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How Many, That Dr Bob Sponsored, Stayed Sober?
I'm not the most knowledgeable member of this site [AAHistoryLovers] by any means ... My own belief is that, perhaps the best response to this question would be "ENOUGH!"
Dr. Bob sponsored Henry "Clay" Pearce who worked the boiler rooms of the rubber shops when many of the other Akron members had no jobs and were fallen on hard times like Dr. Bob himself. He was always willing to give, was described as one of those who would give you the shirt off his own back if he thought it would help.
He tried on several occasions to give money to Dr. Bob. He was described as a "stayer." (I have this from Sue and Smitty who shared several stories with me) They laughed and said that whenever he came over he came to stay.
He, along with co-sponsor Jim Scott, the newsman, and book trader, also sponsored by Dr. Bob, who was known to buy baskets of groceries too, together sponsored Bill Sipe, a very active twelfth stepper, (I have this from Bill's son who has his Big Book inscribed with this information), who sponsored Russ Ickes, first manager of the Akron Intergroup Office, (I have this from a tape of Russ's lead at the East Akron Group) who in turn sponsored my now deceased sponsor John Lietch, a past chairman of our Akron Intergroup, who worked for many years as Residential Life Coordinator at Interval Brotherhood Home here in Akron and was a longtime Chairman of the Founders Foundation, which then operated Dr. Bob's Home. John often told me the things that "old Russ" had told him.
He himself said without "Gratitude" we don't stay long ... Russ said "Without Humility there is no Gratitude". The other thing he told me was perhaps simplest of all ... he said, "These oldtimer's aren't going to be here forever Woody, someone's got to keep this thing going!"
I know today who he was talking about; and, if it is God's will, then it will be the fellows that I sponsor, and those that you sponsor too, who will do just that. And it is my hope that, like Dr. Bob's sponsees, there are enough of them to do the job.
John was the youngest of those sponsored by Russ Ickes with Red Bates being the Oldest. John and Russ and their wives Jackie and Edith were neighbors in the Trailer Park at Sandy Beach off S. Main Street in the portage lakes here in Akron, Ohio.
I notice that there aren't a lot of people in between these few men, but I know that those between are just not visible to the eye as each of these men received and carried a very important message, faithfully and very successfully over a long period of time. I may be an exception in knowing the history of my own sponsorship because there were so few between me and Dr. Bob, but the action of sponsorship, ... the unselfish principal which is illustrated here ... the same for each of us within this marvelous fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, these fellows just stayed a while at the job and were good enough to pass this thing along to me and to you.
A not too knowledgeable,
My own sponsor links to the beginning are also quite short, Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob, Jimmy Burwell, Cliff Walker, Al Marineaux and Clarence "Tex" Robertson, and maybe one or two other links between my "co-sponsors", Chuck Chamberlain, Joe Quinn and Les Hamlin. Thank God, at the time I got sober they assigned sponsors, old timers, knowing that if a newcomer was to choose a sponsor, he would choose one to co-sign his bullshit, and they insisted on putting the steps into action immediately if not sooner.
Love and Peace, Barefoot
As in so many things, especially with we alcoholics, our History is our Greatest Asset!.. We each arrived at the doors of AA with an intensive and lengthy "History of Things That Do Not Work" .. Today, In AA 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!!
KEEP COMING BACK!
On the Web July 1, 2006 in the Spirit of Cooperation
Three mighty important things, Pardn'r, LOVE And PEACE and SOBRIETY