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The Big Book Comes Alive (transcribed)

The Big Book Comes Alive (transcribed)

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Published by briespot
The Big Book Comes Alive --
Charlie Big Book Study Transcript - Originally Taped in Mesa, Arizona, February 6-8, 1987
The Big Book Comes Alive --
Charlie Big Book Study Transcript - Originally Taped in Mesa, Arizona, February 6-8, 1987

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AA GSO Watch
The Big Book Comes Alive --
Charlie Big Book Study Transcript - Originally Taped in Mesa, Arizona, February 6-8, 1987 
(Tape 1, Side A)CHARLIE:
Hi everybody, my name is Charlie P - ----, and I'm a very gratefulrecovering alcoholic.
Audience:
Hi, Charlie.
CHARLIE:
Because I'm a member of the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous and by the grace of the Power that I found in the Twelve Step program of "AlcoholicsAnonymous", I haven't found it necessary to take a drink for 6,309 days today, oneday at a time, and for this I'm very grateful. Sure is good to be in Arizona, doing a BigBook study. We talked about this seems like two or three years ago--and I thought itwas going to be a long time and all of a sudden here it is. We're sitting in the middleof Arizona and get to talk about the thing we love to talk about the most. The onlything I can really say at the present time, from the looks of the visitors that stood up,there must be some damn heavy drinkers down there in Tucson.
Audience:
(laughter)
CHARLIE:
Hell of a bunch of them up here.
JOE:
Bill and A1 back there.
CHARLIE:
Yeah, we just saw two good friends come in from Los Angeles. Howabout that. Hi Bill and A1. Good to see you all. We always like to say at the beginningof one of these things that we do not consider ourselves to be the gurus of the BigBook. We are most certainly not experts on anything period. We do not speak for A.A. as a whole. Nobody can do that. And you are most certainly free to agree or disagree with anything that we say this weekend as you see fit. In fact we wouldrecommend you pay no attention to anything that we're going to say, if you can'treconcile it with what's in the Big Book or other A.A. Conference approved material.We're just a couple of drunks who happened to meet years ago, and found a mutualinterest in the Big Book, and began to study it together, and hopefully we've learned acouple of things about it. We love to share what little bit we know with other people.We like to laugh and we like to cut up and we love to have fun. We believe we should be Joyous, happy, and free. We love to tell jokes and from time to time we'll do that. Ithink we'll find there's a lot of humor in the Big Book--a lot of things we can laugh atand have a good time with.
 
We try to keep one of these things just as informal as we possibly can. We knowthe mind can only absorb about what the rear end can stand. Some of these sessionswill become quite long. You may feel the need to get up and walk around a little bit. If you do, please feel free to do that. That won't bother us at all. You may feel the needto get up and go get yourself a cup of coffee. As I understand it., coffee will always bethere. So if you need a cup of coffee, please feel free to go get that at any time. Youmay feel it necessary to get up and go get rid of a cup of coffee and if you do,
Audience:
(laughter) please feel free to do that also.What we really want to do is have a good time this weekend: all of us enjoy it, allof us kind of make it a learning session. Maybe we can learn something about our BigBook, and about the twelve steps contained therein, the program of recovery.Hopefully, we'll all leave here Sunday, being able to look back over a weekend thatwe've really had a good time and we've learned a few things also. Joe.[back]
JOE:
My name is Joe, and I'm a real alcoholic.
Audience:
Hi Joe.
JOE:
Through God's grace and because of this program working each day of my life,I haven't found it necessary to take a drink of alcohol since March the tenth of 1962,and for this I'm grateful.Usually in the beginning, I...tell you a little bit about what the Big Book study is allabout; where we'll be coming from this weekend. As Charlie said, this began someyears ago. Along about 1971 I began my work with alcoholics, and I do--I work withalcoholics today. It was during this time of my life, about fifteen for sixteen years ago,that I became interested in looking at the Big Book in a different light. In order towork with people, I knew that I needed to know more about the workings and theapplications of the Big Book.So I ... began to study--I began to study at this time, and this was about a year anda half before I met Charlie...As I studied I found I began to get just a few insights intothe Big Book. I began to share these things with other people--attempt to. But I foundto my amazement very few people were interested in the Big Book. In my communityI couldn't find anybody to talk to, and I began to wonder if I wasn't wrong. Maybe Iwas the only one who had this interest. In fact, I became somewhat of a nuisancearound A.A. When they saw me coming they would run off because they didn't wantto hear about the Big Book.I remember this period of time. In...the spring of 1973, I was asked to introduce thespeaker at the Al-Anon convention. And quite naturally I volunteered. My wife todaysays in A.A. that I would volunteer for anything before I found out what it was. I didvolunteer to introduce the speaker. I looked at the program and I see this guy's nameon 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 themeeting and introduced him that night. I told the audience that I was verydisappointed in the speaker because I'd seen his name was Charlie P. and I thought itwas going to be Charlie Pride. This guy wasn't even the right color 
Audience:
(laughter)
JOE:
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 mylife in Alcoholics Anonymous, the night we met. I began to immediately do my usualthing. I began to share with him my great interest in the Big Book, and that I wasstudying the Big Book, and these things that I saw. And he was very interested. Hewas the first person I had met in Alcoholics Anonymous who was interested in what Iwas saying. So we became mutual friends that night over the Big Book. I think rightthat night we made plans to see each other. At different times...Charlie would...cometo Little Rock, and sometimes we would meet at different conferences. We wouldstudy the book together, and make notes, and...over a period of years we were able to piece together the information we'll be talking about tonight on the Big Book. Someweekends I would travel to Charlie's farm on the hill. As he said, and we would spendthe weekend studying the Big Book. This went on from about 1973 to 1977. Westudied the book together for almost four years.We would have these little studies together in the hotel rooms at conferences.Sometimes people would come in and sit in the meetings. They would ask--when theyfound out what we we're doing--they'd say: can we sit in? I said well, it don't makeany difference. I remember the first guy that came in. Charlie asked me would it bealright. I said, I guess it's alright. Over the period of these four years, finally the hotelroom would be full at each conference on Saturday evening when we would study theBig Book.[back]There was a man in one of those studies and...he said, that is good! I would like for my group to hear this. He said, would you all come to my group and put it on for theweekend. I remember--we were talking about it tonight--at that time I said, well Iguess so if anyone wants to listen to it, but I can't imagine nobody'll want to listen tothis all weekend.What we did--we went to Lawton, Oklahoma, and there were thirty-five peoplethere that night we did the Big Book study. This is where the Lawton tapes weremade. The first tapes were of the Big Book study that weekend. These tapes went allover A.A. and all over the world. This is actually what started us in the Big Book study. It was a small beginning, like every thing else in Alcoholics Anonymous. We'll be--last year we probably did over thirty Big Book studies all over the United Statesand Australia and Canada.

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