Our “Old-timers” Moving On by Peter Marinelli

Peter Marinelli on the Program

What a treat to visit with and “old-timer” over dinner and hear firsthand the stories of the early days in AA.

I met a gentleman who knew Bill W and Marty Mann and others who were in AA during its early years. It once again amazed me at the sense of urgency they had to get well with a no nonsense approach along with their dedication to help others.

The 12 step call was a regular occurrence and sitting with drunks through the night to help them through their detox period without looking for any sort of applause was so refreshing to hear. There weren’t as many meetings to attend as we have nowadays and their quest to “get God’ was immediate. One might say they hit the ground running. 90 meeting in 90 days was never discussed as meetings weren’t as plentiful as they are nowadays. The emphasis was getting well physically and spiritually and go work with others.

I wondered how he felt about AA today. He informed me he loved our young people but someone better teach them. The old-timers are heading to the “meeting in the sky” he said sadly, and we, who are here now, are the future of AA. I wondered how we are treating and nurturing AA?

I personally see great things in the fellowship but room for improvement. We spoke of sponsorship and what that looked like then and now. It seemed that sponsors ‘back in the day” took a great responsibility towards their prospects” and were involved with the families as well. It was an honor to sponsor someone and they took great pride in this role.

It was inspiring to hear how a many sober well over forty years still has passion and love for AA.

I wonder if texting was available back than how many would stand for this sort on nonsense at meetings the way so many look the other way while people are busy with their cell phones during a meeting?


I owe this Sacred place called AA – I owe!



Chop wood, carry water

Peter Marinelli

FHE Health

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