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RE: [aloha-donblanding] Re: Curious

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  • Bev Leinbach
    Mahalo, Well done Keith! Bev. _____ From: aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com [mailto:aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of keith2draw Sent: Thursday,
    Message 1 of 14 , Sep 14, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      Mahalo,



      Well done Keith!



      Bev.

      _____

      From: aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com
      [mailto:aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of keith2draw
      Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2007 8:42 PM
      To: aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [aloha-donblanding] Re: Curious



      Michael,

      This board has had conversations on this subject many times over the past
      7-8 years, and
      the conclusion that we have reached is that we just don't know. He had a
      very public
      personna, but he was in fact a very private person. His close friends were
      very protective
      of his privacy and he lived in a time where sexual preferences were not
      openly talked
      about.

      He definately had girlfriends and was engaged to be married on at least
      three
      occasions...and did get married once, which ended in divorce after only a
      few years.

      He had male companions too, for lengths of time, which seem to be more
      intimate than
      would be normal for a mere friendship. They too didn't last very long
      though.

      So the feeling is that he was probably bi-sexual, but that he was not able
      to committ to
      relationships for more than a year or two.

      I have been researching Don personally for almost a decade now, and I have
      read
      hundereds of letters to and from him; read hundreds of articles and dozens
      of interviews;
      met and talked to people who knew him; and I can honestly say I have never
      seen any
      evidence that would point one way or another as to his sexual orientation.

      And the consensus amoung us is that it doesn't really matter one way or
      another anyway.
      He is defined by his verse, his art, and his many creative pursuits...and
      not by his love life,
      or lack thereof.

      Keith Emmons

      --- In aloha-donblanding@ <mailto:aloha-donblanding%40yahoogroups.com>
      yahoogroups.com, "canoeist35" <canoeist35@...> wrote:
      >
      > I'm surprised to see that no one replied to my previous post
      > (below). Is there really nothing known by the DB aficionados in
      > this forum on such a fundamental aspect of his life? Or is this
      > possibly another case of people not wanting to discuss the subject?
      > That would seem the ultimate disrespect to DB, though, so I'm at a
      > loss on the silence here. Not one person had a reply to make on
      > this?
      >
      > Michael
      >
      >
      >
      > --- In aloha-donblanding@ <mailto:aloha-donblanding%40yahoogroups.com>
      yahoogroups.com, "canoeist35"
      > <canoeist35@> wrote:
      > >
      > > This forum was suggested to me when I raised this general question
      > > during some discussions of Don Blanding's Vernonware designs on
      > > another board. I am curious about what, if anything, is known
      > about
      > > his broken engagement with Ruth Norton, and his divorce from the
      > > Binney woman (whose full name I forget right now). Reading
      > through
      > > the biographical material I've been able to find, including the
      > > timeline with all its details--plus a dozen or so of the poems--I
      > > did get occasional impressions of elements that were sometimes
      > parts
      > > of a closeted life. Is there anything definite known about Don
      > > Blanding's intimate relationships? He wrote so eloquently of
      > Hawaii
      > > not merely for its beauty, but also for its value as a refuge from
      > > the harsher world he had known. If someone were either homosexual
      > > or sexually ambivalent, the change from Oklahoma, say, to the
      > > tolerance and relaxed atmosphere he described in Hawaii would
      > > certainly have seemed that much more like paradise. Are there any
      > > known facts that would establish an answer to that issue quite
      > > plainly, one way or the other? It would certainly seem like there
      > > must be such facts on record somewhere. Yet the overall
      > impression
      > > I've received (to date) is one of pure mystery.
      > >
      > > Michael
      > >
      >





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • keith2draw
      Aloha Mike & Michael, You ve made good points, and they are all well taken. There are about 4-5 Blanding researchers who frequent this board, and we are all
      Message 2 of 14 , Sep 14, 2007
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        Aloha Mike & Michael,

        You've made good points, and they are all well taken.

        There are about 4-5 Blanding researchers who frequent this board, and we are all busy
        piecing together his life from obscure newspaper accounts, magazine articles, long lost
        interviews and ebay ephemera. Blanding was after all born 114 years ago and has been
        gone for half a century. We do not have the luxury of having previously written and
        researched volumes of details on his life, such as you would already have for say someone
        like Thomas Edison, Edgar Allen Poe or Gertrude Stein (because, frankly, he wasn't as
        important as these folks). The people who knew Don well are now dead themselves. There
        are some old-timers that knew him in his later years...but obviously no-one alive who
        shared his early, developmental years.

        To us, the thrill of the hunt is as enjoyable as the actual body of work that Don left behind.
        So when one of us discovers a new clue (however small), and posts it on this board, it's the
        detective in us gloating about finding a long-lost detail of his life. We in no way mean to
        infer any importance to the clues (in the grand scheme of things) ...it's just fun to see little
        slices of his life from a distance through the binoculars of time [sorry, horrible cliche].

        Those of us who have been on this board from the beginning (Jan. 2000) have discussed
        many complex aspects of Don's life in-depth (such as his sexuality) ...but folks who have
        joined us in the last year or two will only see the lighter dialogue and assume everything is
        trivial on the board. I urge all newcomers to go back and read some of our older posts for
        more detailed talks that have already transpired.

        The bottom line is that to try and get to the "meat" of Don's life, his feelings, dreams,
        inclinations and quirks, we have to sort out all the finer details like where he lived, who he
        knew, and who he wrote to. That's all we have to go on for the moment. And if discovering
        that he had a bran muffin with Edgar Cayce on Thursday, April 3, 1924 leads to finding an
        entry in Edgar Cayce's diary that states Don made a sexual pass at him...well then there we
        have our proof!

        I think most of us are mature, open-minded adults and I for one feel that if Don was
        gay..."so what!" It wouldn't tarnish his image at all...it would just add to the interest. Most
        of us have expressed that opinion here. It's not disinterest that keeps us from discussing it
        (and as I said, we have talked about it in the past ad naseum) it's just that until we know
        for sure, one way or the other, it would just be conjecture. If he was gay, it would have had
        a huge impact on how he lived his life, who he trusted, how he separated his public
        personna of a big, strapping ladies-man poet who was respected by men as well, from his
        private, gentle, secluded life when not on the lecture circuit. But until we get the "smoking
        gun" letter or diary entry which reveals his sexual preference....we plug away on the
        research and try to build a profile of Don that is honest, sincere and revealing. It just takes
        time. Most of us have either 9-to-5 jobs, kids, grandkids, etc... which takes up the bulk of
        our time, and research has to wait for rare free time.

        I will say, this is the best dialogue we've had in a long time.

        Keith
      • Mike Gothard
        Hi Keith, Exactly! Thanks for the perspective. You re so right in that many of us have not been in on the discussions from years ago, even though we avail
        Message 3 of 14 , Sep 14, 2007
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          Hi Keith,

          Exactly! Thanks for the perspective. You're so right in that many of us
          have not been in on the discussions from years ago, even though we avail
          ourselves of the past posts. I dabble in restoring/collecting/using vintage
          fountain pens and feel the same frustration that I'm sure many of you
          experience when us "newbies" question or try to put two-and-two together for
          the first time. We forget the "cloud of witnesses" that have gone before us
          :)

          Actually, one of the reasons I lurk here (yes, I'm afraid I am a lurker as I
          fit squarely into your description of already having too many irons in too
          many fires) is because of the minutia and the passion with which you guys
          continue to search...it's facinating! I do the same in the world of
          fountain pens as well.

          Anyway, thanks, Keith, for your gracious response and thanks to all for
          allowing us dabblers to dabble here. This is a great group and I consider
          it a privilege to be part of the ongoing dialogue.

          Have a great weekend,
          Mike


          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "keith2draw" <keith2draw@...>
          To: <aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Friday, September 14, 2007 10:17 AM
          Subject: [aloha-donblanding] Re: Curious


          > Aloha Mike & Michael,
          >
          > You've made good points, and they are all well taken.
          >
          > There are about 4-5 Blanding researchers who frequent this board, and we
          > are all busy
          > piecing together his life from obscure newspaper accounts, magazine
          > articles, long lost
          > interviews and ebay ephemera. Blanding was after all born 114 years ago
          > and has been
          > gone for half a century. We do not have the luxury of having previously
          > written and
          > researched volumes of details on his life, such as you would already have
          > for say someone
          > like Thomas Edison, Edgar Allen Poe or Gertrude Stein (because, frankly,
          > he wasn't as
          > important as these folks). The people who knew Don well are now dead
          > themselves. There
          > are some old-timers that knew him in his later years...but obviously
          > no-one alive who
          > shared his early, developmental years.
          >
          > To us, the thrill of the hunt is as enjoyable as the actual body of work
          > that Don left behind.
          > So when one of us discovers a new clue (however small), and posts it on
          > this board, it's the
          > detective in us gloating about finding a long-lost detail of his life. We
          > in no way mean to
          > infer any importance to the clues (in the grand scheme of things) ...it's
          > just fun to see little
          > slices of his life from a distance through the binoculars of time [sorry,
          > horrible cliche].
          >
          > Those of us who have been on this board from the beginning (Jan. 2000)
          > have discussed
          > many complex aspects of Don's life in-depth (such as his sexuality) ...but
          > folks who have
          > joined us in the last year or two will only see the lighter dialogue and
          > assume everything is
          > trivial on the board. I urge all newcomers to go back and read some of our
          > older posts for
          > more detailed talks that have already transpired.
          >
          > The bottom line is that to try and get to the "meat" of Don's life, his
          > feelings, dreams,
          > inclinations and quirks, we have to sort out all the finer details like
          > where he lived, who he
          > knew, and who he wrote to. That's all we have to go on for the moment. And
          > if discovering
          > that he had a bran muffin with Edgar Cayce on Thursday, April 3, 1924
          > leads to finding an
          > entry in Edgar Cayce's diary that states Don made a sexual pass at
          > him...well then there we
          > have our proof!
          >
          > I think most of us are mature, open-minded adults and I for one feel that
          > if Don was
          > gay..."so what!" It wouldn't tarnish his image at all...it would just add
          > to the interest. Most
          > of us have expressed that opinion here. It's not disinterest that keeps us
          > from discussing it
          > (and as I said, we have talked about it in the past ad naseum) it's just
          > that until we know
          > for sure, one way or the other, it would just be conjecture. If he was
          > gay, it would have had
          > a huge impact on how he lived his life, who he trusted, how he separated
          > his public
          > personna of a big, strapping ladies-man poet who was respected by men as
          > well, from his
          > private, gentle, secluded life when not on the lecture circuit. But until
          > we get the "smoking
          > gun" letter or diary entry which reveals his sexual preference....we plug
          > away on the
          > research and try to build a profile of Don that is honest, sincere and
          > revealing. It just takes
          > time. Most of us have either 9-to-5 jobs, kids, grandkids, etc... which
          > takes up the bulk of
          > our time, and research has to wait for rare free time.
          >
          > I will say, this is the best dialogue we've had in a long time.
          >
          > Keith
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > To Post a message, send it to: aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com
          >
          > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
          > aloha-donblanding-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
        • canoeist35
          Keith, I appreciated your first reply and this additional post. I had read the timeline on your website line-by-line before I ever asked any questions about
          Message 4 of 14 , Sep 14, 2007
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            Keith, I appreciated your first reply and this additional post. I
            had read the timeline on your website line-by-line before I ever
            asked any questions about Don. Parts of the timeline seemed to fit
            the classic "closeted" life--unfortunately for DB. So did some
            aspects of the poems I read, plus some of the photos--just in my
            opinion, of course. I am a little dubious about even the bi-sexual
            aspect, personally, but I am a newbie on all this. I don't think
            any of this diminishes or demeans Don Blanding in any way--if
            anything, it only adds to the complexity and interest his life
            presents, IMO. It may affect how some of the poetry needs to be
            read, though. If I can venture one more thought, it seems worth
            recollecting that he began as an ad man who knew how to craft an
            image. Maybe he continued to feel he had to do that with some of
            his poetry? In any event, his tenderness, humor, and decency come
            pouring out of most of the poems and articles I have read. And,
            later, his sadness, too. I get the impression DB's was far from a
            simple story. My two cents here.

            Michael



            --- In aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com, "keith2draw"
            <keith2draw@...> wrote:
            >
            > Aloha Mike & Michael,
            >
            > You've made good points, and they are all well taken.
            >
            > There are about 4-5 Blanding researchers who frequent this board,
            and we are all busy
            > piecing together his life from obscure newspaper accounts,
            magazine articles, long lost
            > interviews and ebay ephemera. Blanding was after all born 114
            years ago and has been
            > gone for half a century. We do not have the luxury of having
            previously written and
            > researched volumes of details on his life, such as you would
            already have for say someone
            > like Thomas Edison, Edgar Allen Poe or Gertrude Stein (because,
            frankly, he wasn't as
            > important as these folks). The people who knew Don well are now
            dead themselves. There
            > are some old-timers that knew him in his later years...but
            obviously no-one alive who
            > shared his early, developmental years.
            >
            > To us, the thrill of the hunt is as enjoyable as the actual body
            of work that Don left behind.
            > So when one of us discovers a new clue (however small), and posts
            it on this board, it's the
            > detective in us gloating about finding a long-lost detail of his
            life. We in no way mean to
            > infer any importance to the clues (in the grand scheme of
            things) ...it's just fun to see little
            > slices of his life from a distance through the binoculars of time
            [sorry, horrible cliche].
            >
            > Those of us who have been on this board from the beginning (Jan.
            2000) have discussed
            > many complex aspects of Don's life in-depth (such as his
            sexuality) ...but folks who have
            > joined us in the last year or two will only see the lighter
            dialogue and assume everything is
            > trivial on the board. I urge all newcomers to go back and read
            some of our older posts for
            > more detailed talks that have already transpired.
            >
            > The bottom line is that to try and get to the "meat" of Don's
            life, his feelings, dreams,
            > inclinations and quirks, we have to sort out all the finer details
            like where he lived, who he
            > knew, and who he wrote to. That's all we have to go on for the
            moment. And if discovering
            > that he had a bran muffin with Edgar Cayce on Thursday, April 3,
            1924 leads to finding an
            > entry in Edgar Cayce's diary that states Don made a sexual pass at
            him...well then there we
            > have our proof!
            >
            > I think most of us are mature, open-minded adults and I for one
            feel that if Don was
            > gay..."so what!" It wouldn't tarnish his image at all...it would
            just add to the interest. Most
            > of us have expressed that opinion here. It's not disinterest that
            keeps us from discussing it
            > (and as I said, we have talked about it in the past ad naseum)
            it's just that until we know
            > for sure, one way or the other, it would just be conjecture. If he
            was gay, it would have had
            > a huge impact on how he lived his life, who he trusted, how he
            separated his public
            > personna of a big, strapping ladies-man poet who was respected by
            men as well, from his
            > private, gentle, secluded life when not on the lecture circuit.
            But until we get the "smoking
            > gun" letter or diary entry which reveals his sexual
            preference....we plug away on the
            > research and try to build a profile of Don that is honest, sincere
            and revealing. It just takes
            > time. Most of us have either 9-to-5 jobs, kids, grandkids, etc...
            which takes up the bulk of
            > our time, and research has to wait for rare free time.
            >
            > I will say, this is the best dialogue we've had in a long time.
            >
            > Keith
            >
          • canoeist35
            ... and lurk ... pass ... Exactly. Well said, Mike. Gaining knowledge of more of the facts of his life is not to judge Don Blanding in some negative way. It
            Message 5 of 14 , Sep 14, 2007
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              --- In aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Gothard"
              <75vette@...> wrote:
              > We all respect his work or we probably wouldn't ponder, dialogue,
              and lurk
              > here searching for answers and points of interest if we were apt to
              pass
              > judgment.

              Exactly. Well said, Mike. Gaining knowledge of more of the facts of
              his life is not to judge Don Blanding in some negative way. It is to
              understand better. I don't think there is anything to fear from
              knowing the truth--at least not in the case of DB! And I'm going to
              do one of those no-no's, and maintain that Don Blanding would agree
              with that sentiment. I appreciated reading your post.

              Michael
            • THOMAS MARKLE
              Boy did I miss a lot of discussion.....I have 20 minutes on this computer, so......I liked Keith s response and others as well. Don s sexual persuasion is not
              Message 6 of 14 , Sep 14, 2007
              • 0 Attachment
                Boy did I miss a lot of discussion.....I have 20 minutes on this computer, so......I liked Keith's response and others as well. Don's sexual persuasion is not the important piece we are researching. It is there and known but so what. I've interviewed several people in their 80's who said, "Oh, Don Blanding that gay boy from Waikiki, he was so well liked by everyone that no one cares what he is". That's a pretty accurate quote. He was a personality, wordsmith, artist and mooch. He was loved most anywhere he went. As researchers we uncover little bits of information that sometimes lead to other finds that lead to newer finds, so on and so forth. That's research. I met an antique dealer on Kauai that had some DB pottery and we got to talking and now she's interested in our site. She didn't know we were researching him and was really excited about it. What Cadia and the rest of us have done in 7 years is amazing as far as I'm concerned. Aloha to all...tj

                keith2draw <keith2draw@...> wrote: Aloha Mike & Michael,

                You've made good points, and they are all well taken.

                There are about 4-5 Blanding researchers who frequent this board, and we are all busy
                piecing together his life from obscure newspaper accounts, magazine articles, long lost
                interviews and ebay ephemera. Blanding was after all born 114 years ago and has been
                gone for half a century. We do not have the luxury of having previously written and
                researched volumes of details on his life, such as you would already have for say someone
                like Thomas Edison, Edgar Allen Poe or Gertrude Stein (because, frankly, he wasn't as
                important as these folks). The people who knew Don well are now dead themselves. There
                are some old-timers that knew him in his later years...but obviously no-one alive who
                shared his early, developmental years.

                To us, the thrill of the hunt is as enjoyable as the actual body of work that Don left behind.
                So when one of us discovers a new clue (however small), and posts it on this board, it's the
                detective in us gloating about finding a long-lost detail of his life. We in no way mean to
                infer any importance to the clues (in the grand scheme of things) ...it's just fun to see little
                slices of his life from a distance through the binoculars of time [sorry, horrible cliche].

                Those of us who have been on this board from the beginning (Jan. 2000) have discussed
                many complex aspects of Don's life in-depth (such as his sexuality) ...but folks who have
                joined us in the last year or two will only see the lighter dialogue and assume everything is
                trivial on the board. I urge all newcomers to go back and read some of our older posts for
                more detailed talks that have already transpired.

                The bottom line is that to try and get to the "meat" of Don's life, his feelings, dreams,
                inclinations and quirks, we have to sort out all the finer details like where he lived, who he
                knew, and who he wrote to. That's all we have to go on for the moment. And if discovering
                that he had a bran muffin with Edgar Cayce on Thursday, April 3, 1924 leads to finding an
                entry in Edgar Cayce's diary that states Don made a sexual pass at him...well then there we
                have our proof!

                I think most of us are mature, open-minded adults and I for one feel that if Don was
                gay..."so what!" It wouldn't tarnish his image at all...it would just add to the interest. Most
                of us have expressed that opinion here. It's not disinterest that keeps us from discussing it
                (and as I said, we have talked about it in the past ad naseum) it's just that until we know
                for sure, one way or the other, it would just be conjecture. If he was gay, it would have had
                a huge impact on how he lived his life, who he trusted, how he separated his public
                personna of a big, strapping ladies-man poet who was respected by men as well, from his
                private, gentle, secluded life when not on the lecture circuit. But until we get the "smoking
                gun" letter or diary entry which reveals his sexual preference....we plug away on the
                research and try to build a profile of Don that is honest, sincere and revealing. It just takes
                time. Most of us have either 9-to-5 jobs, kids, grandkids, etc... which takes up the bulk of
                our time, and research has to wait for rare free time.

                I will say, this is the best dialogue we've had in a long time.

                Keith






                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • kathysip3
                ... and we are all busy ... articles, long lost ... ago and has been ... previously written and ... have for say someone ... frankly, he wasn t as ...
                Message 7 of 14 , Oct 1, 2007
                • 0 Attachment
                  --- In aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com, "keith2draw"
                  <keith2draw@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Aloha Mike & Michael,
                  >
                  > You've made good points, and they are all well taken.
                  >
                  > There are about 4-5 Blanding researchers who frequent this board,
                  and we are all busy
                  > piecing together his life from obscure newspaper accounts, magazine
                  articles, long lost
                  > interviews and ebay ephemera. Blanding was after all born 114 years
                  ago and has been
                  > gone for half a century. We do not have the luxury of having
                  previously written and
                  > researched volumes of details on his life, such as you would already
                  have for say someone
                  > like Thomas Edison, Edgar Allen Poe or Gertrude Stein (because,
                  frankly, he wasn't as
                  > important as these folks). The people who knew Don well are now dead
                  themselves. There
                  > are some old-timers that knew him in his later years...but obviously
                  no-one alive who
                  > shared his early, developmental years.
                  >
                  > To us, the thrill of the hunt is as enjoyable as the actual body of
                  work that Don left behind.
                  > So when one of us discovers a new clue (however small), and posts it
                  on this board, it's the
                  > detective in us gloating about finding a long-lost detail of his
                  life. We in no way mean to
                  > infer any importance to the clues (in the grand scheme of things)
                  ...it's just fun to see little
                  > slices of his life from a distance through the binoculars of time
                  [sorry, horrible cliche].
                  >
                  > Those of us who have been on this board from the beginning (Jan.
                  2000) have discussed
                  > many complex aspects of Don's life in-depth (such as his sexuality)
                  ...but folks who have
                  > joined us in the last year or two will only see the lighter dialogue
                  and assume everything is
                  > trivial on the board. I urge all newcomers to go back and read some
                  of our older posts for
                  > more detailed talks that have already transpired.
                  >
                  > The bottom line is that to try and get to the "meat" of Don's life,
                  his feelings, dreams,
                  > inclinations and quirks, we have to sort out all the finer details
                  like where he lived, who he
                  > knew, and who he wrote to. That's all we have to go on for the
                  moment. And if discovering
                  > that he had a bran muffin with Edgar Cayce on Thursday, April 3,
                  1924 leads to finding an
                  > entry in Edgar Cayce's diary that states Don made a sexual pass at
                  him...well then there we
                  > have our proof!
                  >
                  > I think most of us are mature, open-minded adults and I for one feel
                  that if Don was
                  > gay..."so what!" It wouldn't tarnish his image at all...it would
                  just add to the interest. Most
                  > of us have expressed that opinion here. It's not disinterest that
                  keeps us from discussing it
                  > (and as I said, we have talked about it in the past ad naseum) it's
                  just that until we know
                  > for sure, one way or the other, it would just be conjecture. If he
                  was gay, it would have had
                  > a huge impact on how he lived his life, who he trusted, how he
                  separated his public
                  > personna of a big, strapping ladies-man poet who was respected by
                  men as well, from his
                  > private, gentle, secluded life when not on the lecture circuit. But
                  until we get the "smoking
                  > gun" letter or diary entry which reveals his sexual preference....we
                  plug away on the
                  > research and try to build a profile of Don that is honest, sincere
                  and revealing. It just takes
                  > time. Most of us have either 9-to-5 jobs, kids, grandkids, etc...
                  which takes up the bulk of
                  > our time, and research has to wait for rare free time.
                  >
                  > I will say, this is the best dialogue we've had in a long time.
                  >
                  > Keith
                  >
                  > I have to agree with everyone else, great dialogue, by far the most
                  >interesting of discussions I have read in along time. Thanks to all.
                  > I still love his work, be he a, a, or whatever.....

                  > Kathy
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