Aahl 2004 moderators Nancy Olson & Glenn Chesnut page

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AAHL 2004 — moderators Nancy Olson & Glenn Chesnut — page

1575|1575|2004-01-01 06:14:31|NMOlson@aol.com|Significant January Dates in A.A. History|Happy New Year to all 795 AA History Lovers.  By popular demand, I am resuming sending the monthly significant dates in A.A. history. Nancy January 1:   1946:  The A.A. Grapevine increased the cost of a year's subscription to $2.50.  1948:  "Columbus Dispatch" reported first anniversary of Central Ohio A.A. Group. 1948:  First A.A. meeting was held in Japan, English speaking. 1988:  West Virginia A.A. began first statewide toll-free telephone hotline. January 2: 1889:  Bridget Della Mary Gavin (Sister Ignatia) was born in Ireland. 2003:  Mid-Southern California Archives moved to new location in Riverside. January 3: 1939:  First sale of Works Publishing Co. stock was recorded. 1941:  Jack Alexander told Bill Wilson the Oxford Group would be in his Saturday Evening Post article on A.A. January 4: 1939:  Dr. Bob stated in a letter to Ruth Hock that A.A. had to get away from the Oxford Group atmosphere. 1940:  First A.A. group was founded in Detroit, Michigan. 1941:  Bill and Lois Wilson drove to Bedford Hills, NY, to see Stepping Stones and broke in through an unlocked window. January 5: 1941:  Bill and Lois visited Bedford Hills again. 1941:  Bill Wilson told Jack Alexander that Jack was "the toast of A.A. -- in Coca Cola, of course." January 6:  2000:  Stephen Poe, compiler of the Concordance to Alcoholics Anonymous, died. January 8: 1938:  New York A.A. split from the Oxford Group. January 12: 1943:  Press reported the first A.A. group in Pontiac, Michigan. January 13: 1988:  Jack Norris, M.D., Chairman/Trustees of A.A. for 27 yrs. died. 2003:  Dr. Earle Marsh, author of "Physician Heal Thyself," sober 49 years, died January 15:  1941:  A.A. Bulletin No. 2 reported St. Louis group had ten members. 1941:  Bill Wilson asked Ruth Hock to get him "spook book," "The    Unobstructed Universe." 1945:  First A.A. meeting held in Springfield, Missouri. 1948:  Polk Health Center Alcoholic Clinic for Negroes started operations with 14 willing subjects.  The Washington Black Group of A.A. cooperated with the clinic. January 17: 1919:  18th amendment, "Prohibition," became law. January 19: 1940:  First A.A. group met in Detroit, Mich. 1943:  Canadian newspaper reported eight men met at "Little Denmark," a Toronto restaurant, to discuss starting Canada's first A.A. group. 1999:  Frank M., A.A. Archivist since 1983, died. January 20: 1954:  Hank Parkhurst, author of "The Unbeliever" in the first edition of the Big Book, died in Pennington, NJ. January 21: 1951:  A.A. Grapevine published memorial issue on Dr. Bob. January 23: 1961:  Bill W. sent an appreciation letter, which he considered long-overdue,  to Dr. Carl Jung for his contribution to A.A. January 24: 1918:  Bill Wilson and Lois Burnham were married, days before he was sent to Europe in WW I. 1971:  Bill Wilson died in Miami, Florida, only weeks after sending a postcard to Senator Harold Hughes of Iowa, saying he wanted to live long enough to see Hughes become President. January 25: 1915:  Dr. Bob Smith married Anne Ripley. January 26: 1971:  New York Times published Bill's obituary on page 1. January 27: 1971:  The Washington Post published an obituary of Bill Wilson written by Donald Graham, son of the owner of the Washington Post.  January 30: 1961:  Dr. Carl Jung answers Bill's letter with "Spiritus Contra Spiritum." Other significant things that happened in January (no specific date available): 1938:  Jim Burwell, author of "The Vicious Cycle," a former atheist, gave A.A. "God as we understand Him." 1940:  First AA meeting not in a home meets at Kings School, Akron, Ohio. 1942:  "Drunks are Square Pegs" was published. 1951:  The A.A. Grapevine published a memorial issue on Dr. Bob. 1984:  "Pass It On," the story of Bill W. and how the A.A. message reached the world, was published. |

1576|1576|2004-01-01 11:54:33|jeffrey4200|Wynn L. Freedom From Bondage|She married and divorced four times before finding A.A. The first time she married for financial security; her second husband was a prominent bandleader and she sang with his band; I wanted to know if anyone know the name of the band she sang with or the bandleaders name. If you have any information please let me know. Thank you Jeffrey Nilsen|

1577|1572|2004-01-02 05:52:59|gratitude|Re: Question On When Districts Started| Hello AAHLs, Just so happens there's an article in BOX 459 that speaks about the district and how it relates to the DCM (the DCMC in larger districts).  Please see quote below: "The term “district” was mentioned during early General Service Conferences, and both “district” and 'district committee member' were used informally in the 1950s. The term 'district' was included in the 1955 draft of The Third Legacy Manual of World Service (now titled The A.A. Service Manual) and 20 years later was formalized in a 1975 supplement to The Service Manual. "In today’s Service Manual a district is clearly defined as  'a geographical unit containing the right number of groups — right in terms of the D.C.M.’s ability to keep in frequent touch with them, to learn their problems, and to find ways to contribute to their growth. In most areas a district includes six to 20 groups. In metropolitan districts the number is generally 15 to 20, while in rural or suburban districts it can be as small as five.'   (To encourage maximum group participation, some areas have incorporated linguistic districts. These usually have a bilingual D.C.M. or liaison, and their boundaries may be independent of the conventional geographic district boundaries.)" Phil L. Outgoing DCMC Distric 4 - Long Beach Singleness of Purpose Workshop - March 21 gratitude@linkline.com Arthur wrote: Hi History Lovers   Can anyone help me pin down the year that Districts started and the General Service Structure position of District Committee Member (DCM) was established?   I would dearly like to find out in what year the Third Legacy Manual defined Districts and DCMs. My guess is the early 1960’s but that is only a guess.   The earliest reference to “district” I can find in Conference advisory actions is a 1966 action for a glossary to be added to the Service Manual. There is a 1956 advisory action that uses the term “district” but it seems more in the context of what would make up an Area rather than a District.   Any help or citations from written references would be most appreciated.   Cheers Arthur |

1578|1578|2004-01-02 06:46:54|NMOlson@aol.com|Grapevine Clip Sheet, Feb. '48|Grapevine, Feb. '48 [Note:  There was no clip sheet column for Dec. '47 or Jan. '48.] The Clip Sheet Excerpts from the Public Press Boston, Mass., "Post": "Guernsey Island in the English Channel has an effective way of handling topers. It still retains its ancient custom of blacklisting alcoholics, in the hope of reforming them. A member of the tippler's family applies to the court, which issues an official order that no one is to sell him liquor thereafter, and to put teeth into the ruling the court orders a police photo of the offender to be posted in every bar. In England in the days of Oliver Cromwell drunkards were punished by being forced to walk around in a barrel with their heads protruding from the top and their arms dangling on the sides through holes. It has been suggested that this custom may be the origin of the term 'pickled.' "The ancient Romans used an 'aversion therapy' that is not unlike certain modern methods in use. Chronic alcoholics had to drink wine in which live eels were swimming, on the theory that this would create excessive disgust. "The word teetotaler, by the way, stems from the French 'the-a-toute a 1'heure,' which means literally 'tea in a little while.' "Alexander the Great would have lived longer if he had squeezed less grapes. He was a prodigious drinker, one of the mightiest, in fact, of his era. But he carried the crock to the spigot once too often. After two nights of guzzling he drained the so-called Hercules cup, which was the equivalent of six bottles of wine. He never awoke." |

1579|1579|2004-01-03 08:05:27|NMOlson@aol.com|Grapevine Clip Shee, March '48|Grapevine, March '48 Clip Sheet - - Items of Interest from the Public Press "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette": "Vicious Den of Pinochle Players Unmasked: VICE RAIDERS CRASH A.A. PARTY -- Police Snoopers Smash into Roomful of Ex-Drinkers Quietly Whooping It Up for Abstinence -- It was the members of a police squad who wanted to be anonymous and not the Alcoholics, after an incident Saturday night which left the four raiders red-faced and sputtering. As you might or might not know, Alcoholics Anonymous is a group of persons whose purpose is to rehabilitate tipplers. Saturday night is usually the thirstiest night of the week for a drinker and, in an effort to get him 'over the knuckle,' as they say, the A.A.s sponsor a little social every Saturday eve for members and wives. This social consists of card games such as bridge, pinochle, '500' and other amusements such as bingo. Everyone pitches in for the sandwiches and coffee, and a good, dry time is had by all. Such was the situation Saturday night on the second floor at 3701 Fifth Avenue where the A.A.s were laughing it up to the tune of 'nine under the B' and 'four no trump' when there came a knocking at the door. It was the kind of bold, hard knock that settled silence over the 100 or so persons gathered in the recreation room. An anonymous member opened the door, and a broad-shouldered man shouldered his way into the room, flashed a badge, and blustered: 'What's going on in here? We've had a complaint about this place.' Three other policemany-looking men followed him and surveyed the soiree with steely eyes. It was explained that this was a harmless Alcoholics Anonymous social and they were welcome to join in the card games if they didn't mind not playing for stakes. The four men clutched their hats, muttered something about 'we must have made a mistake,' slowly backed out of the door and tiptoed away. Some of the A.A. members claimed at least two of the raiders were members of Lieutenant Lawrence Maloney's vice squad. This, however, the lieutenant denied, declaring that all members of his squad were with him on other business Saturday night." Sydney (Australia) "Sun," January 1: "Sydney Women Alcoholics in New Group.  Inaugural meeting of a women's group of Alcoholics Anonymous, first of its kind in Australia, will be held in Sydney on January 14. The meeting is open to any woman with an alcoholic problem and no other visitors will be permitted. ... This society of mutual aid is expanding rapidly in Australia. Alcoholics Anonymous is nonsectarian and non-political. A.A. is so busy applying its principles to alcoholic sufferers that it has no place for arguments about creeds or politics." Sydney "Sun." January 16: "Women Alcoholics Urge Special Clinic.  'Many women have experienced mental hospital treatment when recognition of their malady as a public health problem would have been more humane,' said a spokesman of Alcoholics Anonymous Inter-Group today. 'We know alcoholism as a disease. In most cases, proper place for treatment is in a public hospital or alcoholic clinic. ... Because no hospital or clinic exists, many alcoholics are forced into institutions and gaols where no treatment for their disease is given.'" Santa Rosa (Calif.) "Press Democrat": "There was a contribution to Santa Rosa's Memorial Hospital Fund last week that is, perhaps, one of the most unusual to date. It was a $1,600 donation. There have been others larger, others smaller, but none with a more dramatic story behind it. The contribution is money that might have been wasted, and came from men whose lives, too, might have been wasted. It came from the Santa Rosa Chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous. It is the grateful contribution of former alcoholics now devoting their efforts to aid other victims of alcoholism, including some now successful businessmen for whom A.A. provided a turning point in life. ... The substantial hospital contribution is too significant to pass unnoticed, and calls for some recognition of the role A.A. has been playing in rebuilding lives right here in our community, lives that faced ruin as a result of the disease of alcoholism. The local group was established October 9, 1945, with six members. ... There is now a membership of 75, but over 100 have been benefited during the past two years. ... The need for hospitalization and medical attention is critical in a great many cases. Since alcoholism is recognized as a disease, the medical profession, the psychiatrists, courts and the hospitals are cooperating with A.A. in every way possible. But the A.A. here recognizes the need for an adequate hospital in Santa Rosa, and is doing its share to get one -- doing it with money that cured alcoholics might have wasted had it not been for Alcoholics Anonymous." Elmira (N. Y.) "Advertiser": "It is a great privilege to attend a meeting of this wonderful group which has found the way to bring peace and sobriety to so many hundreds of sick and troubled folks. Its method is simple and direct. It works for the proud and the humble, the rich and the poor -- works because an alcoholic of any estate is the suffering blood brother of every other man or woman who has passed beyond the border into the land where drinking is a thief that steals away family and friends and respect and money and health and mind and finally life itself -- does all that and more unless by some miracle he can find the way not to take the drink that numbs and dooms him." New York "Herald Tribune": "TOWN'S 80 TOPERS EXILED FROM BARS.  Five Women in Group Facing 90-Day Discipline -- Bedford, Pa. (UP)  Drinks were shut off today for five women and 75 men of "known intemperate habits" in this mountain community of 3,500. The ban was put into effect through resurrection of a nearly forgotten state law forbidding sale of liquor to persons of such habits. Proprietors of each of the 11 bars in the town were ordered to post in a prominent place lists containing the names of the 80 drinkers in the police department's 'doghouse.' The lists will be brought up to date every 90 days. If any of the wayward drinkers shows improved habits their names will be removed. Assistant Police Chief H. A. Clark said: 'We just decided we'd put up with these people long enough. If we had to help them home every night, it was a nuisance. If we brought them in and fined them, we were taking bread out of their wives' and children's mouths. This will work better.' " Brewton (Ala.) Standard": "If there were any who might have gone to the meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous which was held here recently in order to scoff, we are quite sure that they remained to offer prayerful thanks for an organization that is doing such a wonderful piece of work. Most of us are inclined to look on a man or women who is a victim of the alcohol habit as just another sot. But the A.A.s will soon convince you otherwise. While the disease is incurable, it can be arrested through the own efforts of the victim and with the help of his friends, so the A.A.s say. And they not only say it, they demonstrate it by their own experience. One remarkable thing about Alcoholics Anonymous is that it is not a crusading organization. It solicits no members and does not impose itself on any alcoholic who does not first request help. And therein, in our judgment, lies its greatest strength. It does not presume to interfere with the personal rights, and liberties of any person to consume as much alcohol as he chooses. But it does offer to that person who seeks aid in his problem what seems to be the greatest 'cure' for drinking that has ever been devised. The word 'cure' as we have used it here is ours -- not that of the A.A.s. They make no claim that their philosophy can cure alcoholism. ... The inspiring thing about the organization is the spiritual rebirth that appears to take place in those who adopt the philosophy which it teaches." |

1580|1580|2004-01-04 04:06:44|NMOlson@aol.com|Grapevine Clip Sheet, April '48|Grapevine, April '48 THE CLIPSHEET -Excerpts from the Public Press Alliance, Neb., "Times & Herald": "Worn and haggard police officers who wonder what will happen next on Saturday nights will be very much interested in a classification of drunks as outlined by a New Jersey police chief some time ago. "Police have met most of the following engaging characters and if not, they will be glad to be on the lookout for the types they haven't yet had the displeasure to meet. "Here are the different classifications of persons who have swilled too much C2-H5-OH in one form or another:      "Alias Joe Louis "1. The fighting drunk -- gets nasty after a few drinks and wants to fight anyone he sees, male or female. "2. The religious drunk -- heads for the nearest church and drops off to sleep. (This species is comparatively rare in Alliance.)      "3. The leaning drunk -- is reluctant to move and wants to lean on the nearest upright solid substance, whether it is the policeman, a fellow pedestrian, lamp post or a plain wall. "4. The crying drunk -- this obnoxious person carries a good part of the community's alcohol in his system and a large part of the woes of the world on his heaving shoulders. "Unsweet Adeline" "5. The singing drunk -- here's the person who after a few bottles or drinks is convinced he can make Tibbett look and sound like a chump. Flats where he should sharp. "6. The suspicious drunk -- he's convinced that the police or his companions or both, are trying to railroad him into some asylum or jail, where he rightly should be, by the way. "7. The wife-beating drunk -- this character is usually a small man mentally and physically and would not engage in a fight with a 7-year-old boy without the false courage of a bottle. When he drinks he wants to lambaste somebody, usually his ever-suffering wife. "8. The running drunk -- this guy is always in a hurry. He goes crabwise down the street, usually in search of another shot. "The Big Gesture "9. The generous drunk -- this slaphappy person is tighter than Jack Benny with a nickel until he drinks too much and then he makes a fool of himself by going around waving fistfulls of bills at everybody. It's usually the money to pay off an old telephone bill. "10. The loving drunk -- he always wants to kiss every woman in sight except his own wife. "11. The talking drunk -- tells interminable stories, invariably about himself. None of the yarns has any point or interest. "12. The important drunk -- this is the person who wants to dominate everybody around him and who is filled with yarns about all the big shots he knows. "This unsavory crew are all well known to most policemen. The average citizen meets them once in a while. They make up 12 good arguments for Alcoholics Anonymous. Because they aren't. "VA Recommends A.A. "Newsweek": Even the harassed doctors, long used to sobering up lost-week-end revelers, had never seen anything like it. From Friday to Monday, drunken veterans reeled into Veterans Administration hospitals demanding the cure.      "Of the thousands who applied, about 10,000 veterans were treated for alcoholism in 1947, as compared with 6,459 in 1946 and 3,529 in 1945. "Although tests showed that almost none of the alcoholics had service-connected disabilities or appeared to be suffering from alcoholism because of service connections, alarmed relatives, energetic local politicians, and veterans' organizations insisted that they be cared for in the already overcrowded VA hospitals. "Boozers: In exasperation, authorities finally made a nationwide survey among the VA hospitals. Last week Dr. Harvey Tompkins, assistant chief of the neuro-psychiatric division, gave Newsweek these facts: "Two-thirds of the veteran cases are 'pure, uncomplicated alcoholism,' with no evidence of mental illness. The others have accompanying mental or emotional ailments ranging from manic-depressive psychoses to less serious psychoneuroses. More than 10 per cent of all VA neuropsychiatric cases are alcoholics. (Inexplicably, the Southeast and Southwest account for more than half the alcoholic patients.) "The Veterans Administration has no specific treatment for alcoholism. In some instances it takes weeks, and in others months or years, to curb the craving for drink. VA doctors have tried insulin injections, forced vomiting to make the men "rum-sick," and group psychotherapy -- but with very little success. "In some hospitals, Dr. Tompkins said, 'as few as 10 per cent of the patients show themselves amenable to treatment at all.'  The great majority entering the hospital with uncomplicated alcoholism merely stay long enough to sober up and then demand release. "A.A. Aid: For the veteran who wants to recover, VA doctors recommend Alcoholics Anonymous help as the best course. Nearly all VA institutions have made a working arrangement with this group, providing space in the hospitals for A.A. meetings and personal interviews with the patients. In turn, many cured veterans become A.A. crusaders and work in the wards on new cases. "Night Club Now A.A. Des Moines, Iowa, "Register": Babe's nightclub in downtown Des Moines, under padlock as a liquor nuisance since Oct. 29, was taken over Wednesday by the Des Moines chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous as a clubroom. "District Judge Loy Ladd, who had ordered the place padlocked, required the A.A. group to post a bond guaranteeing that no liquor will be brought on the premises. "'I am granting this application because I feel that this particular group (Alcoholics Anonymous) is one of the best organizations for suppression of intemperance in existence today,' Judge Ladd said.      "'In Des Moines they have proven themselves successful in curbing and curing alcoholics,' he said. "Sentenced to A.A." Westport, Conn., "Herald": A sentence was imposed in Town Court this week by Judge Leo Nevas that deserves more than local attention. "A chronic alcoholic who is a solitary drinker was before the bench. Such cases have been there before, leaving the judge and prosecutor worried because the state has no hospital to which the habitual drunkard can be sent for treatment. Although medicine and jurisprudence are today looking upon these cases as sick people rather than as only inebriates, nothing official has been done to cure them. "The court cannot overlook the offenses when the drinkers become public nuisances, which the case of this week definitely is. But fines do no good and jail sentences too often aggravate the mental illness which makes a man or woman a drunkard. What can the court do? Judge Nevas decided. He imposed a jail sentence but suspended it on certain conditions. These conditions are what make his decision important. "The drunkard, he ordered, must once more become a member of Alcoholic Anonymous. She must report to the Yale Clinic for treatment. She must keep in close contact with her own physician. She must report to the probation officer weekly. Should she fail to do these things she must go to jail even though Judge Nevas knows well that a term there will do her no good unless it should frighten her to do the things he has ordered. "This sentence was imposed in the hope that the woman wants to help herself. If she doesn't, none of the suggestions will help. Alcoholics Anonymous, with its increasing record of aid to drinkers, can accomplish nothing without the determined cooperation of the patient. It is unlikely that the Yale Clinic can help those who refuse to help themselves. "Judge Nevas, however, was willing to believe the woman's insistence that she did not want to drink and would do anything to stop the habit. If she really means that, the clinic will probably turn her back to society completely cured. "This is a little court but into it can come problems of great importance, and this was one of them. Other courts might well emulate the example set by Judge Nevas. Other courts, too, might well watch how this case turns out. It should be of interest to everyone. "And the case plus the decision emphasizes anew the need for a state-operated clinic in Fairfield County set up properly for the treatment of habitual drunkards. There seems to be no other way to help them. "De-Smartize" Drink Boston, Mass., "Boston University News":  "Our culture is too tolerant of drunkards of either sex," claims Dr. Herbert D. Lamson, Professor of Sociology. "Commenting on the proposed Massachusetts law to control the sale of alcoholics to women 'barflies,' Dr. Lamson argues that 'the alcoholic problem should be controlled for both sexes. A law which differentiates cannot be a far-reaching measure nor can it touch the basic problem. "'We must de-smartize the drink. We have been sold a bill of goods that it's smart to consume liquor by persons who have profit motive at stake. Profits in the industry are great,' continued the sociology expert. 'Alcoholism plays a great role in family disintegration, and society must face its abuses.' "As an alternative program to laws, Prof. Lamson suggests preventive methods. Alcoholics Anonymous is now in the first stages of the curative method, but a preventive approach must be begun in schools with health and alcoholic education, commencing in the grade school and varying at different school levels. "'We must have institutions for alcoholics, and not throw them in jail. Jail isn't helping them solve their problem,' says the doctor. 'Provide recreational facilities, hobby centers, and athletic contests as outlets for escape,' concludes Dr. Lamson, 'and it will do more than any patch-work laws can possibly do.'" |

1581|1581|2004-01-05 06:37:08|NMOlson@aol.com|Grapevine, June '44, Mail Call for the Armed Forces|This new series comes to us courtesy of Tony C. Grapevine, June '44 Mail Call for All A.A.'s in the Armed Forces When the idea of bringing out a New York Metropolitan A. A. paper was conceived, one of the first thoughts was that it might prove particularly helpful to our members in the Service. If anyone doubts what such a paper can mean to these men, here, we think, is the answer. Corporal Hugh B., now in England, had no knowledge of our project when he wrote one to us recently: "Your letter of ten days ago was much appreciated and was one of the most newsy A.A. letters I have received.  Certainly was interesting to hear about the boys and gals all over the world. Made me think that we should have a monthly publication. Think it over!" The records kept by our Central Office show approximately 300 A.A. members now in Service, with some 40 coming from the New York area and belonging to various Metropolitan Groups. These figures, due to constant changes, are probably not complete. Of the New York crowd, the files indicate 26 are in the Army, 9 in the Navy, and 5 scattered between the Merchant Marine and other auxiliary services.  Eleven are known to be commissioned officers and the remainder are serving in the ranks. These men, and in a few cases women, are as a rule cut off rather abruptly from any direct contacts with the Groups and are often subject to disturbing new influences and unusual temptations to take that fatal first drink. They, it would seem, face a harder battle in their recovery than most of us, benefiting, as many of us do, from almost daily association with our fellow members. Yet frequently they come through unscathed! We would like to give you a few examples of their clear thinking along A. A. principles: A Navy lieutenant (j.g), who joined A.A. over two years ago, wrote us recently from a South Pacific Island: "Your mention of John N. [an A.A. of even longer standing, now a lieutenant in the Army. Ed.] caused me to investigate.  He was evacuated for stomach trouble two days before I looked him up and for four months he had been only half a mile from my camp. Such is life!" [Both these men have had fine records of sobriety with A.A. and have now seen considerable service at an advanced base. What an A.A. meeting that would have been. Ed.] In December, John N., the Army lieutenant, had written: "We have arrived at a New Island and are set up in a coconut grove. Your letter was most welcome. How often these days I think of the fine times I had in A.A. and the wonderful people I have met. The whole thing means an awful lot to me and I thank God for being allowed to be a part of it. My work is interesting but hectic but I have really improved on the 'Easy Does It' department. I know who to thank for that too. So Flushing has a separate group now. That is wonderful!" Again we quote our naval correspondent: "I should like to address an A.A. gathering now, as I have a perspective that few get the opportunity to enjoy, having been completely apart from the Group for nearly a year, and it is easy to see the fundamentals closely, and determine the main factors --  I think even more closely than when one is steeped in A. A. work with daily contact. It is easier to see how the program works into every day normal life too." Once more, from Bob H., now an Army sergeant overseas, written last Thanksgiving Day: "When I think of myself just eighteen months ago, I realize, too, just how much I have to be thankful for. I've been more fortunate than most -- maybe someday I'll feel I've earned my breaks. I should hate to have anything happen to me now, before I have a chance to do something, however small, worth-while with my life." [This man had worried about not getting the spiritual side of the program. Ed.] THE WORDS OF A DANGLING MAN "'Off Again, On Again Finnegan' has a new lot of loyal rooters: the 'You're In--You're Out' Selective Service inductees, aged twenty-six to thirty-eight.   "For the past six months, on alternate Tuesdays, the Home Editions of the paper you read had us in the Army or Navy  'within a month,' but by Seven Star Final time, one of the two Washington authorities (the one who hadn't had a press interview earlier in the day) was quoted as saying that men over twenty-six would probably not be called 'until later in the year.' And so it goes, and so we go -- crazy!   "But wait: Easy Does It. How thankful I've been for having that little 'punch-line' pounded into my daily living. To me, that's a first 'first step.' It keeps me from jumping to conclusions, making snap judgments, becoming excited or irritated over the way things 'seem' to be. It cautions me to cut my pace, mentally, and make certain things are as they may seem. It permits, above all, the serenity that comes, with reflection, as I repeat the process of turning my will and my life over to the care of My Higher Power. Does that sound simple? Or do you think I'm putting down one little word after another here because that's what our program tells me I should do? Well, I'll tell you, if twelve months ago I had been riding the Selective Service Merry-go-round (without A.A.) two things would have happened: (1) My wife would have been relieved at the prospect of my being in service, preferably in Timbuktu (if that's at the other end of the world); and (2) I would have been a rip-roaring, hell-bent-for-another-drink, psychoneurotic alcoholic.  Today, I'm sober and not in service. Tomorrow, I may be in service, I don't know. But I do know that tomorrow I'll be sober, through the Grace of God and Alcoholics Anonymous. David R." |

1582|1582|2004-01-06 05:28:48|NMOlson@aol.com|Grapevine, July '44, Mail Call for All A.A.s in the Armed Forces|Grapevine, July '44 Mail Call for All A.A.s in the Armed Forces In our first issue we told of the near reunion on a South Pacific Island of two veteran A.A. members, one a Navy, the other an Army, lieutenant. Our Navy friend now writes: "Have been having a few A.A. reunions out here on my own. Finally ran into John N., who has returned to this isle after an absence of several months. We see each other frequently and reminisce about the real old days. In addition to Johnny, I had a reunion with the master of a Liberty ship which came in here a short while ago -- he was a member of the Frisco group and out on the ship we just left the South Pacific and were right back in the old atmosphere. Both of us agreed that without the Group, neither would be here. Such reunions as these do wonders for people who have been more or less completely cut off, and living in a world apart. Give my best to all the old gang, and tell them to start those letters coming!" [That closing sentence should give us pause for thought. Ed.] The South Pacific lads are, it seems, our most prolific correspondents, and the following recent letter from Navy Lieutenant Bob W. to a fellow-member of a New Jersey Group contains so much sound A.A. philosophy that we are quoting it, in as far as space permits, verbatim: "Dear Tom: Life has been very full and interesting for the past few months. I am still living the way you expect me to and if I was ever tempted I am sure the memory of those who mean so much to me would intervene and put a halt to such ideas. There are plenty of boys who aren't doing themselves any good out here but it is quite easy to get a 'don't give a damn' attitude when you're so far from any civilization. There will be more than ever for us to do when this is over, Tom. "News about the new groups is very interesting. Personally I think it is a healthy sign. Every great philosophy of living, Christianity, Mohammedanism, or what have you, has grown because the original leader has multiplied himself by creating other strong leaders who in turn did the same thing. Whether you conceive of A.A. in the category of a religion or not, it certainly is a plan of life for those of us who need it and it will spread only as fast as capable leaders develop to organize in such a way that it will be accessible to as many as possible. Some are more effective with certain types than others but there are all types who need the program. You say you prefer the 'bottle drunks' and the Salvation Army bums. Someone else wants to deal with 'dignified drunks,' whatever they are. The need for this thing is far beyond the question of personalities but we still have to remember that we and our prospects are human beings, so it behooves us to present our merchandise as attractively as possible. If you work more effectively with one kind, which is quite likely, and someone else does better with another, I say full steam ahead on that basis. The underlying need and the answer to it will remain the same and we will all be happier because we will be doing our best work. Some of the groups will probably die off if the leadership isn't there, but they will merge with stronger groups. "I didn't mean to get going on that subject but I am enthusiastic about the development. It seemed to me at times that the South Orange meetings were getting so large as to be somewhat awesome to new members who were naturally a little shy. One of the most important holds on the new man is making him feel that he has a real part in the scheme. "When you get a chance, please give me the late news. You can do a lot of good for your SOUTH SEAS BRANCH, you know. One of the extra dividends of A.A. is that you get to know such damned fine people. Sincerely, Bob." [We, too, wonder who the "dignified drunks" are and think it would be restful 12th Step work to contact a few. Ed.] ONCE AGAIN, EASY DOES IT "Dear Bud: I feel like a rat not having answered your letter long ago; I'm afraid I'm not a very good correspondent. At least I can now tell you where I am -- Maui is the spot, the Hawaiian Islands the locale. This must be almost anti-climactic for you to hear, as I'm sure by this time you have pictured me anywhere but here -- probably down under, in a jungle surrounded by Japs. However, I'm in no hurry; I'll probably get there soon enough. Meanwhile this is a grand spot, and I feel very lucky indeed to be here. This climate just suits me, the scenery, flowers, etc., are lovely, the swimming superb, and recreational facilities are excellent. As far as I'm concerned, these Islands are all they're cracked up to be and more. I've seen Pearl Harbor, done Honolulu, swum at Waikiki, and lolled around the Royal Hawaiian. Even so, I'll take Maui. "I've had several letters from Bob D., and these, together with yours, have kept me pretty well posted on doings in New York. Was sorry to learn that the new Club House fell thru; but no doubt this will be only a question of time. I was interested, too, to learn of the proposed -- shall I say 'Trade' publication. Sounds intriguing, if it can be worked out. Give my best to Ed C., Bob D., Chase, Bill C., John, and all the rest, including the gals. Best regards, Bob H." [On receipt of Bob's letter, we immediately got in touch with the Central Office which will send him by Air Mail the address of the Honolulu group (see story in this and previous issue). As a veteran A.A., "dry" for two years, we believe he can he of invaluable assistance to that fledgling group which is trying so hard to consolidate its beachhead, and that he, in turn, will be pleasantly surprised to find A.A. has now reached the Hawaiian Island's. Ed.] First reactions to The Grapevine received from A.A.s in Service are favorable. Accordingly, we urge all members to send in interesting data, especially from members overseas, expressing ideas dealing with the Program, methods of handling their special problems, or amusing incidents of Service life. |

1584|1584|2004-01-07 05:27:28|NMOlson@aol.com|Grapevine, Aug '44, Mail Call for All A. A.s in the Armed Forces|Grapevine, Aug. '44 Mail Call for All A.A.s in the Armed Forces In answer to our D-day letter, that old raconteur, Warrant Officer Norman M., shot one back at us from the South Pacific in near record time. His letter, dated June 15, enclosed as an exchange copy for The Grapevine an amusing Picture Supplement to an Air Force paper. Norman writes: "The Grapevine! There's a sardonic double entendre masthead if I ever saw one. It, like the whole tone of the paper, is perfectly A.A. in spirit. The utter lack of finality in editorializing as well as its sense of humor about its mission is grand! And what a gem it is for an A.A. to get overseas. Alcoholics are such a peculiarly 'much-in-common' group that I sometimes doubt how I'd behave in the Tokyo chapter of the A.A.! Comes that day, I think we'd better start one. Talk of alibis! Whew! The very thought makes me jittery and I can't get to 24th Street soon enough." (The ideas expressed in the following letter are, according to the author, "the result of much meditation during tropical nights on a South Pacific Island." We hope other members in the Service, wherever stationed, will find time to meditate and pass on to us as helpful an analysis of their conclusions on the effectiveness of the Program.) "As an officer in the Navy, completely apart from active touch with the Group for 11 months, I have had considerable opportunity to reflect that certain phases of the overall picture have been the most important in the A.A. Program; a program which has proved to be the most powerful influence in shaping my life. At a distance, not clouded by too close a perspective resulting from very active participation in Group matters, one has occasion to get a clearer view of the problem as a whole. Two years ago I attended my first meeting. It impressed me terrifically--so much so, in fact, that for the first year I 'worked' the program every possible moment, i.e., meetings, calls, discussions, etc., as well as trying to practice the principles. This, combined with the fact that I reached the portals of A.A. fully 'ripe,' and anxious to do something about my problem, has made it easy for me to remain 'dry' since that first meeting. From my reflections on A.A., and what it has meant to me, three salient factors have impressed themselves on my mind: "1. The definite and final realization that I cannot take a drink and react like a normal person. This had been pointed out by others before A.A., but it took the understanding, and the 'decide for yourself' approach of A.A. to convince me. Now I realize the fatality of believing that 'this time will be different,' and know that, no matter how long sober, the same old pattern will start with the first drink, whenever taken. To my mind, no other method has been devised to convince the alcoholic as conclusively of this fact as the plan of A.A., of hearing and watching (on '12th step' work) other alcoholics and their experiences. "2. The gradual stirring and awakening of the Spiritual side of my personality: Before A.A. I had never given consideration to spiritual thought, or the power to be transmitted and released through contact with God, and the resultant influence in shaping one's life. Through the Program, an interest in Spiritual thought evolved, I know not exactly how, and this contact with a 'Higher Power' has resulted in the banishment of fear, a peace of mind which I never expected to enjoy, and a change in my whole method of living. In fact, it has reached into corners of my life far apart from the problem which led me to A.A. "3. The friendships which have resulted from being in the Group: These are truly real friendships in every sense of the word. While I feel that I have many friends outside of A.A., and also the ties that bind me and my brother officers. I know that in time of crisis of any kind, none would stand by with clearer understanding or a more sincere desire to help than each or all of my many friends in the Group. For from the teaching of A.A. as a program of living come richer friendships than any others. "To my mind, any one of the above three factors would, of itself, make the Program worthwhile. Combined, they have remolded my life, and provided it with its greatest experience.  Y.G." FROM THE ATLANTIC FRONT On the eve of D-day, another good A.A. member, an Army officer in a responsible post, writing from England, gives his method of working out the problem of lack of A.A. contacts:  "We are pretty tense wondering if and when the big show is going to start. I think often, with pleasure, of our small meetings. In fact, I believe I have an even deeper appreciation of them and the friendships made there than I did before.  Being over here under present circumstances gives you a pretty sharp perception of values. A.A. has been working without a 'slip' for me. By reading and rereading the book and holding regular thought sessions with myself, I have been able to compensate in part for the lack of association and group therapy. Feel very confident but not cocky." ADDITIONAL OVERSEAS NOTES From one of our two-man Group on a South Pacific Island (see the last issue): "G. and myself have a wonderful time together. To meet one of the boys in a place like this is really out of the world. He has a jolt which is very harassing and he takes it right in his stride. His attitude is a fine example. ... I have met lots of people in my travels but give me the understanding, tolerant group of people I left at 24th Street. John"     What locality is your guess on this one? "Both typewriters and ink are scarce in these parts. So are napkins, matches, good coffee, female legs with proper curves (all the ladies look like they're muscle-bound), streets that know where they're going, sunshine, and good plumbing."   From an Island in the South Pacific: "It's so damned hot here that even a nonalcoholic would 'blow his top' on a drink. " A London oddity: "A cabbie from Brooklyn who'd been here since the last war." |

1585|1585|2004-01-08 05:36:56|NMOlson@aol.com|Grapevine, Sept. '44, Mail Call for All A.A.s in the Armed Forces|Grapevine, Sept. '44 Mail Call for All A.A.s in the Armed Forces We received a letter from Bill X., who has been in Northern Ireland, which starts innocently enough with a pat on the hack for the Editors and winds up with the germ of a great idea for a new column for the paper: "Congratulations to the staff. Two copies have come along now and Grapevine has proved a 24th Street extension course for me [24th Street refers to the New York clubhouse]. It will be particularly helpful for isolated individuals sweating out the prologues to pub-crawling without the Group; and for new Johnny-come-latelys out in Jeeptown, Arizona, with the book only. Grapevine is a meeting by mail. "That new group in Honolulu will be aided no little by the publication of their tribulations in getting started because we are all rooting them on from all over the world. The house organ idea, with the chit-chat, lore and some party line thinking, establishes a newer sense of unity which projects the group therapy phase a step further. It's terrific. "Why not have a little 'Alibi Alley' or 'rationalization of the month' column, printing the phoniest excuses submitted. For example, 'Well it was like this, see, it was the night of the invasion, and here I am sitting back hundreds of miles from the action, squarely behind a typewriter, a chair-borne paragraph trooper. So, getting such lousy breaks, and being such an eventful day, how could a little drink or possibly two hurt anybody, and even if it did hurt a bit, how could it compare to the thousands of casualties on the beachhead, and how could such an insignificant taking of a drink or possibly two be noticed during such a catastrophic, world-shaking event. And, oh yes! I have just been promoted to sergeant, and that in itself calls for a little good-humored drink of celebration or possibly two, in itself.' "'That's right, you only get promoted to sergeant once. After showing up at noon the next day when I was on duty, and with the shakes no less, I damn near got busted. since that time I have taken some active steps including coming clean on the whole deal to my boss. And I have a date with one of the highest churchmen over here to pass the story on, etc. Grapevine (the first issue) had come a few days after the 'slip' and it was a real antidote to the fogs and fears. I simply sat down and had a meeting with the whole outfit. So you can understand my enthusiasm for Grapevine." Permission, accompanied by the encouraging comment, "More strength and success to you," was obtained to print this interesting official communication: "The Army War College Library would appreciate greatly being placed on your mailing list to receive future copies, and also to receive a copy of each back number. This is a subject which has a bearing upon the efficiency of military personnel." To the Librarian, our best Grapevine bow. LIEUTENANT RE-DISCOVERS BEAUTIES OF "EASY DOES IT" One of the strongest motives behind the starting of The Grapevine -- in fact the main thing that pushed the Editors from the talking to the acting stage -- was the need so often expressed in letters from A.A.s in the Service for more A.A. news. We felt that their deep desire for a feeling of contact with A.A. might be fulfilled at least in part by such a publication -- by us and for us. And, as the first issue emerged from the presses, a letter came to one of the Editors from a woman A.A., a Second Lieutenant stationed in an out-of-the-way place. It was a cry for help: "' . . . if things keep up the way they have been going I'm going to be in more trouble than I can handle. ... I've been recommended for promotion, but ... My work is more than satisfying, but off duty I'm a total loss. There isn't a single soul here that speaks the same language. ... The Army is a funny place. One is expected to drink, but not to get noisy or pass out or do any of the things drunks do. ... I've met a few A.A.s but we've only been in the same place for a short time. Several of them were in the same boat as I, skating on thin ice, but I don't know the outcome. Frankly, I'm scared. Has this problem been discussed at meetings? If so, has anyone offered any constructive suggestions? M.L." A copy of The Grapevine went off by return mail. And now comes this: "Dear Editors: The second copy of The Grapevine just arrived. Does that mean I'm to get it every month? It's proving no end of a help to me. Thanks so much for getting it started, anyhow. ... I guess there isn't much one can do about the sort of spot that I'm in. There isn't anything wrong but loneliness and boredom, and there's no way out of that, for now. ... Right after the first copy of the paper arrived I decided to try to take it a little easier (I'd forgotten all about 'Easy Does It'). ... I was working so very hard that the hectic on-duty and the static off-duty hours didn't mix. For some reason it doesn't seem as bad to be bored now. M.L. P.S. I got that promotion I wrote you about." |

1586|1586|2004-01-09 05:31:04|alev101@aol.com|Which city is this they are referring to in this passage?| Does anyone know which city they are referring to in this passage?   page 163       We know of an A.A. member who was living in a large community.  He had lived there but a few weeks when he found that the place probably contained more alcoholics per square mile than any city in the country.  This was only a few days ago at this writing. (1939)  the authorities were much concerned.   Stumped in NYC Ava|

1587|1586|2004-01-09 05:49:28|Lash, William (Bill)|Re: Which city is this they are referring to in this passage?| According to my notes they are talking about Hank P. in Montclair N.J.           -----Original Message-----
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