The Traditions are the glue if not the whip, that holds the horse and buggy of recovery groups from falling into the ditch
Searcy also known as the lone eagle was 90 when I was first privileged to hear him speak at the 24 hr. group in Austin Texas. He was .an impressive man both in stature and in sheer physical size; Searcy was the tallest and biggest man of an ancient age I had ever laid my eyes upon. In my tenure on the third rock from the sun I had observed that most, if not all, upon reaching the vaunted age of 90+ were tiny and frail, physically not very much, as if by their lack of girth and height gave them a slight advantage in theirÂ fight to stay upright.
Sercy was on a mission and like all good servants his command was internal. Sercy had a standing invitation to any and all who wanted him to share for thatâ€™s how he carried the message, several times a week, as long as his lungs had air and if there were ears to hear he would be there, if wheels would turn, and airplanes had runways, he would be waiting patiently at the bus stop for the next sober event.
His hair had long since fallen out as his skin was ruddy, thin, and as wrinkled as an aged shar-pei. He had an electric motorized chair that was reminiscent of a bull frog astride a coffee cup. He stood with the aid of a sturdy aluminum walker and towered over the freshly hatched batch of street savvy addicted alcoholics.
Searcy introduced himself, once upon a time that he was Bill Wâ€™s sponsor; he was also Bill Wâ€™s sponsee, the ten thousand member of the A.A. family, and had 55 years of continuous sobriety. As he would tell it â€œfinding a sponsor was a hard Â line to reel in, when you were constantly on the move, and since him and Bill traveled a lot together it just made good sense to switch off, as the need or the bleedÂ presented itself for a tourniquet of accountability
The story he would unfold was of a car trip from a very long time ago. As Billâ€™s confidant co-driver and travel companion they were on a particularly long trip traversing from state to state in order to go to the next and closest A.A. group or event. Upon setting off on the next leg of their journey soon after the sunâ€™s benign challenge to the envious cock and a pauperâ€™s quick breakfast of coffee and donuts, we were off. Soon on the open road fighting off the morning chill, Bill was at the wheel and handed me an empty envelope filled on the back and on the front with scribbles and scratches. Tell me what you think? I read with interest the first draft of the Traditions. I quickly considered the rules and regulations and was flippant with my abrogation. â€œperhaps you northern boys need to be held accountable and need all these rules and regulations, but us southerners weÂ are cut from a finer cloth and wouldnâ€™t see the need for so fine a point, â€œArenâ€™t you glad that it wasnâ€™t me who started A.A.â€
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