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Letter from Jim Burwell to Bill Wilson
May 15th, 1965

3943 Louisiana Street
San Diego 4, Calif.     

May 15th, 1965

Dear Bill,

Just received a letter from Hazel Rice, saying G.S.O. could not invite me to Toronto, for it would break a precedent.  First, I did not ask anyone in G.S.O. for an invitation.  I did mention to Hazel down in Washington, D.C., that I was retired and could not afford the trip and that I was going to talk it over with you at Bedford Hills, which I did, explaining my circumstances.

But, since this has now come up in G.S.O., I do feel quite hurt and slighted and unappreciated.  I do feel a special exception can be made as with Ebby at two conventions.  This is really a hard letter to write.

Am listing a few unusual contributions I have made over these 27 years as follows: Am oldest active AA member at group level. Did contribute materially in all three of our A.A. books, with phrases "God as you understand Him" and "Only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking," plus my own story.

In 1939-40 period did sell more books to stores, doctors, etc. than anyone. Did help in 1940, finance (200.00 stock) to keep Vesey Street going. Carried the message to and help organize original groups in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Wilmington, and Harrisburg; plus half a dozen neighborhood and hospital groups in Philadelphia and San Diego. The Philly group was the first to contribute to New York. Initiated the plan for Judge Bok to get us inside The Saturday EveningPost,

And Bill, I am the only one of the original members that has never bucked publicly on any of your projects.  Especially in 1948-49, I stumped the state for your conference.  I do hope this does not sound braggadocious, but these are facts as I see them.

In all these years, this is the very first favor I have ever asked you or the N.Y. office.  Am now 68 and feel positive I will not make the next convention.  Also, this is the first convention I have ever been asked to speak or participate, so do hope you will find ways and means to get me there.

After all, A.A. has only given me life and peace of mind.  Maybe I should not expect more, but have only done it this once in 27 years.

Our love to both you and Lois as ever appreciated,


/s/ Jim

Index of A.A. History Pages on Barefoot's World

As in so many things, especially with we alcoholics, our History is our Greatest Asset!.. We each arrived at the doors of A.A. with an intensive and lengthy "History of Things That Do Not Work" .. Today, In A.A. and In Recovery, Our History has added an intensive and lengthy "History of Things That DO Work!!" and We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it!!

ABC Page 60 -- Barefoot's Recovery Pages



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