Here’s to Your Health has mentioned many people who influenced AA’s birth and rapid growth, but before we wrap up Barleycorn’s version of AA’s history, there are two more people I should mention, pictured is Willard Richardson. Bill Wilson said of him, “”One of the finest servants of God and man that I shall ever know!” I’d also like to quote Dr. W. W. Bauer who said under the auspices of the American Medical Association on NBC network: “Alcoholics Anonymous is no crusader; not a temperance society. They know that they must never drink. They help others with similar problems…in this atmosphere the alcoholic often overcomes his excess concentration on himself. Learning to depend on a Higher Power and absorbing himself working with other alcoholics, he remains sober day by day. The days turn into weeks, the weeks into months and years”.
When the editor of The Waynedale News asked John B. to lower his sails and drop anchor long enough to write “Here’s to your Health”, he wanted me to use real stories from real alcoholics, and so I did, but changed their names to protect their personal anonymity. This is the first in a series of alcoholics stories. The first one is titled: “Me An Alcoholic?” and it’s from a man, who said:
“When I reconstruct what my past was like, I see a coin with two faces. One, was the side I turned to myself, and the world, it was father, husband, taxpayer, homeowner, clubman, athlete, artist, musician, author, editor, aircraft pilot and world traveler. I was listed in “Who’s Who in America” as an American who, by distinguished achievement, had arrived. I was, so far as anybody could tell, quite a lad. The other side of the coin was sinister, baffling. I was inwardly unhappy most of the time. There would be times when the life of respectability and achievement seemed insufferably dull-I had to break out. This I would do by going completely “bohemian” for a night, getting drunk and rolling home with the dawn. Next day remorse would be on me like a tiger. I’d claw my way back to “respectability” and stay there until the inevitable next time. In all twenty-five years of my drinking there were few occasions when I took a morning drink. My binges were one-night stands only. Only once or twice did I carry it into the second or third day. I was never drunk on the job, never missed a day’s work, was seldom rendered totally ineffective by a hangover and kept my liquor expenses well within my budget. I continued to advance in my chosen field. How could such a man be called an alcoholic…?” To be continued in the next issue of The Waynedale News.