We rattled down the aging cobblestone street as Dr. Bob’s sweet, gray and white house appeared on our right. This is where it all began back in 1935, one alcoholic talking to another. Bob took his last drink on June 10th of that year and thus Alcoholics Anonymous was born. Bill stayed here with Dr. Bob for six months as they set about working with others and laying the foundations for what would become the twelve steps of A.A.
Who could have imagined at that time, when their numbers were just a few, the millions of people whose lives would be transformed by the simple acts of service that they undertook those many years ago.
All the hard work and learning what works and what doesn’t. Dropping rigid rules and allowing members to come to their own understanding of the steps. Putting egos aside and maintaining the focus on the ‘man who is still sick’.
Truly humbled and filled with gratitude to be sitting on this man’s porch with 31 years of continuous sobriety. A volunteer walked us through the house with much of the original furniture in place and 1930s period pieces for the remainder. The spiritual books rested on the carpet by the fireplace that were the inspiration for much of the basis for the program.
Out on the back porch was the bottle in a glove where Dr. Bob used to hide his liquor before dropping the empty bottle down the laundry chute into the basement. We did a 3rd step prayer along with our host Scott in the little bedroom where Bob used to bring the men he came to sponsor. What a gift these two men bestowed on those of us who have struggled with the bottle.
We made a quick visit to the little gift shop, then headed off to find an Autozone to buy a replacement gas cap for the one I left on the pump yesterday in Ohio. Although the red rag plugging the gas tank was stylish and reminded me of alcoholic cars of days gone by, the new locking cap gives me a bit more peace of mind. With that taken care of, we set our course for a state park in Pennsylvania and got on the road after 3:00 in the afternoon.
PJ called ahead and found that this park didn’t have camping, so we searched for others and headed for one near Brookville. When we pulled up, it was kind of seedy with mostly long term tenants. We were walking the dogs trying to find someone to ask about a spot when a dog rushed Koda trying to attack. I fended it off, but the owner wasn’t too happy to be disturbed. He was a cop and the dog was his K-9 unit. His wife stood on their makeshift porch in her nightshirt giving us stink eye. He said there was camping up on the hill, so we drove up the dirt track to a little Deliverance looking community and we decided to get back on I-80 and continue on.
We tried an empty state park near Parker Dam (the eastern version), but it appeared closed for the season. We carried on and around 7:30 we came upon Woodland Campground and it was clean and peaceful. The owner was walking her dogs and came up and set us up with a spot. We fed the dogs, or I should say, tried to feed the dogs. They weren’t too interested in eating. A couple who recently sold everything to go full time stopped by and talked for a while, giving us tips and apps to use for RVing
We walked the dogs down to the little lake and let them have a sniff around. Came back, set up beds and ate a quick sandwhich before crashing out. Quiet and serene little spot.