On this day in 1966 Ebby Thacher died in Ballston Spa New York. Ebby was Bill Wilson’s sponsor and the man who first carried the recovery message to a very ill Bill W. in Brooklyn 30 years earlier. Ebby’s role is documented in our Big Book in Bill’s story and of course in the many history books about AA.
The message that Ebby brought to Bill that cold, drunk night was not AA, of course—there was no AA until later that year. But Ebby brought the message and practices of The Oxford Group—an evangelical Christian movement that also saved drunks. Our 12 steps evolved from the six steps of the Oxford Group.
Ebby struggled to stay sober while Bill and then Bob went on to “found” Alcoholics Anonymous. But on this day we must remember there would be no AA and no Bill or Dr Bob without Ebby.
We never know the role we are playing in someone’s life or what our momentary good might someday be part of.
Thank you Ebby for carrying what you could and doing what you did.