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"He Had to be Shown"
S., Akron, Ohio.
(p. 364 in the 1st
edition, p. 193 in 2nd and 3rd editions.
Titled "The Car Smasher," in the
1st edition, rewritten and renamed
for later editions.)
is convinced against his will is
of the same opinion still." But
not this man."
date of sobriety (according to his
story in the 1st edition) was the
first week of March 1937. In his revised
story, which appears in the 2nd and
3rd editions, he cites February 1937.
Perhaps in the 1st edition he was
citing the day he left the hospital
rather than the date of his last drink.
brother Paul ("Truth Freed Me" in
the 1st edition) preceded him into
A.A. and helped 12th Step him.
was the oldest of three children and
his father was an alcoholic. His father
died in 1901 when he was eight years
old. He quit school and went to work.
When he was sixteen his mother remarried
and he was given an opportunity to
go back to school but he did not do
well. He was jealous of his brother,
Paul, who did things better than Dick
did because he applied himself.
he was eighteen Dick showed off to
a group of friends by ordering a martini,
extra dry, not even knowing what it
was. He drank nine martinis in less
than an hour. This was his first drink
and his first drunk. He did not drink
again for a year. But blackout drinking
had begun at once.
married at nineteen. He tried to control
his drinking, but frequently had blackout
drunks. He was in the construction
business, but lost money, then went
into the crude rubber business. He
prospered despite his drinking, but
the rubber prosperity fell apart in
marriage deteriorated and they were
divorced. He began to think he was
insane. He didn't want to neglect
his children, but he did; he didn't
want to get into fights, but he did;
he didn't want to get arrested, but
he did; he didn't want to jeopardize
the lives of innocent people by driving
while intoxicated, but he did.
one occasion when he was hospitalized
after a terrible automobile accident,
Sister Ignatia stuck her head in the
door and told him she thought they
might be able to make something human
out of his face after all. He was
in the hospital fourteen days, but
drank again after getting out.
day after a binge he woke to find
his brother, Paul, and Dr. Bob at
his bedside. When he asked Dr. Bob
if he were ever going to drink again,
he answered: "So long as I'm thinking
as I'm thinking now, and so long as
I'm doing the things I'm doing now,
I don't believe I'll ever take another
became a very enthusiastic, hard working
early member. He was one of several
unidentified people pictured in the
March 1, 1941, Saturday Evening Post
story, most of whom have their backs
to the camera. When a committee was
formed to develop plans for the first
A.A. International Conference, Dick
was elected General Chairman. However,
according to Bill W., he was not,
at least initially, in favor of a
General Service Conference.
stayed close to Dr. Bob until his
death. He traveled to the West Coast
after Dr. Bob's wife Anne S.'s death,
to renew old acquaintances. Dick accompanied
him. He wrote Bill W. after returning
from the trip, reporting on how much
good the trip had done Dr. Bob, but
complaining about "well-wishing friends
-- one in particular who stayed four
hours and damned near drove him nuts."
while Dick's story was titled "The
Car Smasher," it was his brother Paul,
who died as a result of an automobile
accident on September 19, 1953. However,
both brothers remained completely
sober until their respective deaths.