Aa history Lovers 2006 moderators Nancy Olson and Glenn F. Chesnut page

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From the moderator:
Tommy's note keys into Message 3576 (posted 6 days ago)


about Chicago AA old timers Earl Treat (BB story "He

Sold Himself Short") and Sylvia Kauffmann (BB story

"The Keys to the Kingdom") and Nancy Olson's biographies

of them at:



Again, could some of you AA archivists and historians

from the Chicago area fill us in? To the best of my

knowledge Earl died sober, and I know that his memory

is held in high honor as "the grand old man" and one of

the main founders of Chicago AA.
How about Sylvia Kauffman? Is September 13, 1939 the

correct sobriety date for her? Did she have any

subsequent slips? Did she die sober? If she got sober

in the Fall of 1939, and stayed sober for a significant

period of time, then as Tommy says, the title of first

woman to obtain extended sobriety in AA should belong

to Sylvia.
Please note that, as Tommy was careful to say, the

question is who was "the first woman to achieve enduring

sobriety" in AA, NOT who was the first woman to get

sober for a little bit of time, where some of the messages

below talk about the various contenders for that title.
I thought we had debated this in some of our past

messages, but I did a search and cannot see quite how

to fit Sylvia in. The past messages I turned up include

3110, 3112, 3132, 3141, 3142, 3143, 3148, 3153,

3157 (especially useful in terms of "who first got one

full year in"), and 3169. A more thorough search would

probably turn up some more messages that I missed,

but I think it is correct that we never did an adequate

discussion of Sylvia's life and role in early AA.
Chicago AA history is important in the overall history

of AA in the U.S. and Canada. It is one of the largest

American metropolitan centers -- look at a satellite

picture taken at night, and look at that enormous blob

of light extending all around the southern coast of Lake

Michigan, made up of Chicago and all its suburbs and

attached cities -- and it is still a major regional AA

center to this day.

Glenn C. (South Bend, Indiana)
++++Message 3589. . . . . . . . . . . . fifty years of AA

From: M.Eaton . . . . . . . . . . . . 7/21/2006 8:36:00 PM

The 1993 celebration marked 50 years of AA inToronto and the others marked


anniversaries of AA as a whole....Murray E. Brampton, On.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
++++Message 3590. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: CROSS-TALK

From: Jim K. . . . . . . . . . . . . 7/19/2006 8:29:00 AM

There are two prevailing definitions of "Cross Talk" that I am


1. Speaking out of turn in a meeting often in response to someone

sharing or in the midst of their share.

2. Commenting when sharing on what someone else said.
The first time I recall encountering the term "cross talk" was in

Manhattan in 1997. I was puzzled by the idea when it took on

definition number 2 and still wonder what the purpose is other than

providing a consequence free atmosphere in which to share (which, by

the way, is better reserved for a sponsor's ear). A theurapeutic

construct it has dubious value in a spititual program.

Jim Kelly
--- In AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com, "lynnaw1979"



> Looking for information on cross-talk within the AA meeting context.

> How did we come up with it? When? How? Thanks


++++Message 3591. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: 90 meetings in 90 days

From: Toto24522@aol.com . . . . . . . . . . . . 7/19/2006 6:04:00 AM

In a message dated 7/18/06 10:09:27 PM Eastern Daylight Time,

serenityodaat@yahoo.se writes:

<< The saying "90 meetings in 90 days" is pretty common

in AA in Sweden. I recall that i once heard on a

speaker tape that this saying was "invented"

Cleveland AA in the 50's where they had some sort of

"contract" with the Salvation army, that if they took

drunks to 90 meetings the Salvation army would let the

person stay at the shelter for 90 days.

Does anyone have any info around this?

Love Anders
From the website:


As told by Chief Blackhawk (Detroit, 40 years in October,

1998), sitting on the front porch of Dr. Bob's house at

855 Ardmore in Akron, Ohio to Floyd H. of Spring, Texas.
There are vital reasons that we are not allied with

any sects, denominations, politics, organizations, or

institutions. You want to know what they are?
The Cleveland group's experience with an outside

organization taught us about the danger of trying that.

Get in with another organization, they bring their

values and opinions and they seldom are what we know

works in helping drunks. When the Clarence Snyder

(Home Brewmeister) group formed in Cleveland, an article

ran in the Cleveland newspaper, The Plain Dealer.
The group was flooded with requests for help, and many

were low-bottoms who needed 3-5 days of hospitalization.

After being turned down by all the local hospitals and

after helping the son of a person associated with the

Salvation Army, that organization told Clarence they'd

make some beds available for alcoholics. In accepting

their aid, two things happened. First, AA became allied

with an outside organization; next, they fell under that

organization's philosophy about recovering from alcoholism

and compromised what the alcoholics knew really worked.

In order to get the beds, the AA's violated their own

procedures. I asked: So what was that organization's

philosophy that went against what AA's had been doing?

They answered: The Cleveland Salvation Army had a policy

of limiting bed space for anyone to a total of three

months. Their motive was noble: We'll help you

down-and-out's to get by until you get a job and a place

of your own, but to motivate you, weire putting a time

limit on our assistance -- you have three months, max.

Now, for the alkies coming in, they told them the same

thing but added, You also have to visit with a recovered

alcoholic daily; that is, you have to meet with them 90

times in 90 days, and we're gonna check to make sure

you do. Miss a meeting and you have no bed. You're back

on the streets. So instead of taking the drunks through

in 3 or 4 hours the way we always did it, or a matter

of days at the most, we're now into this 90-in-90 plan.
I said: So the Cleveland Salvation Army introduced this

thing we hear so often today -- ˜Go to 90 meetings in

90 days?
They said, Exactly. And the early Cleveland AA's,

desperate to get beds they thought they had to have,

compromised their approach to working the steps

quickly. But to their great credit, the Cleveland AA's

keep meticulous records with Clarence's insistence)

and their stats revealed that no one gained any

long-term sobriety using that plan. So Cleveland

separated itself from the Salvation Army with a

valuable lesson: stick to the methods proven

successful -- alkies taking alkies through the steps

and doing it pronto. After Cleveland got back to

doing that instead of the 90-in-90-Salvation-Army plan,

the AA's got a 93% success rate over the next several


++++Message 3592. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: 90 meetings in 90 days

From: Pig Daddy . . . . . . . . . . . . 7/21/2006 10:18:00 AM

I think the 90 and 90 concept was started by treatment facilities. It

does work though. It gives the individual an oppertunity to become

acustom to the group and the group to the individual
--- In AAHistoryLovers@yahoogroups.com, anders bystrom



> Hiya group!


> The saying "90 meetings in 90 days" is pretty common

> in AA in Sweden. I recall that i once heard on a

> speaker tape that this saying was "invented"

> Cleaveland AA in the 50’s where they had some sort of

> "contract" with the Salvation army, that if they took

> drunks to 90 meetings the Salvation army would let the

> person stay at the shelter for 90 days.


> Does anyone have any info around this?


> Love

> Anders


++++Message 3593. . . . . . . . . . . . Re: The Rewards and Ann Croft

From: John Lee . . . . . . . . . . . . 7/22/2006 1:01:00 PM

The Rewards are a personal reworking of the 9th step promises. Ann Croft of

Akron composed the 12 Rewards. She was the first woman in Akron AA to stay

sober. Ann is referenced twice in Doctor Bob and the Good Oldtimers.

Ann wrote the Rewards to indicate how some of the Promises had come true in

her life. Ann never intended that the Rewards would come true generally for

members of the Fellowship. We may not get back the love and understanding of


families, for instance.


john lee



robin_foote wrote:

Hi AA history lovers,

I recently heard the following on a track recorded by Searcy W. I have heard

various forms of this over the years and find it follows on from the

I have seen something similar in the Big Book but cannot find it.
Was Searcy the originator or is it from another source? Anyone know?
By Searcy W., 55 years sober as at 2001 aged 90.
o Faith instead of despair.
o Courage instead of fear.
o Hope instead of desperation.
o Peace of mind instead of confusion.
o Real friendships instead of loneliness.
o Self-respect instead of self-contempt.
o Self-confidence instead of helplessness.
o A clean conscious instead of a sense of guilt.
o The respect of others instead of their pity and contempt.
o A clean pattern of living instead of a hopeless existence.
o The love and understanding of our families instead of their doubts and

o The freedom of a happy life instead of the bondage of an alcoholic

A great source of AA tracks in MP3 format is at http://www.xa-speakers.org/

located in Iceland with over 800 tracks including AA Founders. Perfect for

my iPod.
Robin F.
Caloundra, Australia.
Page 55 of the Big Book awoke my spirit.

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