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Anonymous history in your area
The Jackson Group - our history "A Place for Faith
(Mel B.) came to Jackson in 1952 and lived there until
1972, with the exception of one year in the New York area
between September 1963 and September 1964. When I arrived
in Jackson, I began to attend meetings immediately and
was active there until moving to Toledo, where I continue
to be active in AA. The founder of AA in Jackson was Al
C., who came into the program in December, 1939, which
makes him one of the first 200 in the entire country.
I have Al's book, which was presented to me by the Jackson
Group when I moved to the New York area in 1963. It shows
his address as 811 Oakridge Drive. He was a city official
of some kind, which you might determine by checking a
Jackson City Directory for that period. The public library
should have a copy. I've heard that Al made contact with
a lone member in Detroit at the same time he came into
AA. In any case, Al was known to the New York office.
I met Bill W. in Akron in 1956 and told him I was from
Jackson, he immediately brought up Al C.'s name, which
really impressed me. Then there was also a fellow named
Jack D., who was a plumber or something in the blue-collar
line (Al being considered white-collar!). I did hear that
things were in the doldrums, more or less, until Jack
joined and really got things moving. Roy D., my good friend
for many years, always acknowledged the fine work Jack
had done. Jack might have even been Roy's sponsor, although
I'm not sure of that.
I came to Jackson, we were meeting in a second story hall
on Cortland Street, but soon moved to the old Post Office
building, where we stayed only a short time. Then we moved
to a small building at 410 Cooper Street, and finally
to one on Monroe Street, where we were eventually evicted
when the machine-shop occupying the other half of the
building offered the landlord more rent. After that, we
moved to the second floor of a tuxedo shop, a building
that was so flimsy I was afraid our crowds might bring
it down. Later we went to the hall on Mechanic Street,
which was pretty good except that neighborhood kids were
always throwing bricks through the back window. We had
some old timers around, but few of them attended our meetings.
Al C. and Jack D. were both gone, so I never had a chance
to talk with either of them. A few of these old timers
would lecture us about how poorly we were doing with newcomers;
then they would disappear and not come back for another
six months or so.
had lots of fine members whom I remember with great affection.
I have good memories of Bernie W., Roy D., Butch and Jake
(a she) C., Silvanus J., Bill H., Charlie S., Ruth W.,
Frank Mc., Beck U., and many others whose names don't
come up on my screen at the moment, although I could remember
them with a bit of jogging. We called ourselves Jackson
Group #2, although there was not a #1 in an active state.
However, there was a group registered in the national
AA directory with Stan S. as a contact, but I never knew
him and as far as I knew, it wasn't meeting. I would be
happy to review any records you have, but I do think you
can use December, 1939, as the starting time for AA in
Jackson. It may have taken some time to really get off
the ground, but I think we have to call Al C., the founder
with later backup from Jack D. .I hope this is of some
help to you. Please call if you have more questions and
I'll try to help. All the best, Mel B.
we heard from Tom B.:
S. the electrician told me that Jackson Group #1 folded
after they lost their meeting place when their landlord
padlocked the hall.
present Jackson Group, official registered in New York
as Jackson Group #2, held its first meeting on the first
Sunday of September 1945. Where the meeting was held has
been forgotten but the date was confirmed by a copy of
the minutes of business meetings from 1950, 1951 and 1952
that I got from Bud C. whose late brother-in-law had been
group secretary in those years. Barb S. borrowed the notebooks
to read over, and lost them all in moving to Texas and
then back to Jackson. Tom says that Bud S. also told him
that Al C. had a coffee shop in the Otsego Hotel in the
early 40's. One night each week, Al closed early so that
AA could meet in the coffee shop.
section is under development. If you have some history to
add or would like to help, kindly email
us. (You can also contact me, Jim M. Click here
to update this article or add new information.)
can be so bad
..that a drink wont make worse.
2006 The Jackson Group