The Factory Owner
& the Convict
Lives and Teachings of the A.A. Old Timers
Glenn C., The Factory Owner & the Convict, Vol. 1 of Lives and Teachings of the A.A. Old Timers, April 2005, ISBN 0-595-34872-6, xii + 325 pp., $23.95.|
The world of the good old-timers of the early Alcoholics Anonymous movement comes alive in this book. It tells the interlocking stories of seven people from diverse backgrounds -- men, women, black, white, wealthy, poor -- who lived and taught the A.A. program with such clarity and spiritual depth, that people came from miles away to sit at their feet and be taught by them.
William E. Correll (Life Treatment Center) "This book describes the way alcoholics actually think better than anything I have ever read."
This is the kind of good old-time A.A. teaching
that gets people sober and keeps them sober
In the St. Joe river valley A.A. tradition, when alcoholics came to them and kept going to meetings, 75% of these people got sober, even in a penitentiary setting. They found that they could achieve a 40% success rate in state-run alcoholism treatment facilities if they were given sufficient access to the patients. Even to this day, in the groups in this area who still give their people "real old-time A.A. straight up" in the old St. Joe valley tradition, it has been found that 75% to 80% of the alcoholics who will attend their meetings for a year, not only get sober, but stay sober, even when follow-up studies are done five years or ten years later.
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|The city of South Bend, located where the St. Joseph river turns north to empty into Lake Michigan, is at the center of the St. Joe river valley region. Indiana is the state immediately to the west of Ohio (where A.A. was founded in Akron in 1935). For the benefit of readers from other parts of the world, so they can get a better idea of the scale and distances involved, Indiana has a land area roughly equivalent to that of Ireland or Portugal, and a population about that of Scotland.|
|South Bend, Indiana, the bridge over the St. Joseph river carrying the great Dixie Highway heading south to Florida. This was one of the first major roads crossing the United States from border to border. The University of Notre Dame campus begins half a mile north, while the Indiana University campus is located on the river a mile upstream to the east.|
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The A.A. Tools of Recovery
The little summary of basic A.A. principles, put together by
some of the good old-timers from the St. Joseph river valley,
is often read at the beginning of meetings in their region.
|We commit ourselves to stay away from the first drink, one day at a time.|
|We attend A.A. meetings to learn how the program works, to share our experience, strength and hope with each other, and because through the support of the fellowship, we can do what we could never do alone.|
|A sponsor is a person in the A.A. program who has what we want and is continually sober. A sponsor is someone you can relate to, have access to and can confide in.|
|The telephone is our lifeline -- our meetings between meetings. Call before you take the first drink. The more numbers you have, the more insurance you have.|
|The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous is our basic tool and text. The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions and A.A. pamphlets are recommended reading, and are available at this meeting.|
|Service helps our personal program grow. Service is giving in A.A. Service is leading a meeting, making coffee, moving chairs, being a sponsor, or emptying ashtrays. Service is action, and action is the magic word in this program.|
|Whom you see here, what you hear here, when you leave here, let it stay here. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of our program.|