Last week I finished the Alateen Newcomer Packet (item #K-18). (What I learned about all the other items in that packet can be found in previous entries for the general Al-Anon Newcomer Packet (K-10).) That means I’m done with all 6 types of packets (whoo-hoo!) & am moving on with other pamphlets. It seems going back to the beginning is a good place to start…
WHAT I LEARNED: 1. According to page 88 of the (now discontinued) book “First Steps: Al-Anon–35 Years of Beginnings” (B-12), this pamphlet was the first piece of literature written outside of New York that was adopted by the fellowship. My thanks go out to the initial San Diego Family Group for writing this one.
2. This pamphlet also appeared on Al-Anon’s very first published price list in September 1952 – for 5 cents! 61 years later, it costs only 20 cents. After using an online calculator to adjust for inflation, I really should be paying more than twice this! So I’m going to double my next donation when the basket is passed as my “Thank you” to the World Service Office.
3. For a short 2-page piece, its message of the disease not being a sin & that we can get better too must have been revolutionary for its time. Reading this today, what resonates with me is the last part: that we can be best understood by those that have been where we are now.
**BONUS CAL QUESTION: What U.S. national monument originally appeared on the cover of this pamphlet? (Hint: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” — Hey, that sounds like me when I was a Newcomer to the program! Ha ha 😆)
***UPDATE (6/12/22): You can see an early version of this “Freedom From Despair” pamphlet in my video for the years 1952-1953 from my CAL Timeline board on my “CAL Chat” Pinterest account.