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Grapevine : July 2011
done by the volunteer staff, who gave freely a vast amount of time and la- bor. And some gave money, too; you don't start a paper on hay. To the re- tiring volunteers, I want to say, along with every Grapevine subscriber, "Congratulations and thanks." How did The Grapevine start, and where does it go from here? Last summer several New York AAs decided it was about time the groups in our metropolitan area had a monthly publication. At first there was some discussion about get- ting it suitably endorsed by the local groups, The Alcoholic Foundation, or somebody. But no one could endorse a magazine that hadn't yet appeared. The Grapeviners went ahead anyway on the theory that if their sheet was good enough it would take on; if it proved too corny or dull it would flop automatically---and quickly! People could, the Grapeviners said, "take it or leave it alone." In a burst of local pride The Grapevine staff mailed the first printing to all the groups in the Unit- ed States. No pressure or soliciting. They just mailed it. Subscriptions began to filter in from everywhere. No longer a trickle, they are today a stream. The Grapevine now has sub- scribers in every one of the 48 states and even abroad. Foreseeing a broader activ- ity, members of The Grapevine staff were good enough to ask me a few months ago if I would take an inter- est in the venture for the coming year. They told me they thought the magazine might be enlarged to na- tional dimensions; that ultimately it should be incorporated, and finally, perhaps, hooked up with The Alco- holic Foundation, which, as nearly every AA knows, is the sponsor of our Central Office and all our nation- al undertakings. This conversation made it abun- dantly plain that while rotating squads of volunteers might always continue to procure and edit pieces for The Grapevine and participate in setting its policy, there could be no doubt that continuous paid help and enlarged working facilities would soon be necessary. They asked if I would help with these arrangements and perhaps contribute a piece occa- sionally. These things, health permit- ting, I agreed to do. Besides the volunteer staff, we now boast one part-time paid secre- tarial worker to help handle details. This work, however, continues to mount, as does the volume of poten- tial editorial content. More paid help will probably become necessary and the size of the magazine may have More paid help will probably become necessary, and the size of the magazine may have to be expanded. 56 July 2011