Friday, 24 August 2012

Some history.

I find this sort of stuff strangely interesting. The people who came before us, the history we have is a mighty fine thing. Maybe we can learn from it.

Big Book Name and Date References
(Compiled by Tony C. and Barefoot Bill)

Pg/Ch.            Name                    Description
-----       ----                          -----------
xi          written by Dr. Silkworth      The Doctor's Opinion

Preface 2Ed                        
xv          Bill Wilson & Dr. Bob         during a talk between a NY stockbroker & Akron physician (they first met on 5/12/35)
xvi         Ebby Thacher                  alcoholic friend in contact with Oxford Group
xvi         Dr. Silkworth                 (named) NY specialist in alcoholism
xvi         Bill Wilson                   The broker
xvi         Dr. Bob                       the Akron physician
xvii        Bill Dotson                   AA#3 (sober date was 6/26/35, Bill Wilson & Dr. Bob first visited him on 6/28/35)
xvii-iii    Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick     (named) noted clergyman
xviii       Fulton Oursler                (named) editor of Liberty
xviii       John Rockefeller Jr           (named) gave dinner
xviii       Jack Alexander                (named) wrote Saturday Evening Post article
xix         Traditions                    all Twelve Traditions mentioned
xx          recovery rate from 1939-1955  Of alcoholics who came to AA & really tried, 50% got sober at once & remained that way; 25% sobered up after some relapses, and among the remainder, those who stayed on with AA showed improvement

Doctor's Opinion (was page 1 in the first edition of the Big Book)
xxv-xxxii   Dr. William D. Silkworth      well known doctor (worked at Towns Hospital, N.Y.C.)
xxv         Bill Wilson                   patient he regarded as hopeless
xxvii       9 years experience            Dr. Silkworth had 9 years of experience with alcoholics & drug addicts when he wrote this
xxvii       Bill Wilson                   one of the leading contributors of this book
xxxi        Hank Parkhurst                man brought in to be treated for chronic alcoholism
xxxi        Fitz Mayo                     another case, had hid in a barn

Bill's Story (Bill Wilson)                           
1           Winchester Cathedral          Bill Wilson has a spiritual experience ("Here I stood on the edge of the abyss into which thousands were falling that very day.  A feeling of despair settled down on me - where was He - why did He not come - and suddenly in that moment of darkness, He was there.  I felt an all enveloping, comforting, powerful presence.  Tears stood in my eyes, and as I looked about, I saw on the faces of others nearby, that they too had glimpsed the great reality.")
1           Thomas Thetcher               an old tombstone (the name of the Hampshire Grenadier)
1           a special token               Upon leaving France the men of his [Bill Wilson's] battery paid him special honor.  His letter of January 3, 1919, read: "Quite a touching thing happened yesterday.  The men presented Captain Sackville and me each with a watch, chain and ring.  The whole battery was lined up, and I tell you it was equal to promotion and decoration by J. J. Pershing himself!  Coming as it did from a clear sky, it was quite overwhelming.  Wouldn't have changed insignia with a brigadier general.  It means so much more than promotion.  Insofar as I know, we are the only people in the reigment who have been so honored.  I'm sure you will be as happy and proud as I am."
2           1920's                        certain securities then cheap & rather unpopular
2           April, 1925                   off we roared on a (Harley Davidson) motorcycle
3           Ella Goldfoot's               worked on farm for a month
3           ?                             remonstrances of friends, became lone wolf
3           ?                             Spring 1929 contracted golf fever, went to country
4           Ekwanok Country Club          the exclusive (golf) course which had inspired such awe in me as a lad
4           Penick & Ford                 XYZ-32 (stock) (Penick & Ford is a corn products company, it went from 52 to 32 in 1 day)
4           Dick Johnson                  friend in Montreal (worked at Greenshields & Co., a brokerage house)
4           1930                          By the following spring
4           Macy's                        wife (Lois) work in dept. store
5           A. Wheeler & F. Winans        1932 formed group to buy - bender - chance vanished
5           written sweet promises        Promise followed empty promise.  On October 20, 1928, Bill wrote in the family Bible, the most sacred place he knew: 'To my beloved wife that has endured so much, let this stand as evidence of my pledge to you that I have finished with drink forever.'  By Thanksgiving Day of that year he had written, 'My strength is renewed a thousandfold in my love for you,'  In January 1929, he added, 'To tell you once more that I am finished with it.  I love you.'
None of those promises, however, carried the anguish Bill expressed in an undated letter to Lois: 'I have failed again this day.  That I should continue to even try to do right in the grand manner is perhaps a great foolishness.  Righteousness simply does not seem to be in me.  Nobody wishes it more than I.  Yet no one flouts it more often.'
Again, he wrote a promise to his wife in the family Bible: 'Finally and for a lifetime, thank God for your love.'  The promise was dated September 3, 1930.  Like those that had preceded it, it was not kept.  That was the last of the Bible promises.
6           ?                             doctor came with sedative, next day drinking gin & sedative
7           early spring 1934             I was forty pounds under weight
7           Dr.L.Strong & Dr.Emily        brother in-law (husband of sister Dorothy) & mother put him in Towns Hospital
7           Dr. Silkworth                 met kind doctor explained ill, body & mind
7           Summer, 1934                  After a time I returned to the hospital
8           11/11/34                      Armistice Day 1934
8-12        Ebby Thacher                  old school friend
9           Shep C,Rowland H,Cebra G      two? (three) men appeared in court (Shep Cornell, Rowland Hazzard & Cebra Graves) August 1934
9           chartered an airplane         January 1929, from Albany N.Y. to newly opened Manchester Vt.
10          Fayette Griffith              (Bill's) grandfather
10          Winchester Cathedral          (see page 1)
12          the Cathedral                 Winchester Cathedral (see page 1)
13          12/11/34                      At the hospital I was separated from alcohol for the last time (Bill was admitted to the hospital at 2:38PM and he is 39 years old)
13          Ebby & Shep Cornell           schoolmate visited at hosp with friend
14          Dr. Silkworth                 friend, the doctor
14          12/14/34                      God's impact on Bill is sudden & profound, he calls Silky & describes what just happened, this spiritual experience as THE result of the work he did on pages 13 & 14 were all done when Bill had 3 days of sobriety or less!
14          Ebby                          friend emphasized
16          Bill C.                       committed suicide in Bill & Lois’s home after having stolen & sold about $700 worth of their clothes and luggage (a lawyer, stayed with them almost a year, died 1936)
16          36 years sober, age 75        Bill W., co-founder of AA, died January 24,1971

There Is A Solution
21          mostly from Bill's story      Here is the fellow who has been puzzling you...
26          Rowland Hazard                certain American Business man - treated by Dr. Carl Jung (1931) & joined the Oxford Group in February 1934
26          Freud & Adler                 consulted best known American psychiatrists (Freud was sick & Adler was booked up so Rowland ended up working with Jung)
26          Dr. Carl Jung                 (named) European psychiatrist
28          William James                 (named)American psychologist who wrote “Varieties of Religious Experience”

More About Alcoholism
32          ?                             A man of thirty (On page 123 of Richard Peabody’s 1931 book “The Common Sense of Drinking”, Peabody briefly mentions an unknown man who gave up drinking until he had made his fortune five years later.  Resuming "moderate" drinking, he was soon back in his alcoholic difficulties, losing his money in two or three years and dying of alcoholism a few years after that.  This anecdotal account was probably the germ idea for this story)
35-7        Ralph Furlong                 a friend we shall call Jim (Ralph is the author of the story "Another Prodigal Son" which only appeared in the first edition of the Big Book)
37-8        ?                             jay walker story
39-43       Harry Brick                   Fred
43          Dr. Percy Polick              staff member world-renowned hospital (Bellevue Hospital, N.Y.)

We Agnostics
50          Alfred E. Smith               "celebrated American statesman" (four time governor of New York and unsuccessful first Roman Catholic presidential candidate.)
51          Wright brothers               (named) first successful flight 1903
51          Professor Langley             Samuel P. Langley, flying machine landed in Potomac - 1903 project for War Dept.
52          Wright brothers               (named) built a machine that could fly
55          ?                             people who proved that man could never fly
56          Fitz Mayo                     the minister's son
56          Bill Wilson                   approached by an alcoholic

How It Works

Into Action
76          Book of James 2:20,26         Faith without works is dead
79          ?                             man we know was remarried
80          Oxford Group member           he accepted sum of money from business rival - explained in church

Working With Others
101         Eskimo                       running away from drinking to Greenland Ice cap

To Wives

Family Afterward
124         Henry Ford                    (named)
133         ?                             one of the many doctors
135         Earl Treat                    one of our friends is a heavy smoker and coffee drinker

To Employers (chapter was written by Hank Parkhurst)
136         Hank Parkhurst                member who spent life in world of big business
136         ?                             Mr B.
137         ?                             one of the best salesmen
137         ?                             man who hung himself
138         Frank Winans?                 officer of one of largest banks in America
138         Bob E. or Rowland H.?         an executive of the same bank
140         Dr.Edward Cowles?             Chicago doctor with spinal fluid theory of alcoholics (see
141         Standard Oil New Jersey       "if my company" (that Hank Parkhurst worked for)
148         ?                             vice president of large industrial concern
149         Honor Dealers Co.             I own a little company (an automobile polish distributorship (see page 246 & 248)
149-50      Bill Wilson & Jim Burwell     two alcoholic employees

Vision For You
151         Bill's former Higher Power    King Alcohol
151         Four Horsemen                 (named) Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, Despair - Revelations 6:2-8 war, famine, pestilence, and death personified the four plagues of mankind
153         Bill Wilson                   one of our number made a journey
153         Akron, OH.                    a certain western city
153         National Rubber Machinery     business (of that trip) involved in proxy fight
154         Akron, Ohio                   in a strange place (had to have that one)
154         The Merry Man Tavern          an attractive bar
154         Mayflower Hotel               paced a hotel lobby
154         Reverend Walter Tunks         clergyman he phoned (Rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Akron)
155         "the old Episcopal Church"    church selected at random
155         Dr. Bob                       resident near nadir of alcoholic despair
155         AMA convention                went on a roaring bender (Traymore Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ)
156         around 6/17/35                He (Dr. Bob) has not had a drink since.  (It is generally stated that Dr. Bob's sobriety date and the founding date of AA is 6/10/35, but recent facts around Dr. Bob's last drink indicate that this date is closer to a week or so later.)
156         Mrs. Hall/Akron City Hosp     head nurse of local hospital
156-8       Bill Dotson                   real corker, none too promising, future AA, lawyer
158         6/26/35                       He (Bill Dotson) never drank again.
158         Ernie Galbraith - Akron       devil may care young fellow
159         Bill Wilson                   our friend of the hotel lobby incident
159         Dr.Bob,Bill D,Ernie G         leaving behind his first acquaintance, the lawyer and the devil-may-care chap
159         ? - Archie T, Bill/Bob G (Salesman), Bill Van H, Dr. Bob, Charlie S, Dick S (AA#7), Ernie G, Harry Z, Jim S (Writer), Joe D (AA #5), Marie B, May B & Tom L/Jim L, Paul S, Ralph F, Wally G, Walter B -all 17 have stories in 1st edition. Additionally, Phil S (AA#5), Bill V, J.D.H., Bob E, Ken A were sober by 1937. Some may go with p.161. A year and 6 mo.s later these 3 succeeded with 7 more (puts this early 1937)
160         T.Henry & Clarace Williams    One man and his wife
161         Cleveland, OH.                community 30 miles away
161         Lloyd T,Clarence S,?Charlie J.      (see names from pg.159) has 15 fellows of AA
161         New York                      eastern city
162         Towns Hospital, NYC           well known hospital for treatment of alcohol & drugs
162         Bill Wilson                   member there 6 years ago
162         Dr. Silkworth                 doctor in attendance
162         eastern city                  NYC
162         western friends               Ohio
162         New York, Akron/Cleveland     our two large centers
163         Hank Parkhurst                AA member living in a large community (Montclair, NJ)
163         Dr. Howard                    prominent psychiatrist (of Montclair, NJ/Chief Psychiatrist for the State of NJ)
163         Dr. Russell Blaisdell         chief psychiatrist of a large public hospital (Rockland State NY)

The easer softer option.

If drugs and alcohol are your problem, you will probably be ok.
If drugs and alcohol are your solution, you are probably fucked.

It took me a while to get my head round that one. For such a long time I truly believed it was all down to the booze, the gear, the speed etc, etc. I really thought if only I could stay clean, things would be fine. Then I did, and they most surely were not.......

Years latter when I was introduced to the Twelve Steps I was to discover that the problem was me, not drugs, not alcohol, just little old me. Once I was able to understand this I had a chance to do something about it, about me. The rest was fairly straight forward. The only thing now is to keep going, keep doing the things I was shown by the people who went before me.

Turns out working the steps really is the easer, softer option.