About ASBCO 1978-1998


1411 Marcelina Ave.
Torrance, CA 90501
e-mail: info@southbayaa.org

8:35p.m., September 6, 1978, after months of hard work, endured in unending controversy; All South Bay Central Office of Alcoholics Anonymous was officially born.

Its first address was: P.O. Box 563, Torrance. CA. This P.O. box was located in the Marcelina Postal Station, just 1/2 block from ASBCO's current office. Twenty years from its beginnings ASBCO has come full circle, ASBCO has "Come of Age".

An undertaking such as opening a Central Office is never a solitary adventure, but it almost always requires a strong founder of both vision and action. In the case of our office, that man was Robert "Bozo". Bozo was the type of man who inspired strong reactions from his peers. Never afraid to confront, never shirking from controversy, you either loved him or hated him. It was that strength of conviction, and willingness to forge through seemingly impenetrable barriers; which enabled him and his band of sponsees and friends to win the support of enough of the South Bay's AA groups to begin, and then sustain, our own independent area office.

May 10, 1979 All South Bay Central Office was officially incorporated by the State of California.

By July of 1979, when the ASBCO's first newsletter, the "South Bay Flyer" was published, we had our first office at: 2312 Artesia Blvd., Rm 104. One of the stories which has been passed on from these early days concerns the barber downstairs who persistently tried to get our female volunteers to share a joint. It was, after all, Alcoholics Anonymous. At this time, the office representing 108 meetings in 22 cities, with an approximate membership of over 3000 members.

During the first year of existence, the ASBCO, with the able help of the "El Centro Players" held four fundraising Variety Shows. Pictures of these shows feature Bozo as a featured participant and singer, including his final song in September of 1979.

On September 19, 1979; shortly after ASBCO celebrated its first anniversary, Bozo died.

The office struggled along after his death, but went through some very dark times, threatening its very existence. We were unable to sustain an outside office, and for several years we were operated out of Carol's home. Much work was done to educate the community and AA as to our purpose, and to try and build area consensus. The newsletter was regularly published, recording a core group of meetings who continued to believe and support.

On September 6, 1983, All South Bay Central Office again went "public", holding an Open House at their new location at: 15665 Hawthorne Blvd., Ste. E, Lawndale, CA. This celebration was closely following their first Labor Day Picnic, which had been held at Seaside Lagoon, Redondo Beach.

"Serenity Sam" did a brief stint as Office Manager during 1984.

In 1985 Joyce took the position of Office Manager, with Larry serving as her assistant. Joyce remained the Manager until her retirement in July of 1995.

During Joyce’s tenure, the office as well as the area, grew and matured. Joyce brought to the office an air of professionalism and a spirit of strict adherence to AA Tradition. Her understanding of the 12 Traditions, and staunch insistence on their practice in all our affairs did much to legitimize our office in the eyes of all area alcoholics.

On September 1, 1987, the office moved from Hawthorne Blvd., to: 3940 Compton Blvd., Ste. C, Lawndale. The office remained there for nearly 10 years. It was at this rundown address in Lawndale, that countless numbers of volunteers strengthened their own sobriety by serving on the phone lines and participating in the running and fundraising required to maintain a Central Office.

In July of 1995, Joyce retired, and Jim tackled the position until March of 1996. Joyce came back for a brief cameo, until our current Manager Patti was hired and trained. She began as manager June 1, 1996.

January 1997, All South Bay Central Office moved to its bright new offices at: 1411 Marcelina Ave., Torrance. At the time the location was chosen, the committee had no idea that we were returning to our original neighborhood: They were just trying to find an affordable office space, centrally located, in an acceptable area. Only our Higher Power was in on the joke when we signed the papers.

All South Bay Central Office represents the AA meetings from Westchester to San Pedro from the Ocean to the 710.

We serve as a local sales point for literature, man a 24 hour phone line, and serve as your representative to the community. Some of the ways you or your meeting can help us help you are:

  • Contribute to the office as a meeting, or individually. Many members send birthday contributions – their way of giving thanks for their sobriety.
  • Send a representative to the Intergroup meetings. This representative is your voice in our policies and decisions. Meetings are held the 4th Tuesday of the month at 7:30, at our offices.
  • Volunteer to help man the phones, or serve as a 12 step worker.

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