The annual Cleveland version of the most popular carnival in Slovenia - Kurentovanje - was a week long event featuring cooking demos, language instruction, a dance party, fun run and more. But the highlight was the annual Kurentovanje Parade followed by the festival celebration.
The weather cooperated and crowds lined St. Clair for the Parade and then went inside the Slovenian National Home or the tents outside for music, food and fun. Young and old dressed in costumes to scare away winter. And of course everyone wanted to take a picture with a Kurent or a Krampus character
Here are a few short videos of the Kurentovanje Pust.
We met up with Eva Ozbolt Kisley who has been a proud Slovenian since 1921! At 102 years old she was the Queen of Cleveland Kurentovanje 2023. She said her parents would be so happy and that she was overwhelmed at being "Queen for a Day". What a sweetheart! Watch her in this short video.
The Tudors: Art and Majesty in Renaissance England
The Cleveland Museum of Art opened a new exhibit - The Tudors: Art and Majesty in Renaissance England - which is the first exhibition in the US to trace the transformation of the arts in Tudor England.
It includes huge tapestries that fill entire walls, suits of armor, sculptures, portraits and more.
The Tudor dynasty ruled for only three generations but it transformed England from a land devastated by the War of the Roses to a major player in Europe and eventually the rest of the world. This exhibit covers the larger than life personas of Henry VII, Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.
More than 50,000 deaths had been reported and hundreds of thousands displaced and injured from the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. It is a tragedy of immense proportion. As a gesture of support and reflection, the Board of the Syrian Cultural Garden endorsed holding a vigil event at the Garden on February 19, 2023. A list of active civic organizations that are involved in humanitarian relief efforts were provided to the attendees.
Ceata Romanian Folk Ensemble is a cultural dance group led by founder and director Mariana Somogyi and dance instructor and choreographer Ovidiu Ghioda. They performed three dances from the Fagaraa region in Transylvania Romania at the annual Slovenian Kurentovanje Festival in the Slovenian National Home in Cleveland Ohio.
Ceata Romanian Folk Ensemble dancers at Kurentovanje
Rudy was an immigrant from Hungary who started his store in 1948 at 48th and Storer. It was known for strudel and penny candy. He had two daughters who are still good friends of the current owner, Lidia Trempe.
Lidia's father immigrated from Ukraine and her mother from Poland. When Rudy died in 1979 her mother bought Rudy's and brought in some of her secret old-world recipes for Eastern European favorites such as strudel, kolaczki, potica and others and, of course, paczki.
Rudy's is located in the heart of Parma's Polish Village at 5580 Ridge Road in Parma, OH 44129. Rudy's Strudel & Bakery is now 75 years old but pierogi was not on the original menu. Owner Lidia Trempe said it began when a bakery customer saw them cooking pierogi for the family dinner and ordered some. The rest is history.
The pierogis have become so popular that when we asked our website visitors to let us know where their favorite pierogis come from the clear winner was Rudy's.
So we were happy to award the Cleveland 101 Favorite Pierogi 2023 honor to the legendary Rudy's and presented it to Lidia.
Lidia Trempe with Favorite Pierogi award for Rudy's
They have a replica "Doc Hudson" at the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum on loan from the Hudson Essex Terraplane Historical Society (HETHS), Indianapolis, IN. This traveling display is a HETHS tribute to Doc Hudson, the star of Disney's animated movie "Cars" which honored vintage automobiles and automotive racing history.
This Doc Hudson started as a rust-free 1951 Pacemaker sedan with 59k original miles. His grill was gone and the front end had been wrecked at some point. The hood and front fenders were green, but the rest of Doc had his original Texas tan paint dulled by the sun to a rusty colored brown. The original "parts car" was donated by the Harry Bong estate.
The original 1951 Hudson Pacemaker sedan was transformed by the Martinsville High School shop class and others into a strikingly beautiful Doc Hudson that draws crowds of children and adults everywhere it goes.
Concord Casimir says it's going to be a Flip Flop end of Winter
Concord Casimir made his much anticipated forecast this Thursday at 10am at Ellison Creek Knob in Concord, Ohio. Casimir is predicting some dramatic shifts to our weather for the duration of our winter where you will be freezing one week and then shedding your clothes the next.
It's all in the way Casimir eats his pierogi, states John Niedzialek, Master of Ceremony. It's a no brainer this year folks. Casimir was flipping his pierogi around today during his annual prediction meal and that can mean only one thing: expect a "flip- flop" end of winter.
With Casimir's forecast last year right on the money predicting all that rain, there should be a movement to rename Feb 2 Concord Casimir Day, says Niedzialek. He is undefeated in his predictions.
Casimir was found abandoned as a kitten on the footsteps of St. Casimir Polish Church on Cleveland's east side at what many are now calling "Cleveland's Miraculous Polish Church" after it reopened on July 15, 2012. Perhaps it is just a coincidence, but Concord Casimir shares the same birthday of July 15. Is it divine intervention or is Casimir just that good? In any case, why would anyone listen to a groundhog?
This year Casimir also known as the Polish Prince of Felines moved up his forecast 2 hours from Noon to 10am due to news media demand and he was not at all happy about it. You would think a cat who only works one day out of the year would not mind getting up a little earlier but no, Casimir was one grumpy cat. I think he caught a glimpse of that critter from Pennsylvania on TV in the morning and that got his morning off to a rough start.
John Niedzialek is a weather enthusiast retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Niedzialek teaches Earth Science at Lakeland College in Mentor, Ohio, works part time for the Lake County Soil & Water Conservation District, and volunteers at St. Casimir Polish Church.
Concord Casimir during his 2023 Pierogi Weather Prediction meal.
Funny Retiree Mental Fitness Evaluation
This test is to ascertain your mental state now. If you get one right you are doing OK, if you get none right you better go for counseling. (I'll meet you there.)
There are 4 test questions. Don't miss one.
1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?
Stop and think about it and decide on your answer
before you scroll down.
The Correct Answer:
Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe, and close the door. This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.
2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?
Did you say, Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant, and close the refrigerator?
Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door. This tests your ability to think through
the repercussions of your previous actions.
Lion King Test
3. The Lion King is hosting an Animal Conference. All the animals attend... except one. Which animal does not attend?
The Elephant. The elephant is in the refrigerator. You just put him in there. This tests your memory.
Okay, even if you did not answer the first three questions correctly, you still have one more chance to show your true abilities.
4. There is a river you must cross but it is used by crocodiles, and you do not have a boat. How do you manage it?
You jump into the river and swim across. Haven't you been listening? All the crocodiles are attending the Animal Conference. This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes. Ha Ha!
The Best Websites of 2022
We recently received this notice. "You have earned 36/40 in our annual website review study (The TGE awards) and thus qualify for our "Top Website 2022" award."
Clevelander Sara Lucy Bagby The last person returned to slavery in the US
The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses established in the US during the early 1800s to help slaves escape into free states and Canada. It was run by abolitionists and others sympathetic to the cause of the escapees. Ohio had many stops on the Underground Railroad and since Canada was an ultimate destination, the short distance across Lake Erie from Cleveland to Canada made the city a popular destination. Cleveland was codenamed Hope on the Underground Railroad.
Restore Cleveland Hope operates the Underground Railroad Interpretive Center in the Cozad-Bates House, the only surviving pre-Civil War building in University Circle. They offer tours and events and it was here that we learned of the story of Sara Lucy Bagby.
Sara Lucy Bagby display at Cozad-Bates House
Sara Lucy Bagby was born in the early 1840s in Virginia. On October 3, 1860 Bagby fled from slavery in Wheeling. She eventually escaped slavery via the Underground Railroad and made her way to Cleveland, Ohio.
Her arrest in Cleveland on January 19, 1861 became a test case of the Fugitive Slave Act.
Wheeling resident John Goshorn and his son showed proof of ownership, and the federal court ordered her return to Virginia. Sara Lucy Bagby was the last person in the United States forced to return to slavery in the South under the Fugitive Slave Act.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer and Democrat Party of the US were both pro-slavery so despite the state government's and citizens of Cleveland's attempts to intervene, Lucy was transported back to Goshorn's property in Wheeling, then still part of Virginia.
After the Emancipation Proclamation, Bagby eventually resettled in Cleveland, where she died in 1906 and was buried.
In this video, Kathryn Puckett, Restore Cleveland Hope Board Chair, tells the story of Sara Lucy Bagby.
Recently I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together at the airport. They had announced the departure. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the Father said, "I love you, and I wish you enough."
The daughter replied, "Dad, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Dad."
They kissed and the daughter left. The Father walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, "Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?"
"Yes, I have," I replied. "Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever-good-bye?"
"I am old, and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is, the next trip back will be for my funeral," he said.
"When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, 'I wish you enough,' may I ask what that means?"
He began to smile, "That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone..." He paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail, and he smiled even more. "When we said, 'I wish you enough,' we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them.'' Then turning toward me, he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory.
I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.
He then began to cry and walked away.
They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them; but then an entire life to forget them.
Don't hang out with Negative People
A man was getting a haircut prior to a trip to Rome. He mentioned the trip to the barber, who responded, “Why would anyone want to go there.
It’s crowded and dirty and full of Italians. You’re crazy to go to Rome. So, how are you getting there?”
“We’re taking United,” was the reply. “We got a great rate!” “United!”
exclaimed the barber. “That’s a terrible airline. Their planes are
old, their flight attendants are ugly and they’re always late. So,
where are you staying in Rome?”
“We’ll be at the downtown International Marriott.” “That dump! That’s
the worst hotel in Rome. The rooms are small, the service is surly and
they’re overpriced. So, whatcha doing when you get there?”
We’re going to go to see the Vatican and we hope to see the Pope.
“That’s rich,” laughed the barber. “You and a million other people
trying to see him. He’ll look the size of an ant. Boy, good luck on
this lousy trip of yours. You’re going to need it!”
A month later, the man again came in for his regular haircut. The
barber asked him about his trip to Rome. “It was wonderful,” explained
the man. “Not only were we on time in one of United’s brand new
planes, but it was overbooked and they bumped us up to first class.
The food and wine were wonderful, and I had a beautiful young
stewardess who waited on me hand and foot.
And the hotel! Well, it was
great! They’d just finished a $25 million remodeling job and now it’s
the finest hotel in the city. They were overbooked too, so they
apologized and gave us the presidential suite at no extra charge!”
“Well,”muttered the barber. “I know you didn’t get to see the Pope”
“Actually, we were quite lucky, for as we toured the Vatican, a Swiss
Guard tapped me on the shoulder and explained that the Pope likes to
meet some of the visitors, and if I’d be so kind as to step into his
private room and wait, the Pope would personally greet me. Sure
enough, five minutes later, the Pope walked in. As I knelt down he
spoke to me.”
“What did he say?”
“He said, ‘Where’d you get the crappy haircut?
RIP Michael Heaton
So sorry to hear of the passing of Michael Heaton, former Plain Dealer writer and more. I did an interview with Michael Heaton in 2007 when his book Truth and Justice came out. It has some great stories and many Cleveland connections - Danny Green, Michael Symon, Frank Jackson, Joe Esterhas and the like. Some great stories as only the Minister of Culture could tell them.
Sure, air fryers achieve a satisfyingly crisp finish with just a fraction of the fat, putting a healthier spin on fried foods. But there’s another reason to love your air fryer: the mind-blowing array of exciting new dishes you can add to your everyday repertory.
Remember the '3' steps, STR. Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:
S Ask the individual to SMILE.
T Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (i.e. It is sunny out today.)
R Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.
New Sign of a Stroke - Stick out Your Tongue. Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue... If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other,that is also an indication of a stroke.
Lost Words From Those Of Us Lucky Enough To Have Lived Through the 1950's
Mergatroyd! Do you remember that word? Would you believe the spell-checker did not recognize the word Mergatroyd? Heavens to Mergatroyd!
The other day a not so elderly, (I say 75), lady said something to her son about driving a Jalopy; and he looked at her, quizzically and said, "What the heck is a Jalopy?" He had never heard of the word jalopy! She knew she was old ... But not that old!
Well, I hope you are Hunky Dory after you read this and chuckle.
About a month ago, I illuminated some old expressions that have become obsolete because of the inexorable march of technology. These phrases included: Don't touch that dial, Carbon copy, You sound like a broken record, and Hung out to dry.
Back in the olden days, we had a lot of moxie. We'd put on our best bib and tucker, to straighten up and fly right.
Heavens to Betsy! Gee whillikers! Jumping jehoshaphat, Holy moley!
We were in like Flynn and living the life of Riley ; and even a regular guy couldn't accuse us of being a knucklehead, a nincompoop or a pill. Not for all the tea in China!
Back in the olden days, life used to be swell, but when's the last time anything was swell?
Swell has gone the way of beehives, pageboys and the D.A.; of spats, knickers, fedoras, poodle skirts, saddle shoes, and pedal pushers.
Oh, my aching back! Kilroy was here, but he isn't anymore.
We wake up from what surely has been just a short nap, and before we can say, "Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle!" Or, "This is a fine kettle of fish!" We discover that the words we grew up with, the words that seemed omnipresent - as oxygen - have vanished with scarcely a notice from our tongues and our pens and our keyboards.Poof, go the words of our youth, the words we've left behind. We blink, and they're gone. Where have all those great phrases gone?
Long gone: Pshaw, The milkman did it. Hey! It's your nickel. Don't forget to pull the chain. Knee high to a grasshopper. Well, Fiddlesticks! Going like sixty. I'll see you in the funny papers. Don't take any wooden nickels. Wake up and smell the roses.
It turns out there are more of these lost words and expressions than Carter has liver pills. This can be disturbing stuff! (Carter's Little Liver Pills are gone too!)
Leaves us to wonder where Superman will find a phone booth...
See ya later, alligator! Okeydokey.
Stay Fit To Drive
The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) supports the state highway system and promotes transportation initiatives statewide. ODOT's mission is to provide safe and easy movement of people and goods from place to place.
As we age we have all experienced slowing down and/or weakening of some of our abilities. Maybe it's our vision or hearing not being what it used to be. Or a physical or mental challenge. Or even our medications! Maybe we didn't drive much during the Covid pandemic and are a little rusty or fearful now.
The good news is that we older adults are among the safest drivers on Ohio roads. We are more likely to wear our seatbelts and less likely to speed or drink and drive as some of the younger people. The bad news is that the risk of being injured or killed in a crash increases with age.
The best news is that ODOT is sharing information about resources and services available to older Ohioans, families and friends, caregivers and others who interact with older drivers through its Stay Fit to Drive program.
So many jobs, so few people - Why not Workers over age 55?
Coming in to 2022 the residual effects of Covid-19 are still with us. Among many economic issues plaguing the country, persistent supply chain problems persist and hordes of people are finding ways of not returning to work so employers can't find job applicants, much less qualified job applicants.
If the unemployment numbers and the economy return to its pre-Covid19 status it will mean the continuation of having more jobs out there than there are people to fill them. In a normal job market, job seekers over the age of 55 aren't normally welcomed with open arms, outside of menial part-time work. And unfortunately, in some cases HR people regard job applicants in their late 40's as too old. It's more of a personal attitude of those in the hiring process and not necessarily a matter of company policy - not on the record anyway.
Or just Browse around using the topics to the left
Better than many weather forecasters
ClevelandSeniors.Com Joke of the Week
After seeing a documentary about ice fishing, Zeke decided to give it a try. He gathered some gear and headed out to the ice. As he se t up and was about to drill his first hole he heard a booming voice from above saying "There are no fish under the ice."
Zeke was starled but started to drill. He again heard the powerful voice stating "There are no fish under the ice."
Zeke got scared. But decided he must be imagining it and began to drill again.
The voice boomed out again, "There are no fish under the ice."
Zeke looked up to the havnes and asked, "Is that you Lord?"
The voice boomed, "No, this is the manager of the skating rink"
McDonalds menu in 1972
Advice from someone heading toward his 80th birthday
After loving my parents, my siblings, my spouse, my children and my friends, I have now started loving myself.
I have realized that I am not "Atlas". The world does not rest on my shoulders.
I have stopped bargaining with vegetable & fruit vendors. A few pennies more is not going to break me, but it might help the poor fellow save for his daughter's school fees.
I leave my waitress a big tip. The extra money might bring a smile to her face. She is toiling much harder for a living than I am.
I stopped telling the elderly that they've already told that story many times. The story makes them walk down memory lane & relive their past.
I have learned not to correct people even when I know they are wrong. The onus of making everyone perfect is not on me. Peace is more precious than perfection.
I give compliments freely & generously. Compliments are a mood enhancer not only for the recipient, but also for me. And a small tip for the recipient of a compliment, never, NEVER turn it down, just say "Thank You."
I have learned not to bother about a crease or a spot on my shirt. Personality speaks louder than appearances.
I walk away from people who don't value me. They might not know my worth, but I do.
I remain cool when someone plays dirty to outrun me in the rat race. I am not a rat & neither am I in any race.
I am learning not to be embarrassed by my emotions. It's my emotions that make me human.
I have learned that it's better to drop the ego than to break a relationship. My ego will keep me aloof, whereas with relationships, I will never be alone.
I have learned to live each day as if it's the last. After all, it might be the last.
I am doing what makes me happy. I am responsible for my happiness, and I owe it to myself. Happiness is a choice. You can be happy at any time, just choose to be!
Beatitudes for Friends of the Aged
Blessed are they who understand My faltering step and palsied hand.
Blessed are they who know that my ears today Must strain to catch the things they say.
Blessed are they who seem to know That my eyes are dim and my wits are slow.
Blessed are they who looked away When coffee spilled at the table today.
Blessed are they with a cheery smile Who stop to chat for a little while.
Blessed are they who never say, "You've told that story twice today."
Blessed are they who know the ways To bring back memories of yesterdays.
Blessed are they who make it known That I'm loved, respected and not alone.
Blessed are they who know I'm at a loss To find the strength to carry the Cross.
Blessed are they who ease the days On my journey Home in loving ways.
An Answered Prayer
Smith climbed to the top of Mt. Sinai to get close enough to talk to God. Looking up, he asked the Lord.. "God, what does a million years mean to you?"
The Lord replied, "A minute."
Smith asked, "And what does a million dollars mean to you?"
The Lord replied, "A penny."
Smith asked, "Can I have a penny?"
The Lord replied, "In a minute."
The 7 Dwarves of Old Age
Murder in the Cultural Gardens
"It just didn’t seem right to DJ. A body found bludgeoned in a place known for “Peace through Mutual Understanding.” But there she was, crumpled behind a bust of composer Franz Liszt in the Hungarian Cultural Garden. He pulled out his cell phone and dialed 911. “What is the nature of your emergency?” the dispatcher queried. With a suddenly very dry mouth DJ managed to get out, “There’s been a murder in the Cultural Gardens.”
That's the beginning of the recently published first novel by Dan Hanson.
The whodunit, titled Murder in the Cultural Gardens, takes place in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens and all 30+ gardens are featured during the mystery. You may even recognize some of the characters.
God, grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, The good fortune to run into the ones that I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.
Do you need help paying your Medicare expenses?
If you are a low-income Medicare beneficiary, the Medicare Premium Assistance Programs (MPAP) may help you pay some or all of your Medicare cost-sharing expenses (premiums, copays, and coinsurance). MPAP is part of the Ohio Medicaid program. MPAP is sometimes called the “Medicare buy-in” or “Medicare savings” program.
Advance directives help ensure that you receive the medical care you would want even when doctors and family members are making decisions on your behalf. There are two different types of advance directives: Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will.
It is difficult for people to accept the notion that adult abuse occurs in the elderly, but the sad fact is that it occurs everyday. Last year in Ohio over 16,000 incidents of elder abuse were reported to Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. In Cuyahoga County alone, over 3,000 incidences of elder abuse were reported to Cuyahoga County Department and Senior Adult Services, Adult Protective Services.
Many people do not like to think about death or funeral arrangements, but some people do make plans for when they pass. For example, some people choose to purchase “pre-paid funeral contracts.” These contacts allow you to make decisions about your own funeral, and pay for it ahead of time. These pre-paid contracts give some people peace of mind. But before purchasing such a contract, keep the following issues in mind.
How can seniors learn more about benefits available to them?
BenefitsCheckUp is a web-based service that helps seniors. It is especially helpful for those with limited income and resources, their family members and, social service organizations. It connects people to over 2,000 public and private programs. Many adults over 55 need help paying for basic needs. Some of the benefits screened for are health care services, prescription drugs, rent assistance, in-home services, meals, heat, and energy assistance, and transportation.
Grandparents sometimes find themselves caring for a grandchild unexpectedly. This often happens without any formal court order giving the grandparent custody or guardianship. Without custody or guardianship, the grandparent will face problems getting medical care for the child or dealing with the child’s school.
A durable power of attorney can be one of the most helpful estate planning tools a person uses, but it can also be very risky. A durable POA gives a person (who is called an “attorney in fact”) legal authority to act for another person in a variety of matters, including banking, benefits, housing, taxes, real estate, litigation, and more. (The durable POA is different from a Health Care Power of Attorney, which is the form used to appoint a person to make decisions about health care.)
:When my mother died in 2012, we discovered that her will was from 1959 and had not been updated to reflect the many changes in her life since then: she had four more children, she bought a house, furniture, an automobile, jewelry, and a dog. As a result, my mother died without a valid will. Following her death, bills had to be paid, property sold, her furniture, jewelry, the car divided, and someone had to take in the dog."
Recommended For You (popular with other Cleveland Seniors)
ClevelandSeniors.Com Book of the Week
Before You Leap
Before You Leap starts on screeching tires, literally—an interstate bridge, a police chase, three men trapped in a car, driving at full speed. The two in the front are arguing, one is brandishing a gun, and the third is bleeding profusely in the backseat. You can’t help but be immediately hooked and wonder, Who are they? And how on earth did they get here?
The novel then takes you back a few days. Greg Cole’s quiet and secluded life is about to be thrown into chaos when he learns that his dead sister’s convicted murderer has been released early.
Before You Leap is absorbing, thought-provoking, and psychologically riveting. I was struck by how the author is able to delve into Greg’s psyche and express his grief over the loss of his sister—and the inner turmoil that overtakes him—with such clarity. What you’re left with is a poignant, complex, nail-biting novel where you watch in a stupor as someone’s life and sanity shatter. And as it crescendos, the story pulls the rug from under your feet and delivers the most unexpected twist—one that took my breath away and left me reeling.
Every Tuesday evening we send an e-mail message to people who are interested in upcoming (the next week) events that have an ethnic or cultural connection. So it may be Opera in the Italian Garden or Puerto Rican Day Parade or Slovenian Kurentovanje or...
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