Lloyd T., Cleveland, Ohio.
(p. 386 in 1st edition.)
Lloyd’s date of sobriety is uncertain. One source says it was February of 1937, another says November 1937.
He came from a broken home, and when his parents separated his father went west and became fairly successful. Then it was decided that Lloyd should go to a preparatory school in Chicago. Soon he was in trouble in school and his father sent him money to join him in the West.
It was a lonely time for Lloyd, as his father was away most of the day and spent evenings reading and studying religious books. Lloyd became very hostile toward religion, and that lasted for years.
When he was fourteen, but looked eighteen, he started hanging out in saloons. On vacation his father let him go alone to San Francisco. While there he decided he wanted to see the world and signed on as an apprentice on a ship.
He developed into a steady drinker and, when going to sea, took enough liquor along to last for the trip. At foreign ports if American liquor was not available or cost too much he tried the native drinks, which were often very potent.
He visited most of the ports in the world, stayed in some of them for some time, and every place he went he found alcoholic beverages available.
At twenty he stopped going to sea, and eventually got into the building trade. He made good money, but never stayed in one place for very long, ever the “rolling stone.”
When World War I started he was twenty-nine and living in Texas. When he left Texas, he learned that the train would be stopping in his hometown for an hour. He saw his mother very briefly for the first time in eleven years. He promised her that after the war he would come home.
He tried to stop drinking but could not. There were many visits to doctors and sanitariums. He was then his mother’s sole support, and he caused her mother much misery.
Finally, he heard about Doctor Bob in Akron, and went to see him. Dr. Bob put him in the hospital, and told him that unless he was sincere in wanting to quit he was just wasting their time. But Lloyd was willing to do anything. Eventually he had a religious awakening.
He was active in 12th step work and it was his name and address that Dr. Bob gave Dorothy S., then married to Clarence S. (“The Home Brewmeister”), when she appealed to him for help for her husband. Lloyd became Clarence’s sponsor. But when Clarence announced that he was starting a meeting in Cleveland, which would be called Alcoholics Anonymous, Lloyd stayed with the Oxford Group, at least until the Akron group also broke away.
He was fifty years old when he wrote his story, and unmarried. But he had become sane and sensible again, had made his mother happy and made many new friends. He had gained the respect of his fellow men, and learned how to enjoy life. He had been sober nearly six and a half years when he wrote his story.