STEVE'S FIRST SPONSORS, Part ONE
Betty B was a student nurse at City Hospital in Akron Ohio in 1934. She worked in the operating room, where Dr Bob sometimes "officiated". She had no idea Dr Bob was an alcoholic, but did recall that his hands shook sometimes, and his eyes were nearly always red, bloodshot.
She thought a lot of Dr Bob. She said , "When he walked into a room, he brought 'something different'". She could "feel it".
Only many years later, when Betty B herself came into the AA program, did she then realize that City Hospital's Dr Smith, and AA's Dr Bob, were one and the same.
She said that he was the "kindest man, especially to all the nurses and really so to the student nurses".
Betty Brooks was kind of short, with the most beautiful grey eyes. They sparkled as if she had dusted them with some magical powder--like those Tinker-Bell pictures I remember. Her eyes matched exactly the color of her perfect, tightly-wound hair with a bun on back.
And her smile...her smile was a genuine outpouring of wordless things, like, "Come on in. It will be all right. You can do it. You are loved. You are respected. We all know you here. Come back next week. Don't drink between meetings." While others were saying these things with near-rude gruffness, this old woman, Betty, simply smiled those words lovingly while nodding her head at a newly sobering alcoholic.
How do I know this? Betty was my first AA friend. I did have a sponsor, Jim, right off the bat. He and Betty worked together with me, and it worked! It seems to me now, that AA people worked together more then, than now. The year was 1974. My brain was pure mush..no exaggeration, and my life was chaos, but I was unaware of that. All I desired was a gallon of White Port to get me through this AA business this night. Betty helped me so much. I now know why she was present at every meeting I attended.
Betty and her husband Paul occasionally sat at the bar where I worked, offering me support with glances of encouragement, or a few (private) AA bon mots during the evening. I also played violin behind the bar at that time.
Warning...digression coming. Reminds me...for those who have been following all year this is an old story:
My sponsor asked me once if being sober for 4 weeks affected my violin playing. I told him definitely, in a negative way. My vibrato was slow, notes out of tune, bow scratching produced a bad tone, and a weak sound was all I could get out of the box. Without missing a beat, he said, "Oh! Your hearing got better!"
Translated, that remark meant to me that my life all along had been a real mess, but that I did not know it until I sobered up a little. Awareness had begun to happen.
And this is how that awareness is today translated: The second part of this blog will be tomorrow night...or I'll be again into Blongsville. NOTE: A "Blong" is a looong blog.
To all peeps: Let's stay sober today? That is NOT a question!
References to BettyB and Dr Bob taken from "Dr Bob and the Good Oldtimers" Page 46 and 48.