Dick B. Interviews Rusty W. From Arizona on Christian Recovery Radio and Covers Rusty’s Years of Experience as His “Smile God Loves You Media” has Recovered, Become a Christian, and Recorded so Many Conferences—Including the First Nationwide Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference
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You may listen to Dick B. interview Christian Recovery taper Rusty W. on the March 11, 2013, episode of the “Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B.” show here:
Episodes of the “Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B.” show are archived at:
Dick B. Interviews Christian Recovery Taper Rusty W.
Today's guest is Rusty W. from Arizona. We have known Rusty for quite a few years--mostly as the expert conference recorder and taper who taped several of our important conferences. Rusty is a recovered alcoholic, a devoted Christian, and a man experienced with the many varieties of recovery stories he has encountered. I remember that he recorded The First Nationwide A.A. History Conference in Phoenix where Dr. Bob's son (Robert R. Smith—“Smitty), Ray G. (former archivist at Dr. Bob's Home in Akron), and I set the tone for many A.A. history conferences that have followed. Rusty's media business is called "Smile God Loves You Media." He will share with us a little about himself, his family, his encounters with alcohol, and the types of meetings he has recorded. He will tell us how he got into the service of recording conferences and producing tapes, CD’s, and DVD’s. And he will let us know what he has heard about A.A. history, the A.A. and Al-Anon Fellowships, and the Christian Recovery Movement. Take it away, Rusty!
Highlights of Rusty’s Points
Rusty got sober in Alcoholics Anonymous in Arizona on March 3, 1985.
He was born and raised in Colorado, served in the Navy, and began drinking about age 15. He married a woman in Virginia, and the two moved about 14 times. She was an alcoholic. He and she had two children and then were divorced. He married his present wife Carolyn, and these two have had 21 years together as a married couple.
His experiences in entering A.A. are important: (1) He immediately got in with solid A.A. old-timers. (2) His first sponsor took him out after they met, took him through the first three steps, and got down on his knees with Rusty and prayed. (3) When Rusty came into the rooms, there was little talk about “recovered;” But Rusty picked up on the Big Book foreword which said in effect: “We alcoholics have recovered and the main purpose of this Big Book is to tell you precisely how we have recovered.” (4) Rusty’s second sponsor was George C.—who got sober in Chicago. George was an A.A. delegate there and, after moving to Arizona, became an A.A. Trustee for the Pacific Region. It was George, his sponsor, who: (a) moved Rusty forward in his walk with the Lord. (b) would ask Rusty if he had prayed about any problem that arose, and (c) gave Rusty the green light on getting into the activity of taping conferences. George also was the manager of the Intergroup Office for quite some time in Phoenix.
After Rusty had been taping for some time, he heard the Lord speak to him and say: “You’ll never know all the people you have touched.” In a sense, he said he felt like Moses who had wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. Then he went to the Seattle International Convention in 1990 about the same time that I did. He heard Dr. Bob’s son “Smitty,” Dr. Bob’s daughter Sue, and AA Archivist Frank Mauser speak about A.A.’s beginnings. He became greatly interested in A.A.’s roots and dived into the books—DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers and Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age. And he was astounded.
He became interested in the Dick B. A.A. History books. Anne Smith’s Journal and The Good Book and the Big Book are his favorites though he has sold and distributed many of Dick’s books on A.A. History and the Christian Recovery Movement. He emphasized that Dick’s books document what is written. There are copious notes. And Rusty said: “You don’t take Dick’s word. You check out his sources in the notes; and there is research to prove the points. You don’t simply take his word.”
Rusty has taped and recorded many A.A. history conferences—big and small. Also women’s conferences, Christian conferences, Catholic conferences, prayer conferences, and educational conferences in Las Vegas. Plus many small Christian meetings in his area, as well as Spanish and Al-Anon, and CA meetings.
Often he has found that people are not aware of historical facts or are misinformed. After the conferences, he does not tell them they were wrong; he tells them their mistakes.
An example of that situation was very recently encountered in a Utah conference. The speaker asked Rusty who his “higher power” was. Rusty replied, “Jesus.” And calling on his resourced knowledge, he referred the questioner to the story in the Third Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous. A.A. had removed this story from the 4th edition; but it was finally restored to view in the book, Experience, Strength, and Hope.
This important story is beginning to make the rounds once more. It is about Abby G. and is titled, “He Thought He Could Drink Like a Gentleman.” It begins on page 210 of the Third Edition of the Big Book. On pages 216-17, the story details the meeting where Bill Wilson, Clarence Snyder, and Abby were meeting in Abby’s home. Abby asked Bill what it was that had produced so many miracles in A.A. There was a famous copy of the painting of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. Bill simply answered Abby by pointing to the painting of Jesus and said: “There it is!”
Rusty and Dick also discussed Bill Wilson’s remarks in his autobiography “My First 40 Years” where Bill wrote—after he had made his decision for Jesus Christ at Calvary Mission and after he had cried out to God for help in Towns Hospital and had his famous blazing indescribably white light religious experience—his thoughts and conviction: “Bill, you are a free man. This is the God of the Scriptures.”
For questions and further comments, contact Dick B. at 808 874 4876 or firstname.lastname@example.org