83 years ago…
1934 – the great depression raged at the spirit of the American people. The top songs of that year were “the beer barrel polka” and “winter wonderland”. The St. Louis cardinals won the World Series. The FCC and SEC were formed. American and continental airlines took to the air and the top-selling board game was appropriately enough, “Sorry”. It was a great year for Clark Gable and a bad year for John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde Barrow.
The Dow Jones finally topped 100 points, but that wasn’t enough to lift the spirits of a failed stockbroker named Bill Wilson. Two weeks before Christmas, this unemployed destitute man, once a man of great promise, living off the charity of his in-laws, was admitted to the hospital for the 4th time for chronic alcoholism. He had given up all hope of ever getting free of this destructive malady.
But on December 11th, 1934, Bill was separated from alcohol for the last time. In TOWNES HOSPITAL he was hit with what he described later as a flash of white light, a cleansing wind, and a sense of the presence of God. Through the meetings of the Oxford group and devoting himself to helping other alcoholics Bill sought a way to sustain this grace that had come into his life. Unaware of the amazing ripples that were set in motion in the world of alcoholism Bill searched diligently for alky’s to help. several months later after many failed attempts to sober up drunks Bill meet Dr. Bob Smith and something happened that would change the world.
The intervention by a power into Bill’s miserable life on that fateful day 83 years ago and the spreading of this message across the world is what has drawn us together so many years later in Las Vegas, NV. Its the celebration of Bill’s sober anniversary and what it has meant for millions of hopeless alcoholics around the world.
The Stateline Retreat is a unique AA conference. Its focus is the twelve step recovery process and the principles of the twelve traditions necessary to maintain this gift. Through the shared experience of some of our fellowships best communicators, they relate their stories to a specific step or tradition so as to broaden the experience of all that attend, themselves included. It’s a workshop on a grand scale, in an unusual venue with a laser like focus on our recovery program. It is experience, strength, hope and fun.
So this year join us as we celebrate the anniversary of Bill’s awakening and gift to us all.