SATURDAY MORNING AA EARLY HISTORY
BY Al M. January 17, 1992 Retyped January 7, 2012
The Saturday Morning Slippers group was approved by the Dakota Alano Society, Board of Directors within a few months of the first Friday night meeting at the house. The inspiration for the group name was the well known AA Circuit Speaker, Cecil from Toronto, Canada. He was the main speaker at Gopher State 2 and talked about how difficult it was for a slipper to return to his old group, and how his group The Golden Slippers proved to be a good place for slippers to get back into AA.
I had in mind three slippers who seemed to have such a problem. I called each of them and invited them to the fist meeting of the group.
The attendance the first week was one person; me.
The attendance the second week was one person; me.
The attendance the third week was one person; me.
The group doubled in size the next week when Larry D. joined the “group”. The attendance the fifth week was five; Larry D., Jerry O., Brent S., and Ted H.. Ted asked if it would be necessary to get drunk before joining the group. The consensus was that, that would be a bit extreme particularly since Al was not yet a slipper. He was cautioned however, that a holier than thou attitude would not be permitted.
The earliest list I could find would have been drawn approx. February 1980. From the appearance of the list it was typed by Brent who would have been the squad leader.
TITLE: Sat. 11 A.M. SLIPPERS GROUP
The names and dry dates were as follows:
Brent S. 1/19/80
Jerry O. 2/8/80
Al M. 2/7/75
Ted H. 12/5/75
Larry D. 12/11/79
Doug G. 7/21/79
Jim A. 1/15/80
Ken S. 1/10/80
Terry S. 1/15/80Gale H. 2/1/80
The following were added in pen
Susan W. 4/19/80
Judy G. 3/12/80
It was about this time that Mike H., Bob W., Danny S., Mary (Nestor) S. and John W. joined the group. I cannot recall when Pam joined. It seems to me that she was there in early 1980.
Pam was the best squad leader the group ever had, though Mike H. fans would take exception to this.
Other non-slippers soon got the word that sober AA’s were not only acceptable but welcomed.
After a few years the Slippers title was dropped and it became known simply as Saturday Morning AA.
Soon Whitey and Gorham would find their way to this meeting. I am of the opinion that the Saturday Morning Group has paid more dues, pounded more nails, vacuumed more floors and probably gained more sobriety than any other group that met at the house for the past several years.
About 1982 I slipped away from AA from time to time and therefore have an incomplete history of this group. Therefore, Mike H., Danny S. & Mary S. should continue this chronicle. The only other list I could find was for October 1983, which is marked with a green #4.
Notes from Ellen J.:
Mike H. died last year, Mary S. died several years ago and Danny S. seldom attends this meeting anymore. I have not seen him in years although I have heard he is around.
The Saturday Morning Slippers group was my first home group when I joined AA in 1982. I can give you some of the history of the group from 1982 until 1993 when my work schedule changed and I no longer attended the meeting. I never got back to the meeting when my schedule changed back because the meeting was so large and I no longer knew everyone.
When I started attending the group it was small, only 10 or 12 people. I do remember Mike H. being there; I don’t remember Danny S. and Mary S. coming until later. Mary was my sponsor for about 5 years and was the one who encouraged me to get on the board in 1984.
The group was always close and used to go out to J’s Pizza after the meeting. They used to help each other out, such as helping people move, or get out of a bad situation. Many Saturdays, someone would call and a group of the members would go out to do a 12th step call.One Saturday, we had a woman that came to the meeting with everything she owned in a bag. We got her to come out to J’s Pizza with us and talked to her until we could get her to the candlelight meeting at Uptown that night. She eventually stayed sober at least 5 years, sponsored many people herself and went back to school to become a legal secretary.
The group continued to grow and several members ended up marrying each other, Danny S. and Mary S.; Dean and Alice; etc. There were also married couples that would come to the meeting. By this time the meeting had grown quite large; 50 or 60 people. Every room in the house was taken up when we split into groups and in the summer, outside as well.
I believe it was in the 80’s or early 90’s that a group of members started the Saturday “As Bill Sees It” meeting at 9 am. Over time the size of the 9 am group has increased while the Saturday 11 am meeting has decreased. If you go to either meeting though you will find members from the meeting I attended back in the 1980s.
If anyone would like to continue the story of this group since the 1990’s or has more to add to the story Al and I have told contact Mary C. or put something in the Newsletter mail box at the house.