This is one of the earliest letters in the Dr. Bob and Anne Smith Archives pertaining to the writing of the Big Book.
To: Dr. R. H. Smith
3-11-39, Saturday p.m.
I am terribly sorry that it is has been necessary to delay the enclosed manuscript concerning some of the facts in Z—–‘s life, (Note: Harry Z’s story in the first edition of the Big Book is titled, “A Close Shave”) but it just couldn’t be helped. He and I were not able to get together the day I thought we would and then too I had a certain amount of detail work that just had to be done. I sat down to my typewriter just after dinner and hurriedly jotted down some of the facts that Z—– had given to me. I am not certain as to just what all you wanted in this sketch so I’m very much in the dark as to how and what to write. I am sorry I was not in town the day you were here. However, rather than to hold up the works until I can find out what you want, I am sending you this rambling collection of hurried thoughts, hoping that you will see fit to cut and slash it, also doctor it in any way you care to. You saw Z—– in this nervous state and it would be a fine thing if you could or would add a paragraph. Feel free to doctor the rest of it so as to make it serve the purpose for which you want it. You know the necessary phraseology that I do not.
We are counting on having at least twelve men present on Wednesday night (Note: Oxford Group Meeting at T Henry and Clarace Williams House). We will see you then.
P.S. You will do me a favor Wed nite if you drop the title and refer to me as just plain “Don” Nickersen. If you would call me Reverend, my men will not know who you are referring to. Thanks! I understood this chapter on Z—– was to be anonymous(sp). That explains the fictitious names.