September 18, 1929 – March 25, 2005
Glenn F. Chesnut
June 28, 1939 –
++++Message 3002. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Length of sobriety and James H.
From: JNP in Maine . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/27/2005 8:14:00 AM
I met James H. in 1997 at the Wilson House in Vermont. I am almost positive
had said that he was not a member of AA and never had been. Does anyone have
any info re this statement by him.
(jopet34 at yahoo.com)
++++Message 3003. . . . . . . . . . . . Significant January Dates in A.A.
From: chesbayman56 . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/31/2005 1:46:00 PM
Jan 1929 - Bill W. wrote third promise in Bible to quit drinking.
Jan 1940 - Akron group moves to new home at King School.
Jan 1944 - Dr. Harry Tiebout's first paper on the subject of
Jan 1944 - onset of Bill's 11 years of depression.
Jan 1946 - Readers Digest does a story on AA.
Jan 1948 - 1st A.A. meeting in Japan
Jan 1951 - AA Grapevine publishes memorial issue for Dr Bob.
Jan 1958 - Bill writes article for Grapevine on "Emotional
Jan 1, 1943 - Columbus Dispatch reports 1st Anniversary of Columbus,
Ohio Central Group.
Jan 2, 1889 - Sister Ignatia born, Ballyhane Ireland.
Jan 3, 1939 - First sale of Works Publishing Co stock is recorded.
Jan 4, 1940 - 1st AA group formed in Detroit, Michigan.
Jan 5, 1939 - Dr Bob tells Ruth Hock in a letter that AA has "to get
away from the Oxford Group atmosphere".
Jan 5, 2001 - Chuck C. from Houston died sober in Texas at 38 years
Jan 6, 2000 - Stephen Poe, compiler of the Concordance to
Alcoholics Anonymous, died.
Jan 8, 1938 - New York AA splits from the Oxford Group.
Jan 10, 1940 - 1st AA meeting not in a home meets at King School,
Jan 13, 1988 - Dr Jack Norris Chairman/Trustee of AA for 27 years
Jan 13, 2003 - Dr Earle M sober for 49 years, author of "Physician
Heal Thyself" died.
Jan 15, 1937 - Fitz M brings AA meetings to Washington DC.
Jan 15, 1945 - First AA meeting held in Springfield, Missouri.
Jan 19, 1943 - 1st discussion for starting AA group in Toronto.
Jan 19, 1944 - Wilson's returned from 1st major A.A. tour started
in Oct 24 1943.
Jan 19, 1999 - Frank M., AA Archivist since 1983, died peacefully in
Jan 21, 1954 - Hank P who helped Bill start NY office dies in
Pennington, New Jersey.
Jan 23, 1985 - Bob B. died sober November 11, 2001.
Jan 24, 1918 - Bill marries Lois Burnham in the Swedenborgen Church
in Brookyn Heights.
Jan 24, 1945 - 1st black group St. Louis
Jan. 24, 1971 - Bill W dies at Miami Beach, FL.
Jan 25, 1915 - Dr. Bob marries Anne Ripley.
Jan 26, 1971 - New York Times publishes Bill's obituary on page 1.
Jan 30, 1961 - Dr Carl Jung answers Bill's letter with "Spiritus
End of Jan 1939 - 400 copies of manuscript of Big Book circulated
En2joy! Tom En2ger
++++Message 3005. . . . . . . . . . . . Definitions of the "real alcoholic"
(re 3 and 5-year survival rates)
From: hoojgs . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/27/2005 10:47:00 AM
My comments below do not address the question of the statistical
accuracy of the survival rate study but relate to the history of the
debate over who is a "real alcoholic."
I wonder if anyone has seen the actual long list of membership requirements
Bill collected in the days before the adoption of the third tradition.
Thanks in advance,
++++Message 3006. . . . . . . . . . . . James H. and length of sobriety
From: Diz Titcher . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/27/2005 6:31:00 AM
James Houck was never a member of AA. He is the last original Oxford Grouper
puts on those workshop with a friend of his who was in AA. I do not know
the friend is alive or not.
++++Message 3007. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Data on 3 and 5 year survival
From: Des Green . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/27/2005 4:30:00 AM
(With a comment by Glenn C. at the end)
With respect to what Fiona D. said in Message 2992
Constant references to the REAL alcoholic sometimes confuses me. If a person
takes a drink and cannot control their intake is that not a real alcoholic ?
If this allergy, or whatever it is has progressed to the point that alcohol
dominating ones every waking thought and the consumption of it is the most
important thing is that not a real alcoholic?
The suggestion sometimes seems to be that no alcoholic can recover unless
are in AA and attend meetings .
So what is it you are saying here ?
1. There are people who are pretending to be alcoholic?
2. Some people are more alcoholic than others?
I'm fairly new to all this, 21 months sober.
And please don't think I am having a go at you personally, I'm not. I'm
picking up your thread to obtain an answer, not necessarily from you. This
another thing that does my head in .... having to be so careful about the
sensitivities of others when nothing insensitive is intended.
Best wishes, Des
It really is great to be sober and in such a fantastic fellowship Good Luck!
Let me try my hand at answering your question.
It was common in early AA to distinguish between three different kinds of
drinkers. Let's call them Types 1, 2, and 3 for the purposes of this
Sometimes they were called (Type 1) "social drinkers," (Type 2)
drinkers," and (Type 3) "alcoholics." Richmond Walker, in
Twenty Four Hours a
Day (1948), referred to the last category as "merry go round
Mrs. Marty Mann makes this same kind of distinction in the book she wrote
the National Council on Alcoholism. Our South Bend good old timer, Brownie,
makes that three-fold distinction in the material about him in The St. Louis
Gambler and the Railroad Man. Dr. Jellinek (and many others) tried to make
distinctions of this same sort during the 1940's and 1950's.
It had been noted that some alcoholics were clearly drinking alcoholically
the time they took their very first drink. The first time they had a chance
a bottle (even if they were just teenagers), they drank themselves rip
drunk, and they just kept on drinking that way from that point on.
But other alcoholics started out as social drinkers, and then gradually
drinking more and more, until finally after enough years they crossed some
invisible line, and became clearly and unambiguously alcoholic drinkers.
Psychologists who study alcoholism and public health agencies which are
concerned with alcoholism have found that they also have to make some kind
distinction between people who are drinking a lot, and people who are
alcoholics. You cannot measure the amount of alcohol that is consumed and
that to determine who is a heavy drinker and who is an alcoholic.
All sorts of fancy definitions have been dreamed up by psychologists,
doctors, and so on, to try to identify where you make the division between
Two heavy drinkers (or "alcohol abusers" or whatever term you're
using) and Type
Three genuine alcoholics.
Let us not get into quarrels about what precise terminology to use here,
there have been a variety of different terms used over the years.
But as far as I can see, the basic distinction historically has been a
one. A Type Two heavy drinker (or alcohol abuser, or whatever) who is given
sufficient reason to stop drinking, will be able to stop on his own simply
using will power. Maybe his doctor puts him on a heart medication and tells
that he has to take the medication to save his life, and that this
cannot be mixed with alcohol in the system. Or something in his life puts
in a situation where he will get in enormous trouble if he does not quit. So
simply grits his teeth, and stops drinking. Just like that. Permanently.
A Type Three true alcoholic will find that he cannot stop drinking on his
by his own will power, no matter how serious the consequences are going to
His wife says that she will leave him, his employer says that he will fire
the judge says that he will give him twenty years in prison the next time he
drives drunk, his doctor says that he will be dead within a year if he keeps
drinking. But no matter what it is, a true alcoholic will STILL keep
in spite of all that, if he is trying to do it by himself by his own
If you listen to tape recordings of the good old timers, you will find
examples of alcoholics whose drinking was destroying them totally, who still
could not stop on their own, simply by using will power.
One thing which muddies the waters nowadays, is that (beginning with Dr.
Jellinek's famous chart back in the 1940's) the experts on alcoholism have
assembled data on the way that the disease of alcoholism progresses, where
can spot the symptoms of Type Three chronic alcoholism much earlier than
could in the 1930's and 1940's. So nowadays we can sometimes identify a
as definitely a chronic alcoholic early in the progression of the disease,
now. You know, I think it would be safe now, after ten years, to go out and
have a little social drink."
We have a lot of retreads here in Hoosier AA who let themselves listen to
lying voice inside their heads, and went back out drinking, and then had to
suffer years of misery before they finally came dragging themselves back in
doors of AA, admitting finally, "O.K., I guess that I (even I) actually
alcoholic of some sort, the kind who needs AA meetings if I want to live
I should also say that the people in Indiana who go back out and try it
after ten years or so, are people who tell us later on that in fact they
worked the steps, even though they went to meetings. It is particularly
really thorough and deep reaching Fourth Step which is vital if you want
to give you the ultimate accolade at your funeral, and say with enormous
in their voices, "he died sober," "she died sober."
So to Fiona's warning, I will add my own. Don't use those 3 and 5 year
rate statistics which were posted to play games with your life. Keep on
to meetings. Keep up constant contact with your fellow AA members. Do a real
Fourth Step and ferret out all of the resentment and fear in your life, and
figure out what all your character defects are, so you won't be tempted to
down your nose at ANYBODY in an AA meeting, thinking yourself superior to
person in any way whatsoever. http://hindsfoot.org/tools.html
And remember that EVEN IF someone could prove that 33-1/3 % of genuine
alcoholics could eventually quit going to AA meetings and still be sober 3
later, or even 5 years later, that is till playing Russian roulette with a
gun with four chambers loaded. And 5 years isn't 10 years or 15 years.
South Bend, Indiana, U.S.
(A REAL alcoholic, sober today ONLY by the grace of God and the help of the
people in this fellowship, who is not planning on jumping out of the
++++Message 3008. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Data on 3 and 5 year survival
From: Jon Markle . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/27/2005 10:13:00 PM
I would add that there is a *CLINICAL* differentiation between alcohol
*DEPENDENCY* and alcohol *ABUSE* and the treatment recommended is different,
although somewhat similar. A comparison of the criteria outlined in the Big
Book regarding the descriptions of drinkers to the clinical criteria found
the DSM-IV-TR, reveals how amazingly close the two agree with the
I would also make the distinction that meeting attendance is not the same
as "working the program" . . . And not a requirement for either
sobriety or the
kind of permanent sobriety of which the Book speaks.
Many people, who fit criteria for alcohol dependency ("alcoholics")
meetings, learn how to work the program (the steps) and incorporate them
their lives as a way of life, without going to meetings forever. Such I
was the author's intent when he wrote: "AA's twelve Steps are a group
principles, spiritual in their nature, which, if practiced as a way of life,
expel the obsession to drink and enable the sufferer to become happily and
Besides, as I recall, AA is for people who wish to stop drinking . . . It
I talked with Chauncey C. by telephone yesterday. He is now in a care home
Waterford, Mich., but is still sharp and willing to converse about his AA
experience. I first met him in 1950 when I was five months sober and had
to Pontiac, Mich., from my hometown, Norfolk, Nebr. He had nine years then,
there were members in Pontiac and Detroit who had more time.
I don't think he got sober at Dr. Bob's house, but I can check that. He told
me that a judge in Pontiac helped get him in touch with the AA's there in
He was a blue-collar man and felt a little out of place with doctors and
in the group, but that quickly changed. He and his wife Vivian were married
when she was 13 or 14 and he was 15 or 16 (I must check that out!).
they are still married and close to their 80th anniversary! That must be
kind of record.
In AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com, "Diz Titcher"
There was a man at the International that claimed 62 years.
Hi Diz, Gary here / Alkie :)
I just saw that man the day before thanksgiving at a gratitude meeting that
started over 57 yrs ago, his name is Chauncey C.
He is from Pontiac MI. and he will be 93 yrs old this month and also said
sober at Dr. Bob's house.
Yes he did say that he was the last one standing at A.A.'s International
Convention in Toronto Cananda for the 70th anniversary of A.A. this past
++++Message 3012. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: Data on 3 and 5 year survival
From: firstname.lastname@example.org . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/2/2006 8:49:00 AM
It seems to me that trying to make alcoholics different from heavy drinkers
an attempt to make black and white out of something which is most likely
The vast majority of scientific evidence seems to say that alcoholism is
primarily a biogenetic inherited susceptibility. Physiologically alcoholics
metabolize alcohol and mind altering chemicals differently than 80 - 90% of
the population (in the United States, in other places it is higher or lower.
It appears that the rate of alcoholism is lower in cultures that have had
alcohol the longest period of time and higher in those cultures that have
it the least amount of time.) See for example Under the Influence by Milam
Some diabetics can control their diabetes by diet, others by diet and oral
medication and others by multiple daily injections. Each one is a
diabetic, it is the disease itself that is different in different people.
milder, some more severe.
Some alcoholics get sober in their teens, others in their 80's and all ages
in between. Are we to decide which are real alcoholics? Logically it would
seem that those in their 80's may have a milder form of alcoholism as they
able to drink longer, function and not die. The younger ones perhaps have a
very severe form and therefore are unable to continue.
We in AA talk a lot about spirituality and higher powers, but I think we
forget about the miraculous nature of sobriety. The "spiritual
"moment of clarity," the "surrender," the
"emotional/spiritual/psychological bottom," the "moment of
awareness" or whatever name it is given...the moment when we receive
the gift of
the ability to
not drink is what it is.
Some have this moment and go to AA, some to church, some nowhere and some
other places too innumerable to mentions. In AA we say "Having had a
awakening as the result of these steps." However, we know that Bill had
before any steps whatever. I had mine the day before I entered a treatment
center and I didn't even know what the steps were. We all have many,
many stories about people's spiritual awakening and as the person who had it
describes it, we see what they are talking about because it happened to us.
Going to AA does not guarantee sobriety any more than not going to AA
guarantees continued drinking. I came to AA for the first time in 1984 and I
have been sober ever since. I went to at least 1,000 meetings in my first
years. Since that time I have never had a period of time more than a week or
so that I have not gone to meetings and I generally go to 3-5 meetings per
week. That doesn't necessarily keep me sober, it is just what I do. I love
the people, the experience, the blending, the hope, the tears, the
laughter....the whole package. Many do not do what I do. It doesn't make
better or worse or more or less likely to drink. At least that is my opinion
based on my experience.
Having said all of the above, I'm not sure this "Real or Fake
Alcoholic/heavy drinker" is an appropriate topic for the AA
think the study is very interesting and not surprising to me, but to try and
figure this out does not seem "figureoutable." There is tremendous
the phrase "You're an alcoholic when you say you are."
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3013. . . . . . . . . . . . Chauncy C. (length of sobriety)
I would love to know where the expression "Meeting makers make it"
The only reference to it that I have found was a caption to a cartoon in one
the Best of the Grapevines. Please help me find the origin of this statement
(which I also believe to be erroneous).
++++Message 3018. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: The 1968-1974 AA comic strips
From: chris fuccione . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/28/2005 7:43:00 PM
That's intresting I have one question. On the top of them it says
that they are AL-ANON Conference Approved Literature.
The one that was "IF YOUR PARRENTS DRINK TOO MUCH" and
"JANE'S HUSBAND DRINKS
TOO MUCH" seems like they would be An AL-ANON pieces ...... but
"IT HAPPENED TO
ALICE" and "WHAT HAPPENED TO JOE" are both AA Literature.
Why is the AL-ANON blurb on the top of them?
--- In AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com, Rudy890 wrote:
> Came across this old strip, a complete set of the 1968-1974
Alcoholics Anonymous comic strips.
> Just Click On Each Strip After You've Read It
> PLEASE VISIT MY HOME PAGE
> Consider How Hard It Is To Change Yourself
> And You'll Understand What Little Chance
> You Have In Trying To Changing Others
++++Message 3019. . . . . . . . . . . . James Houck (length of sobriety)