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After Robert Stark purchased Waynedale's newspaper in 2000 he called a friend and asked him to write a column about alcoholism. The friend was skeptical that the column would last more than a few months for a lack of interest. Ten years later The Waynedale News has changed ownership and "Here's to Your Health" still remains a popular regular column. The writer of HTYH is an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous and therefore must maintain anonymity at all levels of press, radio, and film. A friend of the columnist named Bill Q. suggested the name John Barleycorn be used to protect the writer's anonymity--it's the same name used in the book Alcoholics Anonymous for alcohol—it's synonymous with not only bread but alcohol...

Barley, encounters great suffering during his grinding before succumbing to an unpleasant death by fire. However, as a result of his death bread is produced; therefore, Barleycorn dies so that others may live. Finally his body will be eaten as bread it returns to the earth and once again springs to life—he can never die...

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