Big Book Podcast


Story number eight in part one of the story section of the second edition of the big book published in nineteen fifty five. It's entitled from Farm to city and was written by Ethel M. One of the first female members of Akron group one that met on Wednesday evenings at King School in Akron Ohio though. She didn't get sober until May 1941 along with her husband Russ by the time the second edition was published in 1955. Ethel was widely known as the longest sober lady in the Akron Cleveland region. Around the time that Ethel got sober with the help of many male members of a there was noticeable resistance to women joining the men in meetings much of which was expressed by the wives of those men the social mores of that era were much harsher on women alcoholics than on men and there was concern about whether men would be able to stay sober with women alcoholics around wage even doctor Bob initially expressed consternation about allowing female alcoholics into a a but later capitulated, ironically turning women alcoholics, including Ethel M over to his wife and for indoctrination into the program this early grappling with the differences between the Sexes with regard to their experience with alcoholism pave the way for a program in which men work with men and women work with women and yet all work with the common purpose of staying sober and helping other alcoholics achieve sobriety. Ethel M's story is a fine example of this Noble purpose. and now part one story eight from Farm to City. She tells how a a works when the going is rough a Pioneer Woman member of a haze first group. I come from a very poor family in material things with a fine Christian mother, but with no religious background. I was the oldest in a family of seven and my father was an alcoholic home. I was deprived of many of the things that we feel are important in life such as education particularly because of my father's drinking mine was far from a happy childhood. I had none of those things that children should have to make them happy we moved in from the country at the age when girls want all sorts of nice things. I remember starting to city school coming from a country school and wanting so very very much to be like the other girls and trying flour on my face for powder because I wasn't able to have any real powder. I remember feeling that they were making fun of me. I feared that I wasn't dressed like the rest. I know that one of the outfits I had was a skirt and a very funny looking blouse that my mother had picked up at a rummage sale. I look bad. I can remember these things because they made me very unhappy and added to my feeling of inferiority and never being the same as other people at the age of Sixteen. I was invited to spend the summer with an aunt and I very delightedly accepted the invitation. It was a small town Liberty Indiana when I came to my and she knew that I had had an unhappy childhood and she said now Ethel, you're welcome to have boyfriends in our home but there are two boys in this town that I don't want you to date and one of them comes from a very fine family one of the best month, but he's in all sorts of scrapes because he drinks too much for months later. I married this guy. I'm sure his family felt that it was a marriage that well. I was a girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Definitely. I felt that his family were accepting me because it was good sense. I could do something for their R Us but they didn't do anything for me to build up my ego and rust didn't tell me he'd stopped drinking and he certainly didn't stop it went on and grew worse and worse. We had two daughters. I was sixteen When we married and he was seven years older. I remember one in Thousand when he took off and went down to Cincinnati and was gone a week on a drunk finally. It got so bad that I left him and went back home and took my two children with me. I didn't see him for a year or even hear from him. That was seven or eight years after we were married. I was still bitter because I felt that drink had completely ruined my childhood and my married life and I hated everything pertaining to it. I was about twenty-five then and I had never touched a drop. I got a job in the Woolen Mills in Ravenna. Very hard work. I looked much older than I was I was always large and I went back to work in this job. I kept my children with me at the end of the year the children got a card from their father, which I still have and cherish. He said tell Mommy I still love her. I had gone to an attorney to see about getting a divorce during that year. Then he came into town on the bomb. He had taken up light work and had a safety valve and a pair of Spurs and the clothes on his back and that was all I welcomed him with open arms. I didn't realize how I still felt about him. He told me that he would never drink again and I believed him as many times as he would tell me that I still believed him wage partially. So anyway, he got a job and went back to work. He stayed dry for thirteen years Doctor Bob often said that it was a record for what he felt was a tip-off. alcoholic We built up a splendid life at the end of these thirteen years. I never dreamed that he'd ever take another drink. I had never taken one our oldest daughter got married and they were offering at our house. Our other daughter was in her last year of high school and one night the new son-in-law and my husband went out to a prize-fight. I never was concerned anymore anywhere he went he hardly ever went to anything like that without me we were together all the time. But this night I got up and saw it was late. I heard my son-in-law coming upstairs and I asked him where Dad was he had a very peculiar look on his face and he said he's coming he was coming on his hands and knees up the stairs as I look back very broken up about it, but I don't believe now that it was with any deep feeling of resentment that I said to him the children are raised and if this is the way you want it, this is the way we'll have it. Where you go? I'll go and what you drink I'll drink that's when I started drinking. We were the most

Coming up next