Wallace (Wally) G., Akron, Ohio.
(OM, p. 325 in 1st edition.)
Probably Wally first entered A.A. in May of 1937, but one source says October 1938. But after several years he slipped and had a hard time getting back.
He was an engineer. He must have been handsome, one Akron member described him as having iron-gray hair and looking like President Warren Harding.
He described himself as a man of extremes. When he learned to dance, he had to go dancing every night; when he worked or studied he wanted no interruptions; and of course when he drank he could never stop until he was drunk. He started getting drunk before he was sixteen.
Wally must have been a good worker because he rarely had a problem finding a job, and often was rehired by the same company and given another chance. But he was fired again and again. He was once fired from the WPA (Works Progress Administration, a Federal job program instituted during the Depression of the 1930s.)
He was irritated by efforts to help him. His family once persuaded him to enter a sanitarium for thirty days. He left with the firm resolve never to drink again.
Before he left the sanitarium he answered an advertisement for an engineer in Akron and after an interview, got the job. In about three months he was out of a job again.
Finally, a neighbor, who had heard of Dr. Bob’s work, told his wife, Annabelle, about it and she went to see Dr. Bob. Soon Wally was hospitalized by Dr. Bob and began his recovery. About twenty men called on him while he was still in the hospital. He knew five of them, three of whom he had never before seen completely sober.
Annabelle was at first was hard to convince that the program would work, because Wally once brought home an A.A. member he had met in a bar. This was Paul S. (“Truth Freed Me!”) during his slip in early 1936. Then her own doctor urged her to see Dr. Bob. Finally, her clergyman, J.C. Wright, got a woman to talk to Annabelle and then made an appointment for her with Dr. Bob. This was probably the neighbor Wally talks about in his story.
Dr. Bob called Maybelle L., wife of Tom L. (“My Wife and I”) and told her to get hold of Annabelle or her husband would be drunk before he was out of the hospital two hours. Finally Annabelle took Maybelle’s advice and let go and let God. Anne S. also took her under her wing.
After his recovery, Wally and Annabelle took many alcoholics into their home. According to Bill W., they had more success with people they took into their home than did Dr. Bob and Anne S. or Bill and Lois W.
Wally was Dr. Bob’s right hand man for many years, and when he eventually slipped everyone was shocked. He had seemed to be doing everything right and working very hard.
Wally had been very hard on those who slipped and wanted to kick them out, which may explain why it took him a long time to get back, but Annabelle dragged him to meetings. He finally got sober again and stayed sober until his death. His attitude toward those who slip, however, changed.