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AGA questions?

Matt Estep wrote:

>Hey everybody
>        I know that some of you are also part of AGA. I sent them a check
>and hoped to join. That was almost two months ago. Did I apply incorrectly
>or do I just become a member and not get notified. If so what was the 15
>bucks for? As I understood it, I would recieve some sort of journal. Thanks
>for any info that can help.

Susan Jorgensen wrote:

>I'm glad you asked.   I also sent them a check - in Febuary - and have only
>received 2 issues of the journal.  

Hi folks, glad you've both joined, glad to have you on board, and let me
assure you, that your patience will be worth the wait.

First let me explain that under the _best_ circumstances, depending on
where in the printing cycle your check is received, it can be as long as 10
weeks between you sending your membership check and receiving the first
issue of the magazine.  This is a reality for _any_ bi-monthly publication.
 If your check is received just after the mailing labels are printed and
sent to the printer, you membership will start with the next issue.  

Next, please let me remind you that this is _not_ a business, it is an
organization run _by_ the members, for the members.  If you've become a
member, this means you.<g>  You are "us",  there is no "they".<g>  The
person who does membership is Jack O'Leary, and the editor of TAG is Neil
Frank.  Both of these people put their hearts and souls into bringing us a
top quality magazine.  I know of only one other non-profit hobbyist group
that puts out a publication of similar quality and consistency.  Both of
these people (and many others behind the scenes I might add) work many
hours a month without any compensation to do the work of the AGA.  They are
"just" members, just like you and me!<g>

Like any volunteer organization, there are times that things go like
clockwork, and other times where things get a little rocky.<g>  Last spring
we had a change over of membership from Dorothy Reimer to Jack which slowed
things down somewhat.  I suspect that Susan's membership may have hit
during that period.  Don't worry, your membership doesn't go from the date
you send in your check.  You will receive 6 issues of the magazine (or very
occasionally a combined issue with the same number of pages as 2-3 issues)
before you are asked to renew.

Remember, that when you join the AGA, you are paying dues to join an
organization of like-minded people with similar interests.  You are _not_,
strictly speaking, "subscribing" to a magazine, although we all look
forward to it with great interest!  Please remember that this is _your_
organization, and it is what you and other volunteer members make it.  

Again, glad to have you on board, and hope to see your name on a committee
one of these days!  BTW, one way that _each AGA'er can help is by
volunteering to be a local representative for the AGA in your geographical
area.  I'm sure you will find, as we have in the Boston area, that your
hobby is more fun if you can exchange ideas and and share your interest
with other people in your local area.  I know that San Francisco, Seattle
and Vancouver also all have thriving groups of plant tank hobbyists.

If you're interested in promoting aquatic gardening in your neck of the
woods, contact Merrill Cohen at amc2 at ix_netcom.com.  He is our
international and regional coordinator, and can always use "a few good men"
(and women!)<g>

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association