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Old 12-10-2012, 07:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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AA history

I have an interest in AA history. It has added a whole new dimension to my recovery. Reading the big book and knowing a little about the many people referred to in its pages, about the context in which events were taking place ... well it has been so rewarding.

There are times I wish I lived in NYC and could visit the GSO archives at will, or that I lived in Akron and could get a sense of what the meetings are like there, maybe talk to a few old timers.

Instead, I search the internet, study “The Book That Started It All” and collect local history for preservation.

I’m just wondering if anyone else has found themselves caught up in the history of AA and how learning about it has been valuable to their recovery.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I enjoy learning the history behind it all as well. I saw a documentary entitled Bill W. a while back. I thought it was really interesting and not just about Bill. I think learning about he original old timers makes it easier to identify with them and appreciate what it took took get this program off the ground.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes. Read that book Not God and have a few tapes with folks telling anecdotal stories. One set is Sandy B and Bob B, available on XA. On a tablet now but I'll post the links later.

Listening and learning make me realize how lucky I am.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have the hots for history anyhow so I get much enjoyment out of the seemingly endless historical trail of the beginnings of our fellowship .

I do love to surround myself with books and a computer .

I'm currently engrossed in , the Oxford groups and other religious groups of the time .... How they worked , and why some didn't .
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I also have found the history and characters of early AA and how it evolved into what it is today to be fascinating information. Sadly, most of the old timers that walked with Bill W, Dr. Bob, Lois and the 40 pioneers from Akron and others from NY have passed away. However, there is a a treasure test of written and recorded archives that tell their stories and the story of the earliest days of the Oxford Group and early AA.

There is still an annual picnic at Stepping Stones that Lois started that you might want to consider attending as it usually has a lot of old timers on the grounds that you could meet that can tell you stories about early AA.

Another great place to hear about the early days is to attend a Clarence Snyder retreat where they go through the steps in a weekend exactly as his sponsor Dr. Bob taught him to take members through the steps. These retreats were run by Clarence and Grace until their death and at their wish their direct sponsees now run them exactly as Clarence and Grace taught them. Just google and his website is easily found.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I am so blessed to be here in Cleveland. As you read on my thread today.

I get to talk to people that where in those times. And knew many of the starters.

I love hearing for the couple men I have that got sober through Sister Ignatia... One of my absolute favs in history..

And we do have a long timers meeting. Once a month here in Cleveland that you have to at least have 25 years to give a lead.(speaker). That is one of my all time favorite meetings to make, I have heard some really really neat stuff from the podium with 30 40 + years of sobriety here in Cleveland and Akron..

I never get tired of listening about how it was..
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I love the history of AA.

Unfortunately I did not find recovery soon enough to have met Bill W. but I did
get to meet Lois several times, thanks to Chuck C (A New Pair Of Glasses) and
was fortunate enough to have him in my life for the first 3 1/2 years of my
sobriety.

Having found my sobriety in the San Fernando Valley in California, which had and
in some respects still has a very very strong Big Book recovery, I was fortunate
to be able to meet not only some that got sober in those early years, but several
that had been part of the first '100' or so. Several of those folks were more than
willing to talk about their early days including the fact that there were some real
'knock down drag out fights' over what was to be put into the Big Book.

I do believe that hearing about the history, their history, how meetings came to
be, Sybil, the first woman alcoholic to get sober in Los Angeles, was very import-
ant to my recovery. It seemed to make recovery 'more real' to me somehow.

Alabam C. WOW the first time I heard her share, she was telling my story. I so
identified with her. Not only did I go up and thank her afterwards, but about 2
weeks later, she was at the saturday afternoon book study my sponsor held in
her home.

I am glad you started this thread, because I do believe that the History of
Alcoholics Anonymous is VERY IMPORTANT and some of us just have to keep it
alive for those coming after us.

Something sure is working, AA is alive and going strong 77 1/2 years after its
conception. I believe it was a tad earlier but somehow the date of June 10,
1935 is the one that has prevailed.

Thank you for starting this thread, I am very interested to see how others feel
about our history.

Love and hugs,
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I enjoy reading about AA history as well. The downtown office here in Chicago has some cool archival things to look at on display.
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The history of AA was something that I didn't really care for when I first got into the program. I was just too concerned about working the steps and not drinking any more! But I have surprised myself - I am not at all an historical buff of any kind, nor has history ever been something I was ever interested in. But the history of AA has really captured my imagination. There are several wonderful websites that have lots of AA historical information, document, and scans of old letters, pamphlets, pictures, etc. I also find that my AA bookshelf at home has started to burst at the seams with more and more books on the history of AA, and on the books that directly or indirectly were related to AA's development.

What I find fascinating is that every time I look into one little area, I find a wealth of information there that opens me up to more areas of exploration. It never ends! And I'm glad for that
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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One of my daughter's specialists is in Akron and we have been going there a couple of times a year for a day or two. I am newly sober (46 days) and don't even have a sponsor yet---but I think it would be very interesting to attend a meeting or see some history about AA while there next time. Any suggestions?
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:39 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I have piddled around with reading some of the history and always catch the speakers when I can. How it helps?

It's the same blasted arguments that AA was having back in the 40's! lol

Puts debates into perspective for me. I don't take it all that seriously now. Apparently, that saying, "There's nothing new under the sun" remains true today, too.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:35 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Bob (Robert) Stonebreaker wrote an online book that you can download free. It's called A Pre-History of AA.

Not-God A History of Alcoholics Anonymous by Ernest Kurtz is also good.

So much to learn!
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:58 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarbear1 View Post
Bob (Robert) Stonebreaker wrote an online book that you can download free. It's called A Pre-History of AA.

Not-God A History of Alcoholics Anonymous by Ernest Kurtz is also good.

So much to learn!
Not God is an excellent read for any AA history buff. Dr Bob and the Good Old Timers is also one of my favorites.
Any time I read or hear the history of AA, I find it impossible to deny that God is behind it all. Learning the history has been a big part in deepening my faith in the program.
Great topic!
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:59 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Sandy B and Bob B - "There is a Solution". Four files.

First - Sandy and Bob brief stories. Then a "history" of the Washingtonians up to AA.

XA-Speakers - The lights are on!

XA-Speakers - The lights are on!

XA-Speakers - The lights are on!

XA-Speakers - The lights are on!

In hindsight, these aren't so much "History" as much as "There is a solution" but with the evolution of the solution mixed in.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:03 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Has anyone read Mel B‘s book, “Ebby, The Man Who sponsored Bill W?”
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All Big Book quotes are from the first edition.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:03 AM   #16 (permalink)
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We are not supposed to link but if you google

AA Akron you will pull up their website and it has all the information on how and where you can visit historical sites and view archived AA literature.

If you google barefoot bill AA History you will pull up a treasure trove of online documents and history that will keep you busy for days! Bill passed on but his many sponsees are going to keep his site alive and kicking and passing on the message as he wished.

As long as the generations share the story it will continue to inspire... surely God breathed and powerful.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:07 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Has anyone read Mel B‘s book, “Ebby, The Man Who sponsored Bill W?”
Thanks for the suggestion. I read Mel's book "New Wine" and thought it was terrific.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:26 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for sharing. I actually feel a bit emotional after reading what many of you have written. Inda and Laurie, thanks so much for sharing your personal experiences. This brings history to life in a way that is like no other.

I, like you Paul, had no interest in AA history in my early sobriety (nor before that for much of anything history related). Now, I smile when I see SavingSelf, (with only 46 days!) ask for information on about sites in Akron, and Hopeworks responding that the AA Akron site can be helpful. That’s what it has been about. One drunk helping another!

78 years ago today (December 11th) Bill was hospitalized in Towns hospital for his alcoholism. As I remember, it was his third or fourth trip there. It proved to be his last. While there he had a powerful spiritual experience (an “act of grace”) that became the driving force for Bill to seek out and attempt to help other drunks. It is indeed a “we program”. Thanks everyone.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:40 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I read and discussed the Not-God book after working the 12 steps twice and before we worked through the big book line by line....

Some other books thrown in, and we are now about to start working through the 12 & 12.....

It's been almost 19 months now....and 4 times through those steps....staying ahead of my progressive dis-ease now.....
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:34 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SavingSelf View Post
One of my daughter's specialists is in Akron and we have been going there a couple of times a year for a day or two. I am newly sober (46 days) and don't even have a sponsor yet---but I think it would be very interesting to attend a meeting or see some history about AA while there next time. Any suggestions?
Oh my yes.. Please there is a couple really neat things to do..

Doctor Bobs House. It just on the west side of downtown.

St. Thomas Hospital. Great place to start your meetings. There several every day.

Stan Hywett Hall. By doctor Bob's house. Has artifacts of the Siebring House.

Gavesight on the east side of downtown.


And of course Founder's Day. June 8,9,10 of 2013.. Every year when just a couple drunks get together .. LOL..

If you intrested a couple people and myself would meet you in Akron and be more than happy to cruise around town with ya.. Just message me and I will answer you back..
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