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"He Sold Himself Short"
T., Chicago, Illinois.
Sold Himself Short -- Earl Treat, Chicago, Illinois.
(p. 287 in 2nd and 3rd editions and p. 258 in 4th edition.)
he found that there was a Higher
Power which had more faith in
him than he had in himself.
Thus, A.A. was born in Chicago."
date of sobriety was originally
April 1937. He had a brief slip
in July of 1937.
grew up in a small town near Akron,
Ohio. Due to his interest in athletics
and his parents' influence, he
didn't drink or smoke till after
high school. All this changed
when he went to college, but still
he confined his drinking to weekends,
and he seemed to drink normally
in college and for several years
he left school he lived with his
parents and worked in Akron. When
he drank he hid it from his parents.
This continued until he was twenty-seven.
He then started traveling on his
job throughout the United States
and Canada. This gave him freedom
and with an unlimited expense
account he was soon drinking every
night, not only with customers,
1930 he moved to Chicago. With
the Depression limiting his opportunity
for employment, and with a lot
of time on his hands, he began
drinking in the morning. By 1932
he was going on two or three day
wife became fed up and called
his father to take him back to
Akron. For the next five years
he bounced back and forth between
Chicago and Akron to sober up.
January of 1937, back in Akron
with his father to be sobered
up, his father told him about
the group in Akron, who had the
same problem but had found a way
to stay sober. Earl knew two of
them, one of them Howard, an ex-doctor,
whom he had once seen mooching
a dime for a drink. He didn't
think he was that bad and would
have none of it. He told his father
he could lick it on his own. He
said he would drink nothing for
a month and after that only beer.
months later his father was back
in Chicago to pick him up again,
but this time his attitude had
changed, and he was willing to
talk to the men in Akron. When
they got to Akron they routed
Howard out of bed. He spent two
hours talking to Earl that night.
was indoctrinated by eight or
nine men, after which he was allowed
to attend his first meeting, which
was led by Bill D. ("A.A. Number
Three"). There were eight or nine
alcoholics at the meeting and
seven or eight wives. There was
no Big Book yet and no literature
except various religious pamphlets.
The meeting lasted an hour and
closed with the Lord's Prayer.
Then they had coffee and doughnuts
and more discussion until the
small hours of the morning.
stayed in Akron two or three weeks
and spent a lot of time with Dr.
Bob who took him through the steps
in one afternoon. Dr. Bob helped
with the moral inventory by pointing
out some of his bad personality
traits or character defects. Earl
wished every alcoholic could have
the benefit of this type of sponsorship
returned to Chicago in 1937 to
start A.A. there. He got angry
and got drunk when his wife criticized
his coffee drinking and smoking.
(Earl is the heavy smoker and
coffee drinker mentioned on page
135 in "The Family Afterwards.",
3rd edition) When he slipped he
realized that the alcoholic has
to continue to take his own inventory
every day if he expects to get
well and stay well.
Dan Craske, M.D. began referring
prospects to him, and another
doctor in Evanston referred a
woman. This was Sylvia K. ("The
Keys to the Kingdom"). Earl suggested
she go to Akron. There they dried
her out and explained the program
to her, after which it was suggested
that she return to Chicago to
work with Earl.
was Earl who urged Bill W. to
codify the A.A. experience, resulting
in Bill writing "Twelve Points
to Assure Our Future," first published
in the April 1946 A.A. Grapevine.
These are now known as the long
form of the traditions. Earl later
urged him to shorten them to the
Twelve Traditions as we know them