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Pat C., Los Angeles, California.
(p. 391, in 1st printing of 1st edition.
Removed from 2nd printing.)
Pat first stopped drinking
in January 1939.
W., Ruth Hock, and Hank P. were sending copies of the manuscript
around the country to friends for comment. A copy reached
the hands of Pat's mother, and Pat read it. He then arranged
to be hospitalized for detoxification "to get the liquor
out of my system and start the new idea right."
about February 27, 1939, six weeks after leaving the hospital
on January 15, 1939, he wrote a letter to The Alcoholic
Foundation in New York saying he had recovered.
thanked them for the draft of the book which he had read
cover to cover. He told them how he had started drinking
in 1917, about his service in World War I how his drinking
continued in France and after he got back home from the
war. The following 15 years were "one drunk after another."
enlisted in the Marine Corp. At first he drank very little
and was promoted to Gunnery Sergeant. But he started drinking
heavily again and was reduced in rank, then sent to China
(which didn't help his drinking problem any). He did not
he returned, his wife left him because of his drinking,
and he couldn't hold a job. He married again, but his wife
and mother were worried about his drinking.
he told how his mother had heard of A.A in an article published
by a doctor, and had written the doctor for information.
He turned the letter over to A.A., which, of course, had
letter said he was already reaching out to help other alcoholics.
they sent him a wire asking his permission to use the letter
anonymously in the book, as the first example of what might
be accomplished without personal contact. He wired back
the next day: "Permission granted with pleasure. Lots of
was the first time anyone had sobered up just from reading
the book, so everyone was very excited. After the exchange
of correspondence, which appears in the first edition, a
collection was taken up to buy a bus ticket to bring him
to New York.
the bus showed up in New York, a man fitting his given description
did NOT exit the vehicle. Confused, the welcoming party
asked the driver if he had seen a man of the description
aboard the bus at any time. He replied that the man was
sleeping it off UNDER the back seat! So the story was removed
from the second printing of the Big Book.
the MSCA Archives is a letter from Kaye Miller, a non-alcoholic
who started the first A.A. meeting in LA, to Bill W. in
New York. Bill had asked her to put on paper her early recollection
of A.A. in Southern California. He also asked about Pat
C. In this 1944 letter she writes that Pat was attending
meetings again and had been sober about a year.
story was ghost written by Ruth Hock, Bill W.'s secretary,
from correspondence between the New York office and Pat
and his mother.