January 27th 1957
Many thanks for the copy of the A.A. story - and the grand
recognition you gave me. It's much more than I deserve
except that I did prove to the original crowd that a
"nonconformist" had to change to get well. So
maybe that was good.
Bill, this history is the very finest thing you have done, and
especially for those who come to A.A. future. It is
important that they know how and why we came to be what we are,
and why we should continue on our present lines. Too, the
way you brought all contributors in is splendid - it must have
been hard, painstaking job. I don't see how any of the
originals can kick-back or complain. I was particularly
pleased at the way you handled poor old Hank - even Caroline
Parkhurst was happy about it!
I have absolutely no suggested changes. It does seem to me
that I saw a copy of a letter from you and Hank to Sam Shoemaker,
resigning from the Oxford group and dated Sept. 1937.
In the book you say 1936 - am I wrong? Is there any
way to bring in Jackie Williams' Bellevue episode as an early
tragedy? The only other addition I might suggest is the Dr.
Fishbein deal - where he got five of the first books and then
wrote that deathless review for the A.M.A. journal. Am
attaching a copy of the review in case yours is not available.
And that's absolutely all I can think of. I can
certainly see why this book has taken a long time to put together
- it's a grand job, Bil. [sic]
You know that you have my deepest thanks for all you and Lois has
done for me - it's great to feel that by trying to live A.A. I
have contributed a little to the world and a little to help
the future drunk coming to A.A. and your tolerance in those early
days made it possible.
Rosa is going to conclude this with a suggestion for the Tradition
section of the book.
Hi, you dear people; Is there any place for a brief mention
of non-A.A.books, pamphlets, records, etc. offered to members,
secretaries, and those listed in the directory, especially the
kind directed or of interest to A.A.'s only with discounts for
group purchases, etc? There are many complaints and
questions about such material. For instance, the local
Community 7 Family Welfare sell and recommend "I Was a Very
Sick Man" etc; then the new people ask us for them and create
the problem of trying to play them down without sounding
prejudiced. An offical [sic] pronouncement on this would be
And THANKS very specially for the word "compulsory" in
re "There are no dues ..etc." This one word will
make a tremendous difference in the collection approach at group
level! It's terrific!
both send you our very best love and appreciation.
4193 Georgia Street
San Diego, Calif.
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