How RumRadio got it’s name
What’s in a name, a flowery economy to prick the memory, and a fragrance of sweet sunny side up familiarity
I ransacked my third edition of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous to find a title that had some cache and would be recognized by the recovery community. Alas, anything that was recognizable as a catch phrase was either being used or if not used had been taken. I perused the index and came across the story Rum, Radio and Rebellion. Viola, Rum Radio: it rang a bell it was easy to remember and it tripped on the tongue and most importantly, it was free for the taking. The dot.com was taken by a zombie internet radio station, but the .org and the .net was available for rent. The name is only a way to introduce the information and the content is what drives the beast. A good name for a worthy endeavor and easily remembered.
As the work on the site continued, I wanted to share the insights that I had obtained from Hamilton B’s book Twelve Step Sponsorship: How It Work’s, a Hazelton publication. I had started an ongoing sponsorship workshop and step study at my home group the P.O.C. in Houston, Texas using this book. The first hurdle was the group conscience inquiry was this conference approved literature?, I don’ know was my reply: it is Big Book, Twelve, and Twelve and As Bill Sees it, infused with A.A. history, that’s all I knew, they would have to get back to me. I called the G.S.O in New York to find out how one might obtain the vaunted credential. To my surprise there is no such thing, surely there has to be, I have heard about this jackalope from when I first came in to the rooms. I was told and later it was confirmed that when A.A. lost the copyright to the second edition of the Big Book that World Wide Services, (the printer of all A.A. material) dropped the triangle and the circle as a publication emblem and started using the term conference approved literature. What conferenced-approved means GSO BOX 4-5-9 1978 volume 23, No. 4, in short, A.A. does not disapprove of the Bible or any other publications from any source that A.A.’s finds useful. Alonon does have conference approved literature in their manifesto, I think they adopted it because they thought A.A. had it and did not want to be out done, only a guess. There are some, so entrenched in the myth, who will not accept or be willing to look at any proof: contempt prior to investigation is still alive and well in A.A.
The on going sponsorship workshop and Step study meeting has generated a greater understanding of the importance of the process of recovery and the critical role of the sponsor. I have gained much more insights into this important function by chairing this ongoing meeting,and by continuing to be a sponsor.
I was in a meeting close to my home in Sugar land, The Lamplighters and announced the sponsorship ongoing workshop and Step study. Jimmy K, an old timer, was intrigued with the idea and encouraged me to start a website as a Legacy in order to give back in the critical, often misunderstood, and under utilized area of recovery sponsorship.
As the website was taking shape, my excitement grew. I knew this was a good work and I wanted to share this information with everyone in recovery. I was visiting friends in Austin, Texas where I had lived for nine years. I went to quite a few different A.A. and Alonon meetings to announce the website and give out copies of Clancy’s seven questions for high bottom intellectuals, chronic relapsers, as well as newcomers.
One such meeting was at the Primary Purpose group. I met Blind Dave. He has memorized the Big Book from cover to cover and takes newcomers through all Twelve Steps in eight days; God took only seven with a day off for good behavior. I shared in the meeting about the sponsorship website RumRadio.org. It was greeted with approval. One fellow asked me to attend a Men’s meeting the following afternoon at noon, the Liar’s Club on South Lamar in Austin. I was initially reluctant and told him my plan was to leave tomorrow morning. He was persistent and promised me aâ€ free lunch if I got there early. Since there is no such thing as a free lunch, I tentatively agreed.
The meeting format that the Liars Club uses is a random opening of the Big Book of A.A., particularly the first 164 pages. They also limit shares to three minutes, enforced with an egg timer and with the understanding that if you speak more than three minutes it’s all about you. During lunch I was talking about rumradio.org. I was tapped on the shoulder by the fellow who did the perchance opening of the Big Book and showed me where it had opened, and low and behold it opened to Rum, Radio, and Rebellion as they just happen to have a third edition of the Big Book. I was able to share early in the meeting as they did a round robin. I told them why I was there and what had just happened. One fellow took exception and said it was agreed only the first 164 pages; his argument was quickly dismissed and we moved on with an apologetic oops.
This was God doing for me; it was a minnie miracle, a confirmation to the work. I have come to know that there are no coincidences and no accidents. As for me, I am a nothing and a nobody, but when I am in the service of my fellows, I am in the service of my God and that’s when I am strong in the Lord and the power of his might and in His hand I become the sharper tool.
See you on the radio.