J: I remember this period of time. In... the spring of 1973, I was
asked to introduce the speaker at the Al-Anon convention. And quite
naturally I volunteered. My wife today says in A. A. that I would
volunteer for anything before I found out what it was. I did volunteer to
introduce the speaker.
I looked at the program and I see this guy's name on there, Charlie P.
I'd never met Charlie before. He lives about 225 miles from me. I hadn't
met him before. As I introduced him that night--I met him just before the
meeting and introduced him that night.
I told the audience that I was very disappointed in the speaker because
I'd seen his name was Charlie P. and I thought it was going to be Charlie
Pride. This guy wasn't even the right color (laughter) After the meeting
was over that night and everybody got through talking to him, we were
standing around behind the podium.
I guess it's been a memorable day of my life in Alcoholics Anonymous,
the night we met. I began to immediately do my usual thing. I began to
share with him my great interest in the Big Book, and that I was studying
the Big Book, and these things that I saw. And he was very
He was the first person I had met in Alcoholics Anonymous who was
interested in what I was saying. So we became mutual friends that night
over the Big Book. I think right that night we made plans to see each
other. At different times... Charlie would... come to Little Rock, and
sometimes we would meet at different conferences.