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The Towson Womens Group
Love and Service Over 40 Years
a quiet Friday night in March, I rushed to keep an appointment
that I had made with two members from the Towson Womens
Group. I had just left the Baltimore Institution Committee
and was trying desperately to be on time. I arrived at Georgetta
Es home and was greeted by Georgetta and her fellow
member, Doris R. They welcomed me with open arms and turned
the next hour or two into a magical excursion into that
mix of love, service, commitment, and fellowship known as
the Towson Womens Group.
and Doris then proceeded to weave memories of that tapestry
that is AA, as seen through eyes of two members of the oldest
Womens AA group in Area 29 Maryland. (Georgetta
has 35 years of sobriety and Doris 37 years.)
Towson Womens Group was founded in the spring of 1961
by Anne P., Isabelle K., Enid S. and Rowena M. The first
meeting place was at 212 Washington Avenue, Towson, Maryland.
From its small beginnings in 1961, the group grew to 34
active members in 1971 and was at its peak at 48 members
in 1984. The group currently has 24 active members.
group was active in Intergroup, 12-step work, area service,
and institutions. Towson Womens Group brought the
first AA meetings to Shepherd Pratt, the House of Good Shepherd,
and Jessups Womens Prison.
at the pictures from the past with Georgetta and Doris,
I could see the love and sadness in their eyes as they talked
about past members no longer with us in person, but always
in our hearts and our actions. Their legacy went into the
formation of unwritten traditions that go hand in hand with
the written ones that keep AA solid and growing.
I enter into a paragraph or two about one of the founding
members, Anne P., I want to point out that the Towson Womens
Group is not Anne P. or Georgetta or Doris. It is that combination
of all past and present members, some deceased, some living,
some sober and some not, who gave their blood, sweat, and
tears to establish, and then continue on, that collage of
AA love and service known as the Towson Womens Group.
stories flowed around about Anne P., one of the original
four, who was instrumental in establishing and carrying
on the traditions of this particular group. She was that
blend of love and strength that could melt your heart or
knock you down, whatever was needed to keep AA and the Towson
Womens Group afloat. Anne P. had been known over the
years to stand toe to toe for her girls and
was known on several occasions to stand up against what
was politically incorrect at the time and fight physically
for one of her girls. She also had wit and charm about her.
When some of the women got in a little pity party, Anne
would pack them up and take them down to the Old Chip House
in Baltimore, which offered hard core, low bottom, tough
love AA. It was an experience you didnt want to miss.
little tradition, particular only to this home group, is
that Anne gave every home group member an animal nickname.
She would make cards for the members for their anniversary
and for Christmas. She would cut out intricate little figures
of the members specific animal and paste them on the
card. Georgetta (kangaroo) and Doris (pony) gave me two
cards that were over 30 years old.
your eyes and you can still see them: the hen, the beaver,
the deer, the pony, the kangaroo, the cat, the fish, and
on and on. You can feel their presence and feel safe and
secure. Youre in the presence of a true AA home group,
that close knit family that started out with Bill and Bob
(with Anne and Lois right nearby) and has blossomed into
groups that cover the four corners of the earth Love
and Service with that extra little pinch of compassion and
Womens Group hasnt been without controversy
over the years, especially since they are solely a womens
meeting. They battled that issue and also the court issue
and came out strong and united since all issues were decided
as they should be, with guidance from General Service and
the final outcome determined by the individual group conscience.
I can assure you that if a man would stumble into the Towson
Group for a meeting, directories would fly and this tight
knit group would make sure that the person found an AA meeting
group truly represents all that there is good about Alcoholics
Anonymous. It has been a home and haven for many women who,
for some reason or another, just did not feel comfortable
in a smoke-filled room full of men. A need for this meeting
existed in Maryland, and the Towson Womens Group has
filled this need admirably. Every member of the Towson Womens
Group made a conscious decision to allow themselves to be
a conduit for their Higher Power to use them in whatever
manner He or She may wish. Through practicing the traditions
and steps on a daily basis, they made themselves available
to be instrumental in the growth of AA in Maryland.
cant describe in words how beautiful, humbling, and
spiritual it was to share those few hours with two of the
most delightful AA members that it has ever been my privilege
to meet. Honesty, dignity, mutual respect and laughter made
up this evening of time travel in the history of AA in Maryland.
you, Towson Womens Group, for being there for the
suffering alcoholic who may have fallen by the wayside had
you not had the courage and foresight to carry the message
of Bill and Bob to those who were afraid and alone.
© March 2002-2006 Property of Maryland General Service,
Inc. of AA