From the September 1976 magazine.

You Mean, Just Let Anybody In?

Which of us, on first coming for help, was an asset to AA.?

A JAILBIRD, mental case, narcotics addict, homosexual, and alcoholic--the old fellow said he was all of these. After talking with him for about an hour in New York's old 41st Street clubhouse, some fellow members and I agreed with him. The problem was: Did he belong in AA?

He was sarcastic, arrogant, and vulgar. He badly needed medical attention, a bath, legal help, food, clothing, and a flop; but we could not provide those. Shouldn't we refer him away somewhere?

Before we did, though, we decided to ask the longest-sober AA we knew. We telephoned him at home and described the...

-- B. L.

Manhattan, New York