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A Special Notice of Historical Events Important to AAs
In St. Johnsbury, Vermont, August 9 and 12, 2008
Two events of importance to the A.A., Al-Anon, Recovery, substance abuse prevention, and treatment communities will take place in St. Johnsbury, Vermont in August of 2008. The first will occur during the St. Johnsbury, Vermont, Summerfest on Saturday, August 9. Vermont Governor Jim Douglas will launch the new Walking Tour of Historic St. Johnsbury, Vermont.
The second event will be held at the St. Johnsbury Welcome Center Grand Opening. And Senator Patrick Leahy will be at the ribbon-cutting ceremony which begins at 10:00 A.M.
Why important to recovery people? Because there is a renewed interest, effort, and research work going on in St. Johnsbury involving the training of A.A. Cofounder Robert Holbrook Smith, M.D., known in A.A. as Dr. Bob. While thousands have streamed to Akron, Ohio, in June each year, to visit Dr. Bob’s Home and celebrate A.A. Founders Day, scarcely a handful have known about, seen, or visited the equally important youthful surroundings of Bob in Vermont.
On August 9th, the Town of St. Johnsbury will, during its 4th Annual Summerfest, foster a walking tour of the St. Johnsbury Historic Districts, including the downtown area and Main Street, in order to promote their unique heritage. Stops along the way of particular significance to AAs will be Dr. Bob’s Birthplace and Boyhood Home on Summer Street, and the new Dr. Bob Core Library just established on Main Street at North Congregational Church, St. Johnsbury. But that’s not all for the recovery-minded. They will see, be able to visit, and study at North Congregational Church, the Athenaeum (town library), and St. Johnsbury Academy where Dr. Bob and his entire family were involved in the court, the schools, YMCA, Christian Endeavor Society, libraries, missions, Sunday school, and church. Almost none of these important training grounds have been the subject of recovery community visits.
The frosting on the cake will come with the trains, shops, Tea Time, Rock Around the Block, old-fashioned boxed supper social, music at the Academy, Shakespeare on Stowe Green, and the remarkable architectural splendor of St. Johnsbury buildings. And to demonstrate the ongoing importance of the St. Johnsbury scene, the August 12th St. Johnsbury Welcome Center will introduce visitors to Town resources, with a town BBQ, hamburgers, hot dogs, music, and entertainment.
For those of us in recovery fellowships, treatment work, counseling, correctional, non-profit information and prevention activity, this will be an unusual chance to see the lovely Green Mountain setting where Dr. Bob grew up, received his excellent spiritual training, and returned through his life’s end to the town of his youth, religious training, and educational successes.
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