3943 Louisiana Street
San Diego 4, Calif.
January, 16th 1948
Dear Lois and Bill
It was swell hearing rom [sic] you at last, especially to hear you
all are coming out our way this spring. I think you will be
very agreeably surprised at the real progress of AA on the Coast.
They seem to go to many more meetings than the Eastern
groups and all the groups seem to e shaping up beautifully,
especially in the last year or so. One of the things I do
especially like out here in [sic] that they read the Fifth Chapter
of the Book before the meetings. This seems to have more
meaning to the new fellows than the reading of the Steps alone.
The business deal I wrote you about did not materialize so no harm
was done. I left the Government (War Assets) in August and played
around with a couple of things. Now I hope I have a sales
job that might work out for the long pull but will not mention it
until you come out.
January 8th was my tenth year in AA but 10th year of sobriety will
not be completed until June 15th, so hope you will be here for it.
Bill, your plans for an annual national conference with rotating
representation from the country at large is the best news I have
heard from NY since the Grapevine was started. In my opinion
it will be the big step in making AA solid for the future - it
will help AA groups to understand each other better and it will do
more to sell, consolidate and perpetuate the AA traditions than
anything else possible. It will also save many new groups
much of trial and error that has been necessary in the past, and I
think you will be very agreeably surprised to see how well they
will all get along together in conference.
Your idea of dividing the country into quadrants sounds fine.
However, I would suggest, first, that you have a preliminary
meeting of about twelve or fourteen AA's from the heavy membership
area. You can then present your conference ideas to them and
they can polish them up - then they will go back to their own
groups and present the ideas as their own. This, I believe,
would make for better acceptance of the plans nationally and will
make all feel part of the planning. My thought would be to
have each of the following areas send a representative to New York
for a round table discussion of a national conference and rotating
Would suggest that each are pick their representative from among
their five oldest and most active AA's and that their sobriety
shoud [sic] at least be five years wherever possible. The
area should finance the trip and the men chosen should be in a
position to take time off and be willing to circulate among their
local groups on their return and put the idea over to them. Of
course all this could be suggested and sold to the groups
gradually through the Grapevine and special letters to the groups
at large. I would do everything to make the groups feel that
this was their party and that all the constructive ideas would be
It has always been my idea that the drunk will support anything in
which he is given an active part.
So much for that. Rosa and I do love it out here. Everyone
has been grand to us and we feel a real part of the community and
the local AA. Rosa has been very active and helpful in the
Women's Group and I am really trying hard to stay out of
the middle of things. I am a great believer in the oldtimers
getting on the sidelines and letting the two and three year boys
and girls do the dirty work. Us oldsters got to know to
I'm so glad George Hood was able to give you the
"History" and that you hope to assemble similar material
in order that a factual story may be written up - you are so right
that with the passage of time so much is apt to be lost or
We have had a great deal of fun with your mother - we were all
together for Thanksgiving and Christmas both this year and last.
She is one grand fellow and is now a real AA - that's what
Well, all here are looking forward to your visit and are so glad
to hear all the good reports on how well you and Lois are.
to you both,
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