met Bob and Betty (Dr. Bob's son and daughter-in-law)
when Bob came to speak at A Day in Marin,
which was a spiritual roots program put
on by our Steps to the Solution Group
in Mill Valley, California. More than
600 turned out to hear of A.A.'s spiritual
beginnings. Mel B. of Toledo, Willard
Hunter of the Oxford Group, and Bob were
there to provide what Bob later called
one of the most uplifting events he had
ever spoken at. Betty frequently seconded
was gracious, humorous, and serious. Once
she became acquainted with my quest for
information on early A.A., she gave me
every support I could ask for. So did
Bob. Each time I would call by phone,
both of them would get on the line and
pour out love, friendship, and information.
The same was true of their correspondence
with me--almost always as a team.
Betty who dug out the letters people wrote
to Bill Wilson when Anne Smith died, and
I was able to incorporate them in Anne
Smith's Journal. Betty and Bob both worked
up the list of Dr. Bob's books which many
of us had thought were gone. This list,
along with the one provided by Dr. Bob's
daughter Sue, formed the basis for Dr.
Bob's Library--my very first title.
visited Bob and Betty in Texas, Bob had
just sustained some injuries and was in
the hospital. But Bob knew I had come
to ask questions about Dr. Bob and Anne,
and he insisted I proceed. It was Betty
who, though concerned about Bob's health,
worked tirelessly with me to show me the
records of early A.A. they had, to dig
out more of Dr. Bob's books, to support
further research, and to tell me about
Dr. Bob's grandchildren. And what a family
they were! Love, love, love! I was delighted
to see these people in their home. And
Betty was always interested in more about
the Christian background of early A.A.
My last meeting with Betty and Bob was
at the International Convention in San
Diego. We had lunch, amidst their busy
schedule. Again, it was Betty who took
me aside to discuss further the historical
work I was doing.
a tireless companion of Dr. Bob's son.
Here was a lady who grasped the significance
of her role as a resource. Here was a
lady who thoroughly appreciated what A.A.
has done for millions. Here was a lady
who never held back when it came to telling
what she knew about Dr. Bob and his wonderful
wife Anne. I shall miss her as a friend,
as an enthusiastic supporter, and as one
of our fast disappearing links to A.A.'s
earliest and most important developmental
days at the home of Dr. Bob and Anne Smith
in Akron, Ohio.