The St. Louis Gambler
& the Railroad Man

Lives and Teachings of the A.A. Old Timers

Glenn C.

Glenn Chesnut, The St. Louis Gambler & the Railroad Man
Glenn C., The St. Louis Gambler & the Railroad Man, Vol. 2 of Lives and Teachings of the A.A. Old Timers, May 2005, ISBN 0-595-34878-5, xvi + 308 pp., $22.95.

The world of the good old-timers of the early Alcoholics Anonymous movement comes alive in this book. It tells the interlocking stories of seven people from diverse backgrounds -- men, women, black, white, wealthy, poor -- who lived and taught the A.A. program with such clarity and spiritual depth, that people came from miles away to sit at their feet and be taught by them.

William E. Correll (Life Treatment Center) "This book describes the way alcoholics actually think better than anything I have ever read."

This account was originally written for the local intergroups, to tell how A.A. began during the 1940's and 50's in the cities and towns along the St. Joseph river, as it wound its way through Indiana and Michigan to empty into the Great Lakes.

But then all across the country, people struggling with alcoholism and addiction began asking for copies, and psychotheraptists and counselors too. It spoke to the heart, they said. It made the twelve step program come alive and showed how it really worked. And above all, they reported, they had found that the words of these men and women were filled with a kind of spiritual wisdom and deep compassion which had the power to heal the soul.

So this new edition of The Factory Owner & the Convict has now been prepared, with the last half now printed as a separate volume entitled The St. Louis Gambler & the Railroad Man.


Click here to order online direct from iUniverse or call their toll free phone number: 877-823-9235. Their book order center can look this book up most easily under its ISBN number: 0-595-34878-5.

Copies may also be ordered from Barnes & Noble's online bookstore by clicking here, from Amazon's online bookstore by clicking here, or from the Books-a-Million online bookstore by clicking here. This book may be found most easily in their online book catalogs by searching for it under the title St. Louis Gambler & the Railroad Man.

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What the readers say about
these two volumes

From one sentence to the next my head was nodding and
silently screaming YES, YESSS, YESSSSS, that's exactly
what I've observed about alcoholics and alcoholism.

What got my attention about the Factory Owner book is that it's everything I've ever been taught or learned during the past twenty years I have been in the program, and from one sentence to the next my head was nodding and silently screaming Yes, Yesss, Yesssss, that's exactly what I've observed about alcoholics and alcoholism.

The book records, promotes and shines the light of truth on early AA in his area, and for that matter, the rest of our country too. What happened in his area and other areas of our country during that time period equals what happened at the beginning of the Christian era. I thank God he was there to observe, record and report it to the rest of America's Great Moral Flatlands. Jesus taught by telling stories instead of writing books and he was perhaps one of the greatest teachers of all time. This book has the power to transform humans and that power can only come from God.

              John S. of the "John Barleycorn" recovery column in the Waynedale News

I could not put it down and was up until 3 a.m. this morning reading.

I could not put it down and was up until 3 a.m. this morning reading. I love the way he tells us the dynamic from the person's childhood and thinking processes in each adventure. It really gives the reader a lot to think about. I'm going back to the book now. It's so well written, it's more like watching a movie though than reading a book.

Charles, the Mid-Southern California Archivist, is coming over for a barbeque and gets his copy then. It'll be a nice surprise as the "convict" was born in San Bernardino, a few miles from where Charles currently lives!

              Doug B. of the website (Riverside, California)

Just finished ... and want to sit down and read it again!

Just finished The Factory Owner And The Convict and want to sit down and read it again. I like Nick Kowalski's phrase, "the day has been satisfied." Am passing it on to Kieran and then to Dolores to cast her eye over it. I think it's a book Hope House needs in their library. We started the library five years ago for those attending aftercare. I was in the right place at the right time and got my hands on a load of books which I donated to them and we decided the best thing to do was open a library and through it be able to share what was freely given to us.

              Fiona D. (County Mayo, Ireland)

Volume 2


Part I.  Brownie

Chapter 1.  The Professional Gambler and the St. Louis Blues
Chapter 2.  Down and Out in South Bend
Chapter 3.  Gratitude and the Man Who Had No Arms or Legs

Part II.  Up the River to Elkhart and Goshen

Chapter 4.  The Lawyer with the Bottle in His Umbrella
Chapter 5.  Goshen and Other Indiana and Michigan Towns

Part III.  Ellen L., a Woman's Story

Chapter 6.  The Woman Who Couldn't Stop Crying
Chapter 7.  The Elkhart A.A. Program
Chapter 8.  Carrying the Message

Part IV.  Goshen Bill

Chapter 9.  Sleeping in a Dump Truck
Chapter 10.  Fish Stories and Chickens Flying South
Chapter 11.  Working the Twelve Steps

Part V.  Ed P. the Railroad Man

Chapter 12.  The Railroad Conductor Who Couldn't Stop Drinking
Chapter 13.  God Knew Me Although I Didn't Know Him
Chapter 14.  Afterword

Appendix A.  The Books the Good Old-Timers Read
Appendix B.  Nick Kowalski's List of Early A.A. Figures
Appendix C.  List of Early A.A. Members