From the October 2010 magazine.

The Perfect weekend

After 60 years in AA, an old-timer reflects back to the first convention

At age 24, I was one month out of a Nebraska state hospital and three months sober when the first international AA convention was held, in Cleveland, in 1950. I couldn't afford to attend, but I've studied the reports on it and all international conventions ever since.

In that year of dire poverty but beginning sobriety, I couldn't have imagined that in 2010 I would show up in San Antonio with 60 years' sobriety or that the convention there would host 53,000 people, or more than one-half the total AA membership in 1950. There would also be nearly 600 members reporting more than 40 years' sobriety and I would be targeted at the Saturday night "countdown" as the second oldest in length of sobriety. (One member was identified as having 63 years!)

-- MEL B.

Toledo, Ohio

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