Joe McG

Archives: Personal History

Name: .Joseph McG
Date of Interview: 1/22/07
Sobriety Date(s): 10/16/68
Current Home Group & Location: Sunday Spiritual Brooklawn, NJ
Locations lived in during sobriety: Folcroft, PA (11 yrs), Woodbury, NJ (27 yrs)

How and when did you get started in A.A.? Where did you sober up and go to your first meeting?
10/16/68 – I called Philadelphia Intergroup up. I got sobered up in Folcroft, PA and went to my first meeting.
How did you first learn about A.A.?
Driver’s Improvement school media PA
Did you have a sponsor when you first came in? What type of sponsorship did you have?
No. God as I understood him.
When was A.A. started in your town or area? How often were meetings held? Who were some of the people playing important roles in the formation of new groups? Can you explain the differences that led to new groups being formed in your area?
Around 1965. (Kay D, Frank M, & Loraine McC) Most of the meetings were packed with people so new meetings started to accommodate the many people.
What else do you know about the growth of A.A. during that period of time?
The American Medical Association stated that alcoholism was an incurable disease and printed a card with 20 questions on it about alcoholism. Yes & No questions were on this card and if you answer yes to three questions potentially you were an alcoholic.
What contributions did you, yourself, make to the growth of the Fellowship? (Don’t be unnecessarily modest!)
I got involved. I served many jobs in AA.
(1) PR Chairman; (2) Chairman of Intergroup in NJ; (3) Trustee of AA in SJ.
I started three meetings in South Jersey: Deptford Wednesday Meeting (27 yrs ago); co-started the Sunday Spiritual in 1986; & started the Woodbury YMCA meeting seven years ago.
What individuals were especially prominent in your sobriety and why?
My sponsors helped me. I had a woman (Kay D) as my first sponsor. She died with over 40 years of sobriety. I have a staff of sponsors now: Jerry; Eddie; Jim; Jo D & I have an AA msgr. as my Spiritual Advisor. (I also met, in person, Bill W in his NY office and spent around a ½ hour with him. He helped me out also.)
Did you seek the cooperation of other local community or professional agencies?
Today, radio and television public service announcements for A.A., as well as Internet Web sites, are becoming commonplace. When you first got sober, how did A.A.s interact with the media? Have you had any profound experiences sharing your relationship with alcohol with the public? What cautions might you have for young A.A.s today regarding media exposure?
I was in a radio show and also on a TV show. On the TV show only the back of me was exposed.
In what ways has A.A. changed over the years?
I feel it’s basically the same, to help people to get away from drinking.