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The Vinton Eagle - September 12, 1855
If Brother Tilford would only fit up a good pair of steps in front of his otherwise pleasantly arranged school house and church, in lieu of the present little mountain of cobble stones and boards, sinners, while attending evening worship there, would be less apprehensive of being sent direct to Kingdom Come in an entirely unprepared state, by breaking their necks in making the descent to terra firma at the close of the services.
Daily Iowa State Register - October 13, 1867
The Evangelical Church at Blairstown has recently purchsed a new bell weighing 1,000 lbs., and costing $325.
Daily Iowa State Register - January 14, 1868
A True Landlord - Once in a while we find a hotel keeper who is really and truly a good landord. Such a one is "Mine Host" Swinney, of the Howard House, at Blairstown, on the Northwestern Road. Travelers who have to cross from Marengo to Blairstown will find the Howard house on the south side of the Road, and will find it a traveler's home in every respect. On the howling, zero Monday of last week, Mr. Swinney lent us a buffalo robe as a wrapper for a cold journey. We were strangers then, Bro S, but your kindness shall be repaid, and if you pay don't come in this world, we shall lend you one of our wings when we get be an angel in the next. See advertisement in another column.
Iowa State Reporter - November 15, 1871
Miss Jennie Swinney was was postmistress at Blairstown. But the other day she got married, and
then there was no Jennie Swinney any more. Losing her name she lost her office, and a widow lady, name French,
has been appointed in her place. This suggests an inquiry. Supposing some of the young unmarried women elected County Superintendents to Iowa this fall should get married during their official term, would they marry themselves out of office? If the people of of a county elected Miss Mary Smith Superintendent, would she, as Mrs. Mary Jones - John Jones' wife - be competent to continue in the position? If so, and she should sign her new name, how would it be legalized? It would look as though Mary, when she said yes to John and the minister, would have to say good-bye, office. It may be we shall have a practical test whether a girl will love an office
best or a man.
Iowa State Reporter: Waterloo - December 15, 1887
Benton County Coal
At last coal has been found in Benton county. Mr. G. L. Crout, while sinking a well upon the farm of Robt. G. Ferman, of Le Roy township, a mile north of Blaristown, when down 127 feet struck a four-foot vein of coal. After going some distance further a vein two feet thick was struck. Quite a little excitement has spring up.
No coal has been found nearer than Keokuk county, two counties south of this. "Croppings" have been found in Iowa county. A good deal of money been spent in Iowa sinking shafts, but always without result and it has beens supposed that there was no coal north of Keokuk county. This "find" put a different phrase on upon matters. Mr. Ferman tried some of the coal and it burned very much like other Iowa coal. - Vinton Eagle.
The Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette - Thursday, September 22, 1904
Defeated The Bloomers - Blairstown, Iowa, Sept. 22 - Yesterday the Boston Bloomers were here and played ball with the local nine before 500 people, who cam from all over the region hereabouts. The game was warmly contested and resulted in a score of 9 to 8 in favor of Blairstown. John Mohler won honorable mention for the Carnegie hero class by bravely acting as umpire. Bloomer Carrie Nation's nose collided with the ball, breaking the nose and rendering Carrie hors de dombat. A local player was substituted, Mr. Harty.
The score was even to the ninth inning when Dickinson, the pride of the local team, brought in the winning score amid great enthusiasm. Captain Dan Slife, the Blairstown manager, is popularizing base ball here. The boys are playing good ball and have won many victories.
Blairstown Press - June 5, 1936
Young Presbyterian Folk Will Present Two Plays
The Presbyterian Young People’s society will present
two one-act plays Tuesday evening June 9th, at the Blairstown opera
house. The first play is entitled “Neighbors” and the cast
includes Shirley Jackson, Marguerite Thode, Betty Schoen, Phyllis Faye
Drake, Audrey Lillis, Marjorie Nieland, Jack Goss and Billy Groff.
Marie Grunewald in the title role of “My Cousin from
Sweden” has a supporting cast including Marjorie Waychoff, Marjorie
Nieland, Marjorie Lillis, Emma Grunewald, Betty Schoen and Helen
Between the two plays special musical numbers will be presented.
Blairstown Press - May 21, 1937
Group Attends District Meet of Eastern Star
Mrs. P. V. Neuzil, Miss Dorothy Dean, Mrs. Ellen Wilson, Mrs. Geo. Edwards, Mrs. Earl Kimm, Mrs. Lewis Johnson, Mrs. Carl Wilson, Mrs. N. C. Ransom, Mrs. F. C. Rieke, Mrs. Leo S. Hamman, Mrs. Wilson Pingrey and Miss Alma Thorman attended an Eastern Star district meeting at the Masonic temple in Cedar Rapids Saturday evening. Mrs. Neuzil and Miss Dean took part in the program during the afternoon and evening.
A number of those from here attended the banquet at 6:30.
Attend R. N. A. Convention
Among those attending the R. N. A. Convention at Belle Plaine Wednesday were Mrs. Jean Gibbs, Miss Eleanor Gibbs, Mrs. Glenn Newton, Mrs. Pete Thode, Mrs. D. E. Newton, Mrs. W. M. Schwartz, Mrs. P. C. Christianson, Mrs. Al Heck, Mrs. Frank Stauffer, Mrs. Ed Rice, Mrs. Henry Schmuecker, Mrs. "Joe" Martin, Mrs. Edna Hoyt and Mrs. Joe Driscoll.
Blairstown Press - May 21, 1937
Ralph Griesy, manager of the F. H. Smittkamp general store since last fall has resigned and has bought the John Feurbach department store in Keystone. The Griesy family are moving to Keystone this week and will live with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. August Jammer. He will take over the store June 1st. He is succeeded by Walter Ruff.
The local unit of the American Legion Auxiliary sponsored a poppy poster contest in the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grades of the public school and awarded prizes for the first best three original drawings. Twenty-five of the pupils entered the contest. Mrs. R. C. Jenks, Mrs. Ralph Griesy, Miss Cora Rieke and Mrs. C. W. Grady judged. Kathleen Engelking a 6th grade pupil was given first place, Kathryn Bevins placed second and Donald Davis third. Both the latter two are 8th grade pupils. Prizes were $1, 50c and 25c.
Local residents were informed of the death of Frank Henni, 79, who died at the hospital in Iowa City where he had been for treatment for an extended time. He formerly stayed here in the Chris Griese home. He was born in Switzerland and came to America at the age of 21 years. He is survived by one brother of his native country. Funeral services were held Friday morning in the Watkins Catholic church with burial at Norway.
The Rev. Bleecher moved here from Aredale this week into the home purchased a year ago from H. A. Bevins located in the east part of town. The Rev. Bleecher is a retired Evangelical pastor.
Mrs. Mary Fry and her father Henry Werner are moving in with Mrs. Flora Werner residing in the Werner estate house. Mr. Werner has been totally blind for several years.
Blairstown Press - August 13, 1937
Last Band Concert Will Be Wednesday, Aug. 25
The final band concert of the season which was to
have been held next Wednesday evening Aug. 18 has been postponed and
will be held Wednesday evening Aug. 25 owing to the fact that the band
has been engaged to play at the county fair on Thursday, Aug. 19.
On Thursday of this week the band played for the Watermelon day
celebration at Garrison during the day and evening.
Potter Family Gathers
A family reunion was held at the Presbyterian church
basement Sunday in honor of the Potter family of Boone. Those
present included Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Potter and Mr. and Mrs. Ralph
Anderson and daughter of Boone, Mrs. Winifred McKenna and daughter Mary
Margaret of Rapid City, S. D., Mrs. Roy Longacre and Wayne of La Porte
City, Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Gieskieng of Marengo, Fred Birch, Mr. and Mrs.
Ralph Birch and family, Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Birch and family, Mrs. Sam
Varagason and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Ross Burkhart, Mr. and Mrs. Ed
Rice and family and Mrs. Bessie Burkhart and family, all of Blairstown
Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Edwards entertained as Sunday guests Mr. and
Mrs. E. L. Graul of Boone, and Mr. and Mrs. Ival Hils and Janet of
Mrs. Bessie Wills of Muncie, Ind., visited a couple days this week at
the home of her cousin, Mrs. D. F. Newton. Miss Wills also
visited at the Wm. Niebuhr home.
Mrs. Lester Newton and two daughters and Mrs. Anita Stewart attended a
kensington at the home of the former’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harry
Pearson near Van Horne Wednesday.
Mr. and Mrs. Henry Roth drove to Big Amana Wednesday and visited the latter’s brother, Edward Leichsenring who is ill.
Sunday dinner guests at the home of Senator and Mrs. H. J.
Grunewald were Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Grunewald and son William, and Mrs.
Tracy Grunewald of Cedar Rapids.
Blairstown Press - July 8, 1938
New Notes of Legion Auxiliary
The M. J. Kirby unit of the American Legion Auxiliary will hold
installation of officers on Tuesday, July 12, at 2 o’clock in the
Legion hall. Mrs. Walter Thorman will be hostess. All members are
urged to be present.
The junior auxiliary will hold their meeting at the same time
Kellys in Chicago
Mr. and Mrs. Leo Kelly and children and Mrs. Grant Cantwell drove
to Chicago Friday, and were guests of Mrs. Kelly’s brother, Frank
Schafbuch, and Mr. Kelly’s two sisters, Blanch and Tessie Kelly, over
the 4th. Dorthy Jean Kelly, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leo Kelly,
remained in Chicago for a week’s visit.
St. Clair Group Meets
A meeting of the St. Clair Farm Bureau will be held on Tuesday,
July 12, at the N. M. McNee, jr., home near Norway. An interesting
program has been planned for that occasion. The St. Clair Steady
Climbers 4H club will hold an ice cream social. Other clubs invited
are the Leroy Luckies, Eldorado and Florence clubs.
Mrs. Lawrence Nieland went to Iowa City Tuesday to see her
sister-in-law. Mrs. Walter Nieland, who is a patient at the University
The Methodist Ladies Aid met with Mrs. John Burch Wednesday.
Mr. and Mrs. John Ewart and two children visited in the western part of the state over the week end.
Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Fisher and family of Lander,
Wyo., arrived Friday to visit the former’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. John
Fisher and other relatives in this vicinity.
Call on Hospital Patient
Pearl Newton spent the Fourth with her parents, Mr.
and Mrs. D. F. Newton. Mrs. Newton, Glen Newton and Pearl drove
to Iowa City and visited the latter’s son, Billie, who has been
seriously ill in the hospital there. He seemed to be much better.
Shirley Jackson was quite sick on Tuesday and
Wednesday and was unable to report for work at the Blairstown Produce
About Things of Interest
By Mrs. Georgia Jackson
Early tomatoes ripening in several gardens in
town. Oats beginning to take on light golden hue.
Difficulty farmers are having to get up hay before it is spoiled by
rain. Mrs. Elmer Tiedeman decided to raise ducks this season and
number of hens were set on settings of 12 eggs each. One hundred
percent hatches are considered good but one of the hens brought off 15
ducklings instead of 12. Chuck Sheets celebrating Fourth of July
forenoon fighting his way over muddy roads. Poppies and dahlias
in blossom at Oren Thompson home.
Visit in Michigan
Mr. and Mrs. Don Hardin and Jack of Arian, came
Thursday and were overnight guests of Mr. Hardin’s parents, Mr. and
Mrs. Dave Hardin. On Friday they were accompanied by Mr. Hardin’s
sister, Miss Alma Hardin, on a trip to Jackson, Mich., where they will
be guests at the Kenneth Goss home. They also expect to visit at
the Dr. Leo Chess and Mr. and Mrs. Frank Heck home at Reed City, Mich.,
before they return home.
Visits in Boone
James Stauffer drove to Boone last Friday and spent
a few days with his niece, Rachel Bishop. Mr. Stauffer’s sister,
Mrs. Hannah Stephens also visited there. On Sunday they visited
at Mason City and enjoyed a picnic in the park. They also drove
to Twin Lakes.
Blairstown Press - September 1, 1939
Farm Bureau Group Sees Soil Conservation Pictures
A joint meeting of the Leroy Township Farm Bureaus
was held last Thursday evening at the Albert Mecklenburg home.
Chairman Lloyd Doerzman presided at the short business session. A
special feature of the meeting was colored slides showing the damages
and the manner in which soil erosion is being combated. Mr.
Whalen of the Soil Conservation camp at Belle Plaine explained the soil
conservation and the manner in which it is being carried on as he
showed the slides.
Strip cropping, or alternate strips of grass crops
and grain planted around hillsides is one method that is meeting with
much success. Root crops must be planted on farms to prevent soil
erosion. Mr. Whalen answered many questions at the close of the
Mr. Phillips, cow tester for Benton country district
No. 1, was present and gave a short talk and explained the method used
in determining the production of each individual cow in a herd.
In this manner the non-profitable animals can be weeded out and only
the best producers kept. Mr. Phillips said that there is no over
abundance of really good cows.
The women of the organization held their election of
officers which resulted as follows: chairman, Mrs. Lloyd
Doerzman; secretary-treasurer, Mrs. A. E. Schulze; publicity chairman,
Mrs. Albert Mecklenburg; health chairman, Mrs. Lester Kern; music
chairman, Mrs. W. M. Schwartz.
The college 4H members were to have been on the
program but due to lack of time they postponed their part of the
Ice cream and cake was served at the close of the meeting by the college 4H’rs.
Blairstown Press - October 20, 1939
Mr. and Mrs. Kimm Reach 58th Year of Wedded Life
Mr. and Mrs. A. S. Kimm celebrated their 58th
wedding anniversary at their home Sunday by entertaining their
grandchildren and great grandchildren at a family dinner. Those
present were Mr. and Mrs. Ora Kimm, Flavin and Maurice of Norway, Mr.
and Mrs. Jack Becker, Winifred and Dickie, Mr. and Mrs. Earl Kimm and
Mr. and Mrs. Ross Kimm.
Mr. and Mrs. Kimm are quite active in spite of their
age. Mr. Kimm is 84 and still attends to the management of his
farms and does the outside chores around the home. Mrs. Kimm is
88 and does her own housework and tends a flower garden. Many
friends congratulate them upon a long and happy married life.
Vern Patterson Married to Los Angeles Girl
Mrs. Benton Waychoff is in receipt of an
announcement of the wedding of her nephew, Vern Patterson, formerly of
Blairstown, and Miss Dorothy E. Wilson of West Los Angeles,
Calif. The wedding occurred Oct. 8. The couple will
continue to make their home in West Los Angeles where Mr. Patterson is
employed in a grocery market.
Mr. Patterson is a graduate of the Blairstown high
school and for many years made his home with his aunt, Mrs. Waychoff,
who filled the place of the mother who died when he was a small
boy. After graduation Mr. Patterson served with the U. S. army
for four years, two of which he spent in Manilla. Relatives and
friends with the couple much success and happiness.
Mrs. Martha Austin who has been visiting relatives
in Blairstown and vicinity left Wednesday morning for Omaha, Neb.,
where she will visit relatives before going on to her home at Great
Falls, Mont. After a few weeks there she will leave for Cali...
Blairstown Press - April 5, 1940
About Things of Interest
By Mrs. Georgia Jackson
David and Danny Scott have a most unique pet, a
bronze turkey gobbler which accompanies the boys when they go to the
neighbors to play, strutting about and gobbling as contented as can be
until the boys decide to go home; he even follows them part way when
they start off to school; we’d be willing to wager that he is one
turkey that will escape the hatchet for some time. Arnold Furler
feeling pretty shaky after having the oil truck he was driving turn
wrong side up across a barbwire fence just west of the Ed Krueger
residence Tuesday; luckily, Arnold was not injured and the truck was
not damaged to a great extent.
Earnest Riesser planting early garden truck
Saturday; evidently Ernie really believes in signs of spring.
Lovely flowers in windows at the Mrs. Lew Clausen, Mrs. Gust Stineford
and Mrs. Henry Roth homes. More diamond rings are putting in
appearance this spring; wonder if that is a sign of returning
prosperity or something.
Blairstown Press - September 27, 1940
About Things of Interest
By Mrs. Georgia Jackson
New home being built by Mr. and Mrs. A. C.
Jurgensen. The new locker building going up very rapidly.
Corn fields taking on that torn and tattered look of autumn.
Several boys moving old auto down the street by hand and foot
power. Lovely blue morning glories at the Mrs. Anna Herl home
have climbed to the top of a large apple tree. Weddings have been
plentiful of late, who will be next? Notice how much longer the
evenings are and how welcome a bit of fire in the old kitchen range
these last few mornings. Number of homes undergoing repairs
Blairstown Press - June 27, 1941
Harold Kelly of Belle Plaine, Tess Kelly of Chicago
and Mr. and Mrs. Leo Kelly left Sunday for Rochester, Minn., where Leo
Kelly entered the hospital for medical treatment and examination.
Mr. Kelly has been ill for more than two weeks and it is hoped that he
may soon regain his health.
Jolly Neighbors Form New Club At Wednesday Session
The Jolly Neighbors of District 5 met at the
schoolhouse Wednesday for their regular meeting. Roll call was
answered with a favorite summer recipe. Mrs. G. E. Myers presided
at the short business session. A constitution was read and
adopted outlining the purpose and intentions of the club members.
A very interesting lesson on wood craft was enjoyed, the members
drawing and cutting further pieces out of ply-wood. The
refreshment committee composed of Mrs. G. E. Myers, Mrs. Wm. G.
Schroeder and Mrs. Martin Krueger served lunch to Mrs. Ralph Birch,
Mrs. Earl King, Mrs. Walter Pease, Mrs. W. M. Schwartz, Mrs. Robert
Stineford, Mrs. Gus Stineford, Mrs. Bert Wandling, Mrs. Lester Kern,
Martha Glenn, Charlotte Birch and a group of children.
A Galloping Breakfast
Forty-four members of the Presbyterian Social Circle
enjoyed a galloping breakfast Wednesday morning at the home of Mrs. Ed
Rice. This is one of several such affairs and has met with much
approval by all attending.
Return To Home
Mrs. Meta Buch left for her home at Luzerne after
having been employed as nurse at the home of Mrs. Ellen Wilson for the
past nine months. A nurse from Cedar Rapids has replaced Mrs.
Buch in the Wilson home.
Doris Wright who is employed at the Mrs. Ellen Wilson home, spent Sunday with her parents at Ladors.
Mr. and Mrs. Sam Jackson and Mr. and Mrs. Allen Squire visited Sunday at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Hall in Belle Plaine.
Bever Park, Cedar Rapids Scene of Gieskieng Reunion
Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Gieskieng of Cedar Rapids were
hosts to the members of the Gieskieng family at a reunion in Bever park
in Cedar Rapids Sunday. The gatheringBlair was in honor of Mr.
and Mrs. Albert Gieskieng of Bakersfield, Calif., who have been
visiting relatives here. They returned to their home on Sunday.
Present were Mrs. W. J. Hildebrand and Mrs. John
Boyle of Iowa City; C. A. Gieskieng and Mr. and Mrs. Ed Giesking and
Edward of Marengo; Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Birch, Dale and Dean, Fred Birch
and Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Birch and Eldo of Blairstown; Mr. and Mrs.
Arthur Gieskieng of Cedar Rapids; Mr. and Mrs. Russell Davis, Selma and
Donald of Williamsburg; Mr. and Mrs. Henry Birch and Howard and Mr. and
Mrs. Eugene Hunt of Amana; Mr. and Mrs. Roy Boyd, Donald, Dean and
Elaine of Boone; Mr. and Mrs. Albert Gieskieng of Bakersfield, Calif.
Mrs. Hiram Haines has received the announcement of
the birth of a granddaughter Anna Mae Hannen. The baby was born
June 17 to Mr. and Mrs. James T. Hannen of Washington, D. C. She
is the third child and only daughter in the family.
A son, Gerald Anthony, was born to Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Rieder June
18. Mrs. Mattie Brecht of Norway is nursing at the home.
A daughter weighing 8 lbs was born to Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Hartkemeyer at
the Vinton hospital June 19. Mr. and Mrs. John Schadle and Mr.
and Mrs. William Hartkemeyer are grandparents of the new baby.
Dr. D. A. Dutton was summoned to Chicago Thursday by the serious
illness of an older sister Mrs. R. G. Barr, who submitted to an
operation earlier in the week.
Blairstown Press - May 22, 1942
Winners Are Announced In The Poppy Poster Contest
The winners of the poppy poster contest sponsored by the Legion
Auxiliary this year are as follows: first, $1.50 in defense stamps,
Marion Kimm 9th grade; second, $1.00 in defense stamps, Floyd Moore 8th
grade; third, $1.00 defense stamps, Max Kimm 7th grade. In a contest
for second, third and fourth grades, Buddy Young won first prize of 60c
in defense stamps; Marlene Schmid 3rd grade, second, 30c in defense
Mrs. Roland Bruch and Mrs. Geo. Hameister were the judges. These
posters will be displayed in Paul’s window the last week in May.
On behalf of the Auxiliary, Mrs. Young presented Ardis Wood with a
graduation gift. Ardis is the first member of the local Junior
Auxiliary to graduate. Out best wishes to her.
Blairstown Press - January 22, 1943
James E. Thompson has been afflicted with a severe
heart attack and has been cared for by Helen Schmidt, R. N.
Mrs. Glen Wiley of Lewistown, Mont., is visiting in
the homes of her brothers Carl and Jack Strellner, and sister Mrs.
Harry Miller at Vinton. Mr. and Mrs. Wiley moved to Montana last
Lynn B. Kaeberle of the U. S. navy spent the week
end here. He returned again to the Great Lakes training station.
Ruben Denbo was summoned to Plainville, Inc., last week by the serious illness of his mother.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bachman and two children who
have been in Cedar Rapids a few months where for former was employed,
returned here this week to live. They will locate in the home of
his father, Felix Bachman, and he will again be employed in the H. R.
William Fry has been stricken with malaria fever.
Roy Raue, son of Mrs. Anna Raue, who is in the U. S.
army and stationed at Camp Davis, N. C., is here on a furlough with
The shareholders of the Van Horne community fire
trick company met in annual meeting a the city hall Thursday night with
O. W. Ilten presiding. Sgt. Day, state highway patrolman,
attended the meeting and gave an interesting talk. Fire Chief E.
J. Schallau reported on the fire department’s activities during the
year. Four runs had been made, all to the rural community.
Two field fires caused by tractors and the other two were farm
residences. The rural fire company established about four years
ago has approximately 100 members. Officers were elected at the
meeting: Herman Brehm, president; Ray Fry, secretary and L. E.
Blairstown Press - November 19, 1943
Gleanings From The Blairstown Press From By-Gone Years
Ten Years Ago
Mr. and Mrs. Rex Mayhew and Mrs. Gus Kimm were
crowded off U. S. highway No. 30 when a car attempted to pass them and
was met by another coming over a hill. Mr. Mayhew received slight
bruises and the others were severely jolted.
Dr. P. V. Neuzil has been selected as country
chairman of the Democratic Central committee, to succeed Frank B. Kruse.
When Mr. and Mrs. Lester Kern returned home from a
visit to Morning Sun they found that their winter’s meat supply had
Waterloo Sunday Courier, March 4, 1951
Vinton, IA --Members of a class in American history in Vinton high
school, taught by Elmo Baxter, are writing a history of Vinton, with
much of the work being done outside of school hours. One class
period every other week is devoted to the history study.
The 25 students in the junior class started the project two months ago
and expect to complete their work in another six weeks. Written in
seven chapters, the history includes Settlement and Growth of Vinton,
Educational Progress, Communication and Transportation, Government,
Occupations and Industries, Social Life, and Interesting Person
Information is being gathered from numerous publications and from persons who have lived here many years.
Waterloo Sunday Courier - July 22, 1945
Train Kills Two Mexican Laborers Near Blairstown
Blairstown, Ia - Alfonso Lara and Carmen Garcia Ramon,
Mexican laborers, were killed instantly Saturday three miles east of here
when they were struck by an eastbound Nortwestern freigt train.
A third man, Jose Mario Casanova, suffered a fractured arm.
The men had stepped off the roadbed while a westbound freight passed,
according to Coroner John Burrows of Belle laine.
He said they apparently returned to the track directly in front of the eastbound train.
No inquest will be held. Lara and Ramon were not married.
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