Sylvia K. – First Lady of Chicago AA

Sylvia K.

By bob k AA’s earliest efforts to rehabilitate women had not gone well. The ink was barely dry on the newly printed “Big Book,” when Florence Rankin, author of A Feminine Victory (BB, 1st Edition), returned to the bottle. Shortly thereafter, and still in the Spring of 1939, Dorothy Snyder reported to … Continue reading

William James and AA

William James

By bob k For better or worse, whether real or imagined, drug-induced, or brought about by the most desperate need, Bill Wilson’s spiritual experience at Towns Hospital is perhaps the foundation point of Alcoholics Anonymous. Shortly before the famous “hot flash,” Bill’s old friend Ebby had laid out the Oxford Group’s … Continue reading

Dr. Bob, AA Co-founder – Part One

Dr Bob

By Bob K. St. Johnsbury, Vermont Dr. Bob Smith remembers his childhood hometown of St. Johnsbury, some 100 miles northeast of the East Dorset birthplace of Bill Wilson, as having a general moral standard “far above the average.”  The consumption of alcohol was considered a question of morality.  “No beer or liquor was sold … Continue reading

When did I become an alcoholic?


By Les C. When did I become an alcoholic? All during of my first 80 years I was a “social drinker.” I maintained an adequate supply of various cocktail mixes and “straight” beverages in my larder. Every gathering of friends included an inquiry as to whether anyone would like a “drink” … Continue reading

AA started in riots

Atheist I

“AA started in riots.” Mitchell K., quoting his sponsor, Clarence Snyder. How it Worked: The Story of Clarence H. Snyder and the Early Days of Alcoholics Anonymous in Cleveland, Ohio By Roger C. What would become AA was born and bred within the Oxford Group, an explicitly Christian religious movement. The … Continue reading

Young Bill Wilson – Part Two

Wilson House

By Bob K. The Prequel Begins It was the night before Thanksgiving when the pains of child labor drove Emily Griffiths Wilson from preparations for the next day’s meal. Emily’s pains drove her from out of the kitchen into the north parlor. She lay on a couch there, trying to breathe, doubling … Continue reading