John Barleycorn was born in 1945 and spent his childhood and younger years in Waynedale; he took his first glass of whiskey in the basement of a house on Old Trail Road just to the northwest of the Fire Station. That first drink of alcohol was taken in the late 1950’s with a brother and the grandson of the man who founded The Waynedale News. That first shot was Old Grand Dad, but it came back out in a spray after his throat slammed shut and he couldn’t swallow. That bourbon was the worst tasting stuff that had ever crossed his lips, but he didn’t want to be a sissy, and he was ashamed that he couldn’t drink like the cowboys on Two Gun Playhouse. JB didn’t drink any more alcohol until 1961, when Ron, Fred and he walked the railroad tracks from Waynedale to Elmhurst with a bottle of Wild Irish Rose on their way to a sophomore dance. The teachers kicked them out of the dance that night and they drank more on the way home, JB got sick, puked, passed out and when he awoke sang the alcoholic anthem, “I’m never going to drink ———- (fill in the blank) again!” As fate and alcoholism would have it, that wasn’t the last time he drank, got sick, puked or was asked to leave, because of his drinking behavior.
JB got married in 1963, but that marriage ended in divorce by 1970 after producing two children. Nothing is ever an alcoholic’s fault and JB was not an exception to this rule . He was certain in his mind that the violence, scrapes with the law, unpaid bills and trouble at work were not of his own making, and “If only all the nosey busybodies would mind their own business, life would be wonderful.” Even the boss was picking on him, he was saying, “John where were you yesterday, and how come you’re late today?” John would say, “it’s that bitch’s fault, and the world’s not treating me right.” In 1985, JB ended up in a treatment center (they used to call those places nut wards), but times had changed, and now proper society called them treatment centers.
Continued from Sept. 4th Issue of The Waynedale News Armed with Carl G. Jung’s diagnosis that he had a spiritual disease, the wealthy American Alcoholic returned to New York City and began his search to buy a spiritual awakening. The man’s friends directed him to a group of scholars in New York who called themselves the NY Oxford Group, they had been studying first century Christianity and they had discovered six steps or principles that if incorporated into a persons life and daily actions could indeed produce a spiritual awakening. It was during the great depression and money was in short supply so some members of the Oxford Group agreed to accompany the alcoholic to his father’s farm in Manchester Vermont where they practiced the six steps together:
Complete ego deflation
Dependence and guidance from a Higher Power.
Moral (truth) inventory.
Continued work with others.
The chronic alcoholic (Rolland) had a spiritual awakening at his dad’s farm and after the insane craving for alcohol left him he heard about an acquaintance who was about to be sentenced to a life stay in the Vermont State Hospital for chronic alcoholism. Rolland and his friends intervened in the second alcoholic’s (Ebby’s) case and the judge released him in their custody and, he also had a spiritual awakening (complete psychic change as a result of the six steps). Both chronic alcoholics now had their spiritual disease in remission, but their sobriety was contingent on step six (see above), so they returned to New York and upon arriving carried their message to the Brooklyn soup kitchen. The first two alcoholics had another friend named Bill who lived in NY City, he too was a chronic alcoholic, so Ebby called on him.
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