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December 1957

AA Around the World

INTERNATIONALIST NEWS <lbNews, comments and letters from and about AA's worldwide outposts and centers--gleaned from letters to the Grapevine and General Service Headquarters, and from the "AA Exchange Bulletin," published monthly by GSH

I AM CERTAINLY HAVING VARIETY this season--so far I have had three German ships, three Norwegian, one Swedish and now an Italian. Incidentally, at the table at meal times on this one there is a wine decanter. Sits in front of me at each meal and they just can't understand why I don't drink wine with my meals. The food is very good but a bit different and I enjoy it very much but they keep saying if I took a little wine I would enjoy it more and after all it would do no harm taken with food. Little do they know that if I took the wine I'd forget all about the food. Their English is not good enough for me to explain so I just let it ride. But I'm sure of one thing. I'll sample all their food but will definitely pass up the wine.

Yes, it is hard to stand by and see a good man destroy himself, especially when he is an old friend and such a good chap. But as you say I have seen many miracles in the past nine years (have only to look in the mirror for one) so I think it will eventually happen to that captain you mention.

The office knows of a similar case I had a few years ago with one of the Dutch captains. I had made several trips with him and knew he was an alkie but he never drank while I was with him so I could say nothing. Eventually he got fired and then had more trouble that I heard of so I wrote to him in March of 1952. He received the letter on April 1st and has not had a drink since. Has a good government job now and has done a lot of good AA work in Holland. In his first letter to me he wanted to know why I had not told him of AA while I was with him and before he got fired, but now he sees the reason and knows he was not ready until he had been beaten a bit more.

All the best to all the staff and do write soon again.

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