From the September 1996 magazine.

A Big Book Thumping

A while back there was a letter in the Grapevine complaining about members who referred to our Big Book as the only authority in AA. This brings to mind an incident which occurred in the late 1960s. When I was living in Bushland, Texas, I sponsored a fellow in the program whom I'll call Billy (not his real name). He had some trouble with the program in the beginning, and then he got sober. He was a salesman type, and he got better and better sales jobs as his sobriety lengthened. Eventually one of these better jobs moved him to Dallas. He immediately got active in a group in Dallas and tried to sponsor a rich man's son whom I'll call Jim Bob (not his real name). This sponsoring deal didn't work out too well. Jim Bob never took a Third Step or wrote an inventory or made an amends list or even made regular meetings; he just called Billy when he was coming off a drunk. This went on for some months.

One cold winter night, Jim Bob called Billy at two o'clock in the morning, crying, "Oh Billy, I'm dying, I'm in terrible shape, please come down here to the Baker Hotel and help me get sober!" Billy threw on his clothes, grabbed his Big Book, and started from the Dallas suburbs to the Baker Hotel. He stopped by an all-night quick mart to get some honey and orange juice, and continued the long, cold trip downtown.

-- John Roy K.

Chicago, Illinois

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