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Revisit—11th Street South and a rabbit . . .

I recently visited this posting and found it to be a fascinating and exceptional piece of literature, so I decided to re-post it for the benefit of the throngs that have been fortunate enough to have found my blog in the interim. It is my humble and modest opinion, with all seriousness set aside, that any reading or re-reading of this classic tale will enchant and delight everyone that passes this way. It’s a long read, but it’s highly educational, entertaining and well worth your time and effort—honest!

11th Street South and a rabbit . . .

When I left Plato’s realm of spirits—mind you, I was and I remain one of Plato’s ideal philosophical souls—and entered this world, I became part of a family that included my mother, one brother and five sisters, three living sisters and two dead, and no father—well, of course I had a father, but my parents were divorced a few months before I was born, a situation that technically makes me a little bastard. That technicality doesn’t bother me, even though it has been verbally confirmed many times by many people over the course of my life. Those verbal confirmations have decreased significantly since I retired from the workforce and relinquished my responsibilities and duties as a manager and supervisor of federal employees.

The Great Depression was in full swing when I left the world of souls and appeared on this planet. My brother Larry was away from home, gainfully occupied in building roads in Utah and other western states, roads that in his words started nowhere and ended nowhere. Early in the 1930s he joined the CCC—Civilian Conservation Corps—one of the alphabet organizations created by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, and helped build highways and tunnels in the western part of the United States, systems that would attract many millions of people in the future to our national parks. Following his stint with the CCC, he joined the U.S. Navy at the start of World War II and remained overseas through most of that conflict and never returned to the family except for short visits.

I have only retained two events over the first six years of my life that included my brother. The first memory is one of us fishing in a creek that meandered along near the house my family lived in at the time, a rental house owned by a local doctor named Box, the doctor that delivered me. Located on the outskirts of Vernon, Alabama, it was referred to as the old Box place—my family moved there from my place of birth, the old home place located some five miles south of town—I was little more than a toddler at the time. If you like, you can click here to read about the monumental event of my birth, Unto you this day a child was born. It’s a well-told tale with tons of family history and well worth your time—trust me!

The other memory involves a washtub in the front yard, filled with ice and beer, and my family enjoying and celebrating my brother’s visit. It also involves a partially filled beer left on a table within reach of a small night-shirted boy, and a set of high steps leading up to the front door of our house. The steps were necessary because the house was built on brick piers in an area prone to flooding. I have a vivid memory of standing on the top step in full view of the family gathered around the tub of ice and beer in the front yard and tossing the contents of my stomach—whatever food I had ingested along with the warm beer I had consumed—all over the steps.

Bummer!

I lived at the old Box place with my mother and three sisters. My mother and the two older sisters worked at a garment factory in Columbus, Mississippi, a city thirty miles west of Vernon, just across the Alabama-Mississippi state line. The women walked a short distance to and from town Monday through Friday and traveled to and from their work site on a county school bus set aside for that purpose. They necessarily left at an early hour and arrived home at a late hour every evening.

I and my youngest sister, a child just 18 months older than I, were left in the care of a lady that lived within walking distance. She came to our house early each morning and waited until the women left for work before escorting my sister and me to her house—she returned us home just before the women were due to arrive from work. With her husband and a passel of kids—my mother’s term—ranging from toddlers to young adults, she lived, loved, maintained her family and helped perform the many tasks involved in farming.

Whether they were the owners or were sharecroppers will never be known, but my guess is that they farmed on shares with the owners. Today the family would be called African-American, but at that time they were called everything except that hyphenated politically correct term—my family referred to them as black folks, or blacks, or that black family—other terms were available and quite popular at the time, but none were used by my family. This was a black family that included two white children five days every week, a boy and a girl, both preschoolers, two children that shared playtime and mealtime and after-dinner naps on the front porch with the family and loved every minute of every day.

My family left Vernon and moved to Columbus, Mississippi when I was five years old. My sister entered the first grade on our arrival there, and I entered the first grade the following year. That year is so filled with memories that I must reserve it for a separate posting, and I will include in this posting a third memory of my brother Larry.

He came home for a Christmas visit from his labors under the auspices of Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps. That winter Columbus, Mississippi had an unusually heavy snowfall, and my brother took me on a rabbit hunt, armed only with a broomstick—just the stick, no broom. The broom part was badly worn and my brother sawed off that part. We walked a short distance from our house to a snow-covered field that served as a dumping ground for discarded items such as broken furniture, mattresses, wire-coil bed springs, old stoves and other such refuse. Yes, we lived on the south side of the city, the part that was known as the wrong side of town, an area subjected to such dumping.

This is how one hunts rabbits after a heavy snowfall—one takes a broomstick and pounds on any pile of junk where a rabbit might choose to hide, and chases the rabbit when it leaves its cover. In a heavy snowfall rabbits can’t run, so they tend to flee by burrowing under the snow rather than jumping in and out of it. Ergo, the mighty hunter simply follows the unseen rabbit as it ripples the surface of the snow by burrowing under it, estimates the location of the rabbit’s head—not a difficult task, not even for a southerner, and strikes with the broomstick a number of times, enough time sufficient to render the animal ready for skinning, cleaning and cooking.

My brother only found one rabbit with all his pounding, and that one did exactly as expected, and brother did exactly as narrated above, but landed just one blow with the stick. The rabbit’s forward motion was stopped, and on examination was found to be very much alive, only stunned by the blow but no more blows were struck. I pleaded with my brother to not kill it, and let me take it home as a pet.

And so it was. I carried a new-found pet rabbit home—I never knew whether it was male or female, but just for discussion I’ll say it was a female—perhaps I hoped for some baby rabbits. I had no way to secure her, neither inside the house nor outside, and one of my older sisters suggested I make a leash and tie her to a bedpost, and using a six-year old boy’s imagination, I did as suggested.

At this point the reader should probably keep a hankie or a box of Kleenex handy.

I fashioned a leash from a discarded pair of nylon stockings, those with the black seams running the length of the stockings, seams that ladies of the day were constantly adjusting to keep them straight on the backs of their legs. I knotted the stockings together, then secured one end of the leash to the cottontail’s neck and the other to a bedpost. My new-found pet could move around no farther than the length of nylon, so whatever deposits he made during the night would be restricted to a small area.

Okay, folks, here’s where you’ll need the hankie or the Kleenex. When I went to sleep my pet was warm and cuddly and full of life, but the next morning she was cold and stiff and dead, choked by the nylon that had tightened during the night with her circling around and around the bedpost.

I know, I know—I know just how you feel, but just blow your nose and wipe away your tears. It happened some 71 years ago, and I will say to you exactly what Lloyd Bridges said in the made-for-television movie Cold Sassy Tree. This is what he said in answer to his children when they learned he intended to marry his long-time office manager although his wife—their mother—had been dead less than a year. What he said was,

Well, she ain’t gonna get any deader!

And that rabbit ain’t gonna get any deader either, so dry your tears. I assure you that never again—not in all those years, not even once—have I strangled another rabbit by leaving it tied to a bedpost with a knotted pair of ladies’ nylons, nor have I ever strangled another rabbit by any other method, nor have I ever advised my children or the children of others to do such—in fact, largely because of that sad event I have strongly stressed that all should respect the value of life, both for humans and for the so-called lower orders of life.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2010 in Childhood, Family, Humor, neighbors, race, Uncategorized

 

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Cohan, A Declaration of Independence and a wild coaster ride . . .

I began this posting as a comment to a blog posting by another Word Press writer, one that promises—and delivers—a funny every day, but somewhere along the way my comment took on a different character, that of a new posting on my blog. I believe that any visitor to that funny every day blog will be entertained and enlightened.  When you have finished my posting, you’ll find a link at the end for the funny every day blogger. I believe you’ll enjoy both.

The funny ever day posting is a blistering examination and a repudiation, more or less, of everything intended by one of our founding fathers—Thomas Jefferson, the well meaning—perhaps—author of A DECLARATION by the REPRESENTATIVES of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in GENERAL CONGRESS Assembled—our Declaration of Independence dated July 4, 1776. The posting is hilarious from start to finish, a classic work that deserves to be housed with the original document at the National Archives or perhaps with Jefferson’s original draft housed at the Library of Congress—both are repositories located in Washington, DC, that sinkhole on the east coast surrounded by the states of Virginia and Maryland.

I tender my abject apologies to James M. Cohan for my corruption of his classic song, You’re a grand old flag, but I have retained the lyrical cadence of his original work.

Note that I have replaced flag with the word document, referring to the Declaration of Independence but shortened to doc for artistic rhythm and poetical purposes. Also please note that the phrase for me and for you is not specific to, nor is it directed at, any particular person, gender, age group, profession, political party, sexual preference, nationality, race, ethnicity or religion or to any specific school of thought except for two exceptions and those are purely accidental—I refer to the terms Dems and Repubs, terms that may or may not be specific in nature, a matter left for readers to define for themselves.

Now for a title of my take on James M. Cohan’s You’re a grand old flag—there is a word that rhymes perfectly with flag, but in deference to various members of Congress, whether young or not so young, and to a significant group of citizens that dislike the term, either for personal or non-personal reasons, I choose not to use it. It’s use obviously would dramatically change the content and tone of the parody and would not suit my purpose. It could, I suppose, be useful in a personal tribute to some individual, whether in or out of public service—perhaps on retirement or resignation. My title and my version of Cohan’s immortal ditty follows:

YOU’RE A GRAND OLD DOC

You’re a grand old doc,
A well-written doc,
A doc for the home of the knaves,
A doc subject to
Some rants from the Dems
And rebuts from the Repubs that fave.

Every heart beats true
‘cept for me and for you,
‘cause we both do believe that it’s true,
That the grand old doc
Is pure poppycock
And is upheld by only a few.

For the edification of the few unaware of the meaning of poppycock—a group probably comprised of the same remaining few that uphold the grand old doc—the following definition from Wikipedia is provided:

Poppycock—anglicized form of the Dutch pappekak, which literally means soft dung or diarrhea, an interjection meaning nonsense or balderdash.

I believe that any visitor to this blog will be entertained and enlightened—click here for a wild ride that outclasses, in every way, every rollercoaster ride on the planet!

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Tripping over a fly speck—a repost of my April 2009 posting . . .

This is a reposting from April 2009, the second of more than 200 ramblings I have created and passed on to an admiring public. I am resurrecting this one, bringing it out from the Stygian darkness into the light of day because I believe it has value, certainly more value than is evidenced by the two votes and the lone comment it has garnered over the past fourteen months. In the interest of full disclosure I confess that both votes are mine—yes, I vote for my postings when I return to them, either to correct or modify with deletions or additions or to simply admire them, and I click on excellent each time.

Hey, political candidates never vote for their opponent—they vote for themselves, right? Click here for the original posting.

This is the complete text of the original:

When I began blogging I was determined to not enter the political fray. With this posting I have moved into it, but I will step out and away from it immediately afterward. Viewers should note that this posting takes no side in the current political fracas—it simply calls attention to the utter folly of investigating certain methods of interrogation which were used by the past administration in its efforts to protect our nation from terrorist attacks.

For anyone unfamiliar with its definition, a fly speck is a piece of organic waste material excreted by a fly. A fly speck is small, very small, tiny—really, really, really tiny. Granted, it could potentially impede the forward movement of an ambulatory organism (of an amoeba, perhaps), but it’s so small that it could not, or at least it should not, in anyway impede the forward movement of any person, group of people or organization, especially the forward movement of our president and his administration in the quest to bring change—needed change—to our country and to our planet.

Many highly-placed officials in the present administration, up to and including our 44th president, are tripping over a fly speck. That speck is the current discussion over whether to investigate and perhaps charge, indict, bring to trial and if found guilty in any degree, punish officials of the previous administration who authorized certain methods of interrogation of known or suspected terrorists.

I wish fervently that all who are involved in this matter would stop, take a good long look at what confronts them and desist—it’s a fly speck, nothing more. Step over it, step around it or step on it, but don’t trip over it. Be aware of it but ignore it and keep moving forward. Get on with your work in areas which have real meaning—keeping our country free from harm by those who would destroy us, fighting global warming, improving health care, reviving the economy, and improving the nation’s schools are several which come to mind.

The lone comment on the original posting was contributed by a lovely southern belle, a recent transplant from Virginia to Alabama and a lady suffused with cogent thoughts and opinions—cogent as in clear, logical, compelling, convincing and timely—thoughts, opinions and ideas to which she readily gives voice, unflinchingly and without fear of retribution—hear, hear!

This is her comment:

Hear, hear! I agree—the question now is, “How much is this political folly going to cost each of us as American tax payers?” I don’t care what it takes to extract information from those who desire to kill and harm us in this great free nation. Let us move forward, not backwards.

And this my response to her comment:

Hi, Sue—I removed the inadvertent second el in “political” in your comment, but then I took a long look at that extra el and did some deep thinking. By adding an extra el to political, we get “politicall.” With just one keystroke we convert the word from an adjective to a noun (accent on the last syllable). As a noun this new word, “politicall,” can be defined as “an attempt by one political party to oust another political party from power, either by impeachment or by voting the rascals out.”

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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11th Street South and a rabbit . . .

When I left Plato’s realm of spirits—mind you, I was and I remain one of Plato’s ideal philosophical souls—and entered this world, I became part of a family that included my mother, one brother and five sisters, three living and two dead, and no father—well, of course I had a father, but my parents were divorced a few months after I was born, a situation that, technically at least, makes me a little b – – – – – d. That technicality doesn’t bother me, even though it has been verbally confirmed many times by many people over the course of my life. Those verbal confirmations have decreased significantly since I retired from the workforce and relinquished my responsibilities and duties as a manager and supervisor of federal employees.

The Great Depression was in full swing when I left the world of souls and appeared on this planet. My brother  Larry was away from home, gainfully occupied in building roads in Utah and other western states, roads that in his words started nowhere and ended nowhere. Early in the 1930s he joined the CCC—Civilian Conservation Corps—one of the alphabet organizations created by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, and helped build highways and tunnels in the western part of the United States, systems that would attract many millions of people in the future to our national parks. Following his stint with the CCC, he joined the U.S. Navy at the start of World War II and remained overseas through most of that conflict and never returned to the family except for short visits.

I have only retained two events over the first six years of my life that included my brother. The first memory is one of us fishing in a creek that meandered along near the house my family lived in at the time, a rental house owned by a local doctor named Box, the doctor that delivered me. Located on the outskirts of Vernon, Alabama, it was referred to as the old Box place—my family moved there from my place of birth, the old home place located some five miles south of town—I was little more than a toddler at the time. If you like, you can click here to read about the monumental event of my birth, Unto you this day a child was born. It’s a well-told tale with tons of family history and well worth your time—trust me!

The other memory involves a washtub in the front yard, filled with ice and cans of beer, and my family enjoying and celebrating my brother’s visit and celebrating. It also involves a partially filled beer can left on a table within reach of a small night-shirted boy, and a set of high steps leading up to the front door of our house. The steps were necessary because the house was built on brick piers in an area prone to flooding. I have a vivid memory of standing on the top step in full view of the family gathered around the tub of beer in the front yard and tossing the contents of my stomach—whatever food I had ingested along with the warm beer I had consumed—all over the steps.

Bummer!

I lived at the old Box place with my mother and three sisters. My mother and the two older sisters worked at a garment factory in Columbus, Mississippi, a city thirty miles west of Vernon, just across the Alabama-Mississippi state line. The women walked a short distance to and from town Monday through Friday and traveled to and from their work site on a county school bus set aside for that purpose. They necessarily left at an early hour and arrived home at a late hour every evening.

I and my youngest sister, a child just 18 months older than I, were left in the care of a lady that lived within walking distance. She came to our house early each morning and waited until the women left for work before escorting my sister and me to her house—she returned us home just before the women were due to arrive from work. With her husband and a passel of kids—my mother’s term—ranging from toddlers to young adults, she lived, loved, maintained her family and helped perform the many tasks involved in farming.

Whether they were the owners or were sharecroppers will never be known, but my guess is that they farmed on shares with the owners. Today the family would be called African-American, but at that time they were called everything except that hyphenated politically correct term—my family referred to them as black folks, or blacks, or that black family—other terms were available and quite popular at the time, but none were used by my family. This was a black family that included two white children five days every week, a boy and a girl, both preschoolers, two children that shared playtime and mealtime and after-dinner naps on the front porch with the family and loved every minute of every day there.

My family left Vernon and moved to Columbus when I was five years old. My sister entered the first grade on our arrival there, and I entered the first grade the following year. That year is so filled with memories that I must reserve it for a separate posting, and I will include in this posting a third early memory of my brother Larry.

He came home for a Christmas visit from his labors under the auspices of Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corp. That winter Columbus, Mississippi had an unusually heavy snowfall, and my brother took me on a rabbit hunt, armed only with a broomstick—just the stick, no broom. The broom part was badly worn and my brother sawed off that part. We walked a short distance from our house to a snow-covered field that served as a dumping ground for discarded items such as broken furniture, mattresses, wire-coil bed springs, old stoves and other such refuse. Yes, we lived on the south side of the city, the part that was known as the wrong side of town, an area subjected to such dumping.

This is how one hunts rabbits after a heavy snowfall. One takes a broomstick and pounds on any pile of junk where a rabbit might choose to hide, and chases the rabbit when it leaves its cover. In a heavy snowfall rabbits can’t run, so they tend to flee by burrowing under the snow rather than jumping in and out of it. Ergo, the mighty hunter simply follows the unseen rabbit as it ripples the surface of the snow by burrowing under it, estimates the location of the rabbit’s head—not a difficult task, not even for a southerner, and strikes with the broomstick a number of times, enough time sufficient to render the animal ready for skinning, cleaning and cooking.

My brother only found one rabbit with all his pounding, and that one did exactly as expected, and brother did exactly as narrated above, but landed just one blow with the stick. The rabbit’s forward motion was stopped, and on examination was found to be very much alive, only stunned by the blow but no more blows were struck. I pleaded with my brother to not kill it, and let me take it home as a pet.

And so it was. I carried a full-grown cottontail rabbit home—I never knew whether it was male or female, but just for discussion I’ll say it was a female—perhaps I hoped for some baby rabbits. I had no way to secure her, neither inside the house or outside, and one of my older sisters suggested I make a leash and tie her to a bedpost, and using a six-year old boy’s imagination, I did as suggested.

At this point the reader should probably keep a hankie or a box of Kleenex handy.

I fashioned a leash from discarded pair of nylon stockings, those with the black seams running the length of the stockings, seams that ladies of the day were constantly adjusting to keep them straight on the backs of their legs. I knotted the stocking together, then secured one end of the leash to the cottontail’s neck and the other to a bedpost. My new-found pet could move around no farther than the length of nylon, so whatever deposits he made during the night would be restricted to a small area.

Okay, folks, here’s where you’ll need the hankie or the Kleenex. When I went to sleep my pet was warm and cuddly and full of life, but the next morning she was cold and stiff and dead, choked by the nylon that had tightened during the night with her circling around and around the bedpost.

I know, I know—I know just how you feel, but just blow your nose and wipe away your tears. It happened some 71 years ago, and I will say to you exactly what Lloyd Bridges said in the made-for-television movie Cold Sassy Tree. This is what he said in answer to his children when they learned he intended to marry his long-time office manager although his wife—their mother—had been dead less than a year. What he said was,

Well, she ain’t gonna get any deader!

And that rabbit ain’t gonna get any deader either, so dry your tears. I assure you that never again—not in all those years, not even once—have I strangled another rabbit by leaving it tied to a bedpost with a knotted pair of ladies’ nylons, nor have I ever strangled another rabbit by any other method, nor have I ever advised my children or the children of others to do such—if fact, largely because of that sad event I have strongly stressed that all should respect the value of life, both for humans and for the so-called lower orders of life.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Delphiniums and Al Gore . . .

Hey, since you’re already on my site, why not click here to check out my About the King of Texas? As I promised when I began blogging in March of 2009, I have expanded it, and I welcome comments on that expansion. And if you’ll click here, you’ll find lots of stuff about me that you really wanted to know but were afraid to ask.

Now on to this posting featuring a purple delphinium and Al Gore:

Earlier this year one of my three princesses, the one that lives, loves and works in Virginia, posted a gorgeous image of a purple delphinium to her Word Press blog. The photo was so beautiful and I liked it so much that I spent a goodly amount of time composing a comment to express my liking, and I used the comment to express my opinion on a certain figure that looms large in our political scene, so large that at times it raises my ire and restricts my view. I’m unsure why the delphinium directed my thoughts to global warming—perhaps I felt that if global warming is a reality, there may be no purple delphiniums in our future.

Click here to view a delightful delphinium with a plethora of pulchritudinous purple petals (I really love alliteration!)  http://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/fridays-eye-candy/#comments.

With full realization that one’s memory tends to wane as one ages, I do not believe my daughter has read my comment, so I am making it a separate posting on my blog. I’m bringing it out of the shadows of comments and into the bright light of its own posting. My humble opinion is that my comment deserves wider dissemination, and my ego requires it—nay, demands it!

Here is my original comment on the purple delphinium, and I welcome comments on my comment:

Your photographic representation of a purple delphinium finds me and leaves me at a loss for words adequate enough to praise its beauty. I can only say that it is NOT disgusting, grotesque, hideous, homely, offensive, plain, repulsive, ugly or unattractive.

As an afterthought, I suppose I could say that it is admirable, alluring, angelic, appealing, beauteous, bewitching, charming, classy, comely, cute, dazzling, delicate, delightful, divine, elegant, enticing, excellent, exquisite, fair, fascinating, fine, foxy, good-looking, gorgeous, graceful, grand, handsome, ideal, lovely, magnificent, marvelous, nice, pleasing, pretty, pulchritudinous, radiant, ravishing, refined, resplendent, shapely, sightly, splendid, statuesque, stunning, sublime, superb, symmetrical, taking, well-formed, and wonderful, so I will say it—in fact, I just said it.

As you well know, I face the East every morning and bow in homage to a giant, one that resides in the East—no, not the sun. I bow to a giant that is normally quite garrulous, a towering presence in all our media sources, but for some strange reason has fallen silent in recent weeks, a silence coincidental, perhaps, to the nation’s recent record snowfalls. Be that as it may, while bowing I repeatedly chant, “Al, baby, you’da most!”

My humble bow to that giant and my paying homage to Him (note the capital H) is in recognition of the fact that He is a giant that, for various actions ranging from beneficial to nefarious with all impinging on our society, will remain a giant unless discredited, and will be firmly ensconced in future annals of American history.

That giant is Al Gore, of course, the One (note the capital O) that foretold the extinction of our planet due to global warming caused by mankind, and for that prescience, that foresight, that knowledge of things before they exist or happen, had a Hollywood Oscar and a Nobel Peace Prize bestowed on Him.

Let’s face it—in his prophecies, Al Gore rivals Nicodemus!

In the interests of full disclosure, I must admit that I am deeply indebted to Al Gore for his invention of the internet—were it not for that prodigious discovery, I would really be at a loss for words—my comments on your blog postings would be reduced to words and phrases such as oh boy, great, nice, wow, okay, right on, you go girl, keep it up, make it happen, give us more, etc., etc., etc.

And also in the interests of full disclosure, I must reveal to your visitors from across the world that my compensation from you is based on the word counts of my comments praising your work, and varies in direct proportion to the number of words—fewer words less money, more words more money.

“N’uff said, or is that more than enough? Can you really afford me? Have your people call my people to discuss different terms of compensation.

I know, I know—I have far too much time on my hands!

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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