From the March 1957 magazine.

Bargain Basement

ORIGINALLY a pharmacy provided one service only--the preparation and dispensing of drugs; nowadays, we can buy almost anything in the corner drugstore from Christmas cards to bicycles. AA, like the pharmacy, started out with one basic commodity--sobriety. But down through the years, it has grown in size and reputation, it has attracted many customers such as myself who have found in AA a bargain basement for such wares as jobs, loans, easy and unquestioning acquaintanceships, and occasionally, even a slightly shop-worn thirty-day romance.

This winter in Louisville, I returned to AA for the umpteenth time but with a new angle; I was, perhaps for the first time, shopping only for sobriety. I had experienced for many years the treacherous pattern of wanting to want to stop drinking, the desire with which we are all too familiar of wishing to give it up (not the drinking itself) but only the bad experiences which were the result of that drinking. Now I seemed to be ripe. It must have been apparent even to others for your long-suffering Central Office Secretary rushed to open both windows as I came in the door.

-- Charlton D. P., via The Gateway

Louisville, Kentucky

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