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Wallace (Wally) G., Akron, Ohio.
(OM, p. 325 in 1st edition.)
Probably Wally first entered
A.A. in May of 1937, but one source says October 1938. But
after several years he slipped and had a hard time getting
He was an engineer. He must
have been handsome, one Akron member described him as having
iron-gray hair and looking like President Warren Harding.
He described himself as
a man of extremes. When he learned to dance, he had to go
dancing every night; when he worked or studied he wanted
no interruptions; and of course when he drank he could never
stop until he was drunk. He started getting drunk before
he was sixteen.
Wally must have been a good
worker because he rarely had a problem finding a job, and
often was rehired by the same company and given another
chance. But he was fired again and again. He was once fired
from the WPA (Works Progress Administration, a Federal job
program instituted during the Depression of the 1930s.)
He was irritated by efforts
to help him. His family once persuaded him to enter a sanitarium
for thirty days. He left with the firm resolve never to
Before he left the sanitarium
he answered an advertisement for an engineer in Akron and
after an interview, got the job. In about three months he
was out of a job again.
Finally, a neighbor, who
had heard of Dr. Bob's work, told his wife, Annabelle, about
it and she went to see Dr. Bob. Soon Wally was hospitalized
by Dr. Bob and began his recovery. About twenty men called
on him while he was still in the hospital. He knew five
of them, three of whom he had never before seen completely
Annabelle was at first was
hard to convince that the program would work, because Wally
once brought home an A.A. member he had met in a bar. This
was Paul S. ("Truth Freed Me!") during his slip in early
1936. Then her own doctor urged her to see Dr. Bob. Finally,
her clergyman, J.C. Wright, got a woman to talk to Annabelle
and then made an appointment for her with Dr. Bob. This
was probably the neighbor Wally talks about in his story.
Dr. Bob called Maybelle
L., wife of Tom L. ("My Wife and I") and told her to get
hold of Annabelle or her husband would be drunk before he
was out of the hospital two hours. Finally Annabelle took
Maybelle's advice and let go and let God. Anne S. also took
her under her wing.
After his recovery, Wally
and Annabelle took many alcoholics into their home. According
to Bill W., they had more success with people they took
into their home than did Dr. Bob and Anne S. or Bill and
Wally was Dr. Bob's right
hand man for many years, and when he eventually slipped
everyone was shocked. He had seemed to be doing everything
right and working very hard.
Wally had been very hard
on those who slipped and wanted to kick them out, which
may explain why it took him a long time to get back, but
Annabelle dragged him to meetings. He finally got sober
again and stayed sober until his death. His attitude toward
those who slip, however, changed.