Clancy I. is a legend in AA circles, and with good reason—the self-professed “Skid Row, falling down drunk” got sober in 1958, and went on to serve for many years as the managing director of Los Angeles’ The Midnight Mission. That’s an amazing feat when you consider that on Halloween night, 1958, he was thrown out of The Mission after a drunken scuffle; no one suspected he would later return, work for the organization, and eventually become its leader.

In this AA speaker tape, Clancy regales us with a few stories of his drinking days, some funny, some heartbreaking. With his trademark wit and intelligence, he discusses his pitiful self-indulgence, the overwhelming remorse all alcoholics feel, and his repeated attempts to “get” AA, make peace with a Higher Power and find long-term recovery.

“I’ve finally come to the conclusion, that whatever my difficulties are, that drinking won’t help them.” What a long and painful road it is for some of us to arrive at this same conclusion. Listen to Clancy speak at an AA meeting in Los Angeles in 1959.

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