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He Thought He Could
Drink like a Gentleman -- Albert (Abby) Golrick,
(p. 210 in 2nd and 3rd editions.)
by Nancy O., Moderator, A.A.
Heading: But he discovered that there are some gentlemen who
Abby's date of sobriety was April 1939. Clarence Snyder was his
was one of the Roman Catholics who had some problems about attending
He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1889, the last child of a family of
His parents were hard working people, but his father was a strict
disciplinarian. But Abby was slick and cute enough to be safe from
father's discipline. So he grew up thinking rules were for others,
him. At sixteen he was picked up by the police and brought home
got expelled from various schools but finally graduated from the eighth
He obtained a job as a toolmaker's apprentice and later worked for large
companies and gained experience.
Then he attended a technical high school and at eighteen went to night
to get a high school diploma. He then entered an engineering
law school and passed the bar exam. He later became a patent
He married at twenty-eight, while in law school, and had two children by
time he was admitted to the bar. During this time he had been too
drink much, but about four years after he became a partner in his law
he began, like others during Prohibition, making elderberry blossom wine.
Soon there were automobile wrecks, when the police escorted him home, but
to jail. On business trips to New York he would disappear and wind
Philadelphia or Boston. He began firing clients before they fired
partners suffered from his conduct, but tolerated it because he still
to hang onto a very substantial practice.
His wife learned about the fellowship from her hairdresser who told her
her brother-in-law, Clarence Snyder (The Home Brewmeister),
who had been
quite a drinker, and about some doctor in Akron who had straightened him
(This was not the same sister-in-law who married Hank Parkhurst.)
nine months she prayed constantly that Abby would find this solution that
Clarence had found. Her prayers were answered: one day Clarence and
sister-in-law called at the house.
For some reason he didn't like Clarence at first. Clarence thought
looked down on him because Abby was an educated man, a patent attorney,
Clarence only had a high school education. But Dorothy Snyder,
first wife, reported that although Abby was well educated, the person in
Akron that made the most impression on him was a man who hadn't gone
the fourth grade. (This may have been Dick Stanley, He Had to
Abby resisted joining A.A., but Clarence would show up at saloons where he
was drinking to drag him home. Finally, Bill Wilson, while visiting
Cleveland, called on Abby and persuaded him to enter the hospital. Bill
Dorothy Snyder drove him there. While he was still in the hospital,
volunteered their large home as a meeting place in Cleveland. Thus,
first Cleveland meeting was held at Abby's home.
Bill Wilson gave him credit for starting the principle of rotation of jobs
A.A. Abby had been chairman of the central committee in Cleveland (the
in the nation). It consisted of five men and two women. But
Abby was older
(in years) than most of the members, and had family responsibilities.
was happy to step down after a few months. He suggested that one man
woman drop off each month to be replaced by the next in line according to