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Grapevine : May 2011
T he morning meet- ing had just ended. Some attendees had already left and a few remained to play cards or read a newspaper when a lady I had never seen before entered the front door and walked up to me. She asked about the noon meeting, the one still listed on the old white-board with painted times ... the one that had not occurred once during the entire four months of my sobriety. I explained that the meeting seemed to have died due to lack of attendance, but she was persistent. It dawned on me then, in that moment, that this was AA asking me to do something. My sponsor had taught me to always say yes, so I asked the people seated in the “half–measures room,” our name for the lounge area, if anyone wanted to chair a meeting. The response was less than positive, to put it mildly. Years of sobriety, I learned quickly, does not always cure grumpiness. Well, I thought to myself, I’d In the half- measures room INTO ACTION Saying yes to service revives a dead meeting been through the Steps. I can read the format. I’d even been on a live Twelfth Step call with my sponsor. So, I invited her to the large back meeting room to have a seat at one of the tables arranged in the form of a horseshoe and she was visibly re- lieved. Five other men wandered in and grabbed a seat. Usually, the person who leads the meeting calls on the first person on the left to start sharing, but the man sitting to my right jumped in and admitted to being an alcoholic car salesman and his talk lasted a good 20 minutes. I was actually relieved that he spoke for so long, since I had never led a meeting be- fore and this took some of the heat off. This continued around from I asked the people seated in the lounge area if anyone wanted to chair a meeting. The response was less than positive. 54 May 2011 GRAPE_54-55.indd 54 4/4/11 1:03 PM