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  • G: “I’ve been looking at some of the old documents, from 1980 and 1981. I’m trying to piece together everything we did back then. I don’t know how we did it all”.

    P: “It’s hard to believe, George. There was a special chemistry and energy between us. We were just a couple of guys, nothing all that special, but when we got together, it was right at a time when that chemistry and energy were needed”.

    G: “I was going out to those Literature Conferences, and you were back home growing the fellowship here, and doing all that writing and typing.” (It grew from 10 meetings to 81 in 1980 in Philadelphia).

    P: “And I remember you bringing all that material back from the conferences for me to type up on that old Royal Manual I had. I’d type it up and send it to Bo in Marietta, or Linda in Kansas, then they’d send me more to type up.”

    G: “I got a lot of credit for doing a lot of things that you actually did. I didn’t even know how to do a lot of that stuff you did.”

    P: “It wasn’t about credit, George. You were out there, where you needed to be – you were this solid as a rock dude, that anyone would look at, and instantly trust you – folks were drawn to you. I couldn’t have done all that – I had some serious social issues when I was getting well”.

    G: “I couldn’t have done any of it without what you did.”

    P: “That was the beauty of it. We were a team. Like you told Johnny on Facebook that time – we believed we could change the world – and we did. Remember when you went on that interview on Channel 48, and we got that article into the Bulletin?”

    G: “You made all those arrangements, and wrote the article.”

    P: “And you did the interview. I could never have done that.”
  • G: “When I came back a couple of years ago, and we connected again on Facebook, I asked myself, ‘whatever happened to us? Why have we been out of touch all these years? There was never a reason to not continue our friendship’”.

    P: “No, we just went our separate ways and lived our lives. We’ve had damn good lives. And, now, here we are, back together. What we experienced together, very few people get to experience. It was really a special time. We had an impact. We brought N.A. to New York, northern New Jersey, and New England. There was nothing there before. We helped them get started. Look at it now.”

    This was the conversation, parts of it that I remember. The love and respect I have for this man, and he for me, is like none I know with another person. A 5 minute conversation with him 33 years ago, when he was 19 and I was 25, changed my life. Period. I trusted him, his words, and when some things I had tried didn’t work out, I got together with him, to try to make a difference. We did manage to make a difference.

    After we talked for awhile, we went in to watch a presentation on the History of Addiction, and of the early days of N.A. How they used to lobotomize addicts. How many weren’t welcome in A.A. How their meetings were infiltrated, and they were harassed on the way too and from their meetings. How it all almost completely fell apart in 1959. It struggled through the 60’s and 70’s, then when we got together in 1980, as things went crazy in Philly, New York, New Jersey and New England, and we were right in the middle of it all, the same thing was happening in many other places. Then the book got published, and it began to spread around the world. At the end of the lecture, the song “A Beautiful Day” played while pictures of Meetings, conventions and members in every little nook and corner, all over the world, were shown.

    I came out of that theater where the lecture was put on, completely humbled by the whole thing. If I could just go back to that confused, desperate, miserable guy that I was when we were doing all of that work, and could just share this moment with him – it would help him get through those terrible times.

    Maybe I did. Just now. Who knows how this time thing works? I don’t know how I got through those 4 years of non-stop activity, before I found recovery, when I was a “Human Doing”, rather than “being”. I know the friendships, with the likes of George, and Al, and Terica, who couldn’t make it this weekend, were a big part of it. A lot of love helped pull us all through the times. We got a lot done, though. We changed the world. It’s a good feeling to know. It was a beautiful day. I’m glad I went.

    (Pictured: (1) George and I talking it over, Kathy looking on; (2) Phil, George, Pete, and Al. George and I moved into the Farmhouse in Ivyland together, and Al moved in shortly after we did. That house held many weekend long meetings, fundraisers, and literature conferences, including the 7th and final World Literature Conference for the Basic Text of N.A. It was in Phil’s apartment that we first worked on the 12 Steps of N.A. When we were done with our work, we sent our message out to the world, in the form of the book. While I couldn’t find recovery in the book itself, and George didn’t read it for 30 years until recently, it apparently helped a lot of suffering addicts get clean. I guess “it worked"; (3) Kathy, George, Steve (George's sponsor, in the wheelchair), and me.
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