My comment is that I think it very important to highlight not only the significance of Dr. Bob’s Home, but also the entire Akron history. My contribution began with The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous http://www.dickb.com/Akron.shtml. It is supplemented with my titles Dr. Bob and His Library, 3rd ed., http://www.dickb.com/drbob.shtml and Anne Smith’s Journal http://www.dickb.com/annesm.shtml. I was the one who persuaded Dr. Bob”s son Smitty to donate his approximately half of Dr. Bob’s library to Dr. Bob’s Home, and it is now there. I also was asked to speak at the dedication of the Gate Lodge on the Seiberling Estate and wrote Henrietta B. Seiberling: Ohio’s Lady with a Cause.
And my point is this: Several of us have honed in on the importance of the Akron story; and a good example of the lacuna is the new movie Bill W. which just plain ignores the facts there.
I would hope as part of your project and presentation you would point out that the Akron story is enciente. Thus, it needs the contribution of Mary Darrah on Ignatia, Mitchell Klein on Clarence Snyder, The Our Legacy book by the three oldtimer Clarence Snyder Sponsees, Children of the Healer, The Good Book and The Big Book and several of my books that are mentioned above. See http://www.dickb.com/titles. You may not know it but many of these book were banned from Dr., Bob’s Home by board actions for about ten years; and but for the efforts of the archivist Ray Grumney (who was discharged after years of service==volunteer) they never would have been seen.
It has always been important to present the whole truth because the whole truth shows how and why the Akron Fellowship founded in June of 1935 established the simple program set forth on page 131 of DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers. As the years have passed, more and more people have added pieces to the picture.
The same situation is true with reference to Dr. Bob’s house and the whole St. Johnsbury Story where we have there established the Dr. Bob Core Library at North Congregational Church of St. Johnsbury (the Smith family church) and written the book: Dr. Bob of Alcoholics Anonymous http://www.dickb.com/drbobofaa.shtml.
You have my best wishes for whatever historical facts your project brings to light. You also have my suggestion that it is a time long overdue for a coordinated historical emphasis on each aspect of the Dr. Bob–Anne Smith–Bill Wilson–Henrietta Seiberling–Clarence Snyder–Sister Ignatia picture. And I hope your efforts will point up history and not just an historical monument.
Such a broadened effort would bless the thousands of drunks who come to Akron each year hoping for a real understanding of the depth and variety of A.A.’s beginning principles, practices, and successes in Akron.
Sincerely, Richard G. Burns, J.D., Writer, Historian, Retired attorney, Bible student, long-recovered and active AA member, author of 44 titles and over 1000 articles on A.A. History