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"A Close Shave."
Henry J. Z. (Harry Z? B.? S.?), Akron, Ohio.
(OM, p. 348 in 1st edition.)
Harry found sobriety in
March of 1937, but he may have entered the fellowship as
early a January 1937.
He was born in 1890, the
youngest of five sons to a "fine Christian mother, and a
hard working blacksmith father."
At the age of eight he began
tasting his father's beer, and by fourteen, when he quit
school, he was drinking wine and hard cider.
He worked as a barber, and
acquired several lucrative shops, some with poolrooms and
restaurants attached. He married in 1910, during the time
he was running his own shops, and fathered ten children.
But the time came when he
could no longer finance his own business, so he began to
float about the country, working at various jobs, but invariably
getting fired in a short time because of his unreliability.
His children were usually desperately in need because he
spent his money for drinking instead of providing for them.
He finally secured a job
in a shop in a small town near Akron. His reputation for
drinking soon became more or less generally known, and he
was irritated by a deacon and the pastor of a church who
when they were in the shop constantly invited him to church
and Bible classes. He earnestly wished they would mind their
own business. But he became friendly with these men, and
at last they persuaded him to go to Akron and talk with
He listened to Dr. Bob for
two hours, and although his mind was quite foggy, he retained
a good deal of what was said. He felt that the combined
effort of these three Christian gentlemen made it possible
for him to have a vital spiritual experience.
That was in March 1937.
At the time he wrote his story, he had not had a drink since.
He had regained the love of his family and the respect of
the community, and said the past few years had been the
happiest of my life, spent helping others who were afflicted