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Letter from the Burwells to Bill Wilson
3943 Louisiana Street
January 27th, 1957
Many thanks for the copy of the A.A. story - and the grand recognition you gave me. It's much more than I deserve except that I did prove to the original crowd that a "nonconformist" had to change to get well. So maybe that was good.
Bill, this history is the very finest thing you have done, and especially for those who come to A.A. future. It is important that they know how and why we came to be what we are, and why we should continue on our present lines. Too, the way you brought all contributors in is splendid - it must have been hard, painstaking job. I don't see how any of the originals can kick-back or complain. I was particularly pleased at the way you handled poor old Hank - even Caroline Parkhurst was happy about it!
I have absolutely no suggested changes. It does seem to me that I saw a copy of a letter from you and Hank to Sam Shoemaker, resigning from the Oxford group and dated Sept. 1937. In the book you say 1936 - am I wrong? Is there any way to bring in Jackie Williams' Bellevue episode as an early tragedy? The only other addition I might suggest is the Dr. Fishbein deal - where he got five of the first books and then wrote that deathless review for the A.M.A. journal. Am attaching a copy of the review in case yours is not available. And that's absolutely all I can think of. I can certainly see why this book has taken a long time to put together - it's a grand job, Bill.
You know that you have my deepest thanks for all you and Lois has done for me - it's great to feel that by trying to live A.A. I have contributed a little to the world and a little to help the future drunk coming to A.A. and your tolerance in those early days made it possible.
Rosa is going to conclude this with a suggestion for the Tradition section of the book.
Hi, you dear people; Is there any place for a brief mention of non-A.A.books, pamphlets, records, etc. offered to members, secretaries, and those listed in the directory, especially the kind directed or of interest to A.A.'s only with discounts for group purchases, etc? There are many complaints and questions about such material. For instance, the local Community 7 Family Welfare sell and recommend "I Was a Very Sick Man" etc; then the new people ask us for them and create the problem of trying to play them down without sounding prejudiced. An offical pronouncement on this would be very useful.
And THANKS very specially for the word "compulsory" in re "There are no dues ..etc." This one word will make a tremendous difference in the collection approach at group level! It's terrific!
We both send you our very best love and appreciation.
4193 Georgia Street
As in so many things, especially with we alcoholics, our History is our Greatest Asset!.. We each arrived at the doors of A.A. with an intensive and lengthy "History of Things That Do Not Work" .. Today, In A.A. and In Recovery, Our History has added an intensive and lengthy "History of Things That DO Work!!" and We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it!!
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On the Web Sept 20, 2006
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Three mighty important things, Pardn'r, LOVE And PEACE and SOBRIETY