expert in helping people get clean and sober from drugs and alcohol.
I, myself, have been clean since June 10, 1970, over 52 years. I have been actively involved, including living in my Recovery Center / Home for over 16 years. (On the vomit line as we put it). I have made it my life’s mission to pass on the hope that was once given to me.