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(#690) John V (Oklahoma, OK)
March 1967 in Lexington, KY  EVENT: 16th Kentucky State Convention  TYPE: AA, Male, Story

Sober a little over 21 years since 1946, now the Right Reverend John V. speaks in a delightful Dutch accent. He goes all over the world talking about his experience. One of four children, he was born in a very small village in Holland where his family had lived since 1503. He grew up poor using second hand books and wearing second hand clothes. He decided to become a material success. His mother was fundamentalist Protestant with lots of "do nots" going to church three times on Sunday. He went to the University and became agnostic.

He began to make money from his Chemistry education becoming president of the University at an early age. He was engaged for six years then met a woman who looked like a cathedral. He did not drink - it was not necessary. Holland became too small so he came to America and became after five years the director of research for the largest liquor company in the world.

He began to drink so he could do things he should not have been capable to do and to overcome an inferiority complex. He bought the 1st edition of the Big Book but sold it for two martinis. He had all the material things on the outside - private train, chauffeur - but was a different person on the inside. He had to drink to live. First he lost his friends. He was continuously drunk for eight years and lost it all.

How he went from being the loneliest man in the world to where he is at the time of this talk is a fascinating adventure.

(1 hr 2 min) (14.2 MB) (id#690)