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"Join the Tribe"
(p. 474 in 3rd edition.)
Lost Nearly All
"From a Canadian reservation
to overseas bars to New England lockups, an Indian traveled
a long trail that finally led him home to A.A."
One source claims that this
story may have been first published in the A.A. Grapevine
in 1972 as "Son of Tall Man." This has not been verified.
Maynard was born on a Maliseet
Indian reservation in Canada, the oldest of thirteen children.
He apparently was raised as a Christian as he says he was
an altar boy at the church on the reservation.
He had his first drink in
his early teens. But he was afraid of his father, whom he
calls "Tall Man," so he didn't drink much in the beginning.
But he thinks he was an alcoholic from the first drink.
When he was twenty-one his
cousin came home from the U.S. Army on leave. Maynard stayed
with him at his aunt's house in Maine. That night they drank
beer at a tavern and his cousin gave him drinks from a bottle
of "hard stuff." Maynard had his first blackout.
He joined the Canadian Army,
but could not run away from his problem. He found that canteens
served drinks to Indians in uniform. His heavy drinking
and blackouts continued for the next two years.
When he came home his father
met him and they drank together. Soon he was getting arrested
and to avoid going to jail he kept moving from one place
to another. He tried going on the "water wagon" for a few
In Connecticut some policemen
tried to help him, but soon tired of him and bought him
a one-way ticket to Canada, packed his clothes and put him
on a train.
He considered suicide, but
didn't want to cause more pain to his parents. Then he remembered
hearing of an Indian who was in A.A. He found him and they
talked. He took him to a meeting in a small town in Maine.
He did not drink again. He jumped from the first step to
the twelfth and tried to help his brother. Two weeks later
his brother joined A.A. and stopped drinking.
Eventually he and his brother
went back to Canada to carry the message to Tall Man. Two
years later Tall Man also got sober and started a group
on the reservation.
Tall Man died sober, five
years before Maynard wrote his story for the 3d edition.
A newsletter reported of Tall Man: "With tireless devotion
and humility, this venerable Indian gentlemen traveled thousand
of miles humbly pleading for sobriety. He planted many seeds,
and it will be many moons before another rises to walk in
Maynard tells Indians: "Don't
be afraid to join A.A. I once hear people say only Indians
crazy when drunk. If so, A.A. full of Indians. Join the