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July 7, 1944

DEAR JOE: On our front, no cannons boomed, no rockets screamed across the sky. It was a pleasant, quiet Fourth . . . At 3:00 o'clock, the Civil Air Patrol band from Des Moines paraded and played a concert in the square . . . Hundreds swam at the pool . . . Other hundreds watched Fort Dodge defeat Manson, 4 to 1 . . . In the evening, we all went out to Oleson Park and watched the Boone Scotties parade, heard the band play, listened to June Lowry sing. There were picnics in all the parks, as we celebrated that independence you are fighting to preserve . . . Although the holiday started Saturday evening and carried through to Wednesday morning, the casualties in our immediate sector were nil. In the U. 5., 360 some died, mostly traffic. Other thousands suffered from indigestion, sunburn, holidayitis and aching feet . . . German prisoners at Algona celebrated the Fourth by going over the hill on a little frolic of their own. They were captured—two of them—at Whittemore . . . The weather has been very pleasant, warm and clear. Corn that we thought would never get started, was over knee high —over 60 per cent of it, by the 4th of July . . . August 22, 1944 marks the 75th anniversary of the incorporation of Fort Dodge. Plans are underway for a diamond jubilee . . . Wish you were here.

AROUND THE TOWN. M. E. McHenry is now Lion’s Club president . . . V. E. Merryman, city electrical engineer for 25 years, died last Saturday after a long illness . . . Mrs. Gertrude Wallestad, of Roelyn, who died last week, left $100,000.00 for the establishment of a Lutheran Children’s home in or near Fort Dodge . . . W. L. “Bill” Hamilton, of the Messenger news staff, is going overseas for OWI. He will leave about July 15th . . . Gene Coffman, manager of Sears Roebuck has been promoted. He will manage the SR store at Alton, Ill. . . . C. A. Rivedal, of Firestone, has been made district superivisor of tractor tire sales in Iowa . . . Bob Burlingame, of WHO, is getting married and joining the OWI for an overseas assignment . . . Judy Flynn, three years old daughter of Pfc. John Flynn, was picked as a winner in the Pee Wee Pin-Up contest at the air base in India, where John is stationed. Judy is living in Des Moines with her mother . . . Neighbors at Lehigh pitched in and put up 10 acres of red clover for John Daniels while he was in the hospital . . . Inner tubes have been removed from the ration list. All you need now is the casings to put ’em in . . . Thieves broke into Jeffries last week, took $70.00, went to the Boston Shoe Repair shop on Central Avenue, got $15.00 . . . Dorothy Bonnell has been awarded a scholarship to Purdue University for a course in aeronautical engineering by Curtis Wright aircraft . . . Mr. and Mrs. J. Alftine celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in Gowrie, Sunday, July 2nd. They held open house for all their friends . . . The F. D. Independents last week defeated Humboldt, 11 to 9; and Dayton, 8 to 0, Proeschold, on the mound against Dayton, pitched a no hit game. Only two Dayton men reached first, both on infield errors. Knack held Humboldt to two scattered hits.

ENJOYING MOM’S COOKING. Lt. and Mrs. Ralph Bastian and son, Ralph, Jr., from Key West, Fla. The Lt. is on his way west for duty aboard a battleship . . . WAVE Katherine Saunders . . . Lt. Robert Jensen, from Waco, Texas . . . John Ault, AMM 2/c from Hawaii . . . Capt. and Mrs. M. J. Galer, from Independence, Kansas . . . Cpl. John Perkins, from Columbus, Ohio . . . Lt. Mason Haire, back from an inspection trip which he made by plane over the South Pacific . . . S/Sgt. Robert Sharrett, from Camp Howze, Texas . . . Pvt, Robert Broadstone, from Camp Cooke, Calif . . . Richard C. Johnson, S 3/c, of Gowrie. He’s on his way to technical school at Great Lakes . . . Ray Dockery, Jr., from Corpus Christi, Texas. His wife, the former Helen Gail Porter, is with him . . . Pvt. Tom Moore, from Camp Grant, Ill . . . A/C John Gustafson, on his way to San Marcos, Texas . . . Fred Peterson, MMM 3/c, on his way to Cleveland, Ohio . . . Magnus Nodtvedt, S-V 12, from Notre Dame . . . Allan Johnson, after sixteen months of action in the South Pacific . . . Lt. Harold “Bud” Dessinger, from Ft. Devens, Mass . . . . Pvt. Robert Rolfdahl, from Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo. . . . Lt. Bob Marsh, from Dale Mabry Field, Fla. . . . Lt. Jim Tucker, from down south. Flew in over the Fourth . . . WAVE Viola Orness, S 3/c, of Moorland, from New River N.C. . . . Lt. Don Charles, of Dayton, from Ft. Sill, Okla. . . . Pfc. Kenneth Quinn, from Camp Bowie, Gulfport, Miss. . . . Robert L. Ackerson, from. Camp Croft, So. Carolina, on his way to Meade, Maryland.

HOME TOWN BOYS MAKE GOOD. Homer B. Libbey is a second Lt. with the engineers. Graduated at Fort Belvoir, Va., June 28th . . . Richard Whitcome is wearing the navy’s wings of gold. Got them at Pensacola, Fla., June 27th . . . Tom Beisser is a flight officer. Graduated at George Field, Ill, June 27th . . . Bob Michael won wings June 27th at Luke Field, Ariz. He is a flight officer . . . Robert McLowry won his wings and commission as a navigator at Hondo, Texas, in June . . . Merlin Natto won. his wings and became a flight officer recently at Big Springs, Texas . . . Roger Isaacson won his wings and commission at Moore Field, Mission, Texas, last week. He’s home now with his wife and small son, Terry . . . T/Stg. Freddie Thomas of Dayton, has been awarded the air medal, He's engineer on a Fort based in England . . . John V. Mulholland won his wings and commission at Altus, Okla,, June 27th. He’s a pilot on a B-24 . . . Everette Quade was commissioned 2nd Lt. in the army engineers at Ft. Belvoir, Va., June 28th . . . Geo. Reynolds has been commissioned an ensign in the U. S. Navy at Plattsburg, N.Y. . . . W. F. Simonson got his commission and wings at Victorville, Calif, early last month.

WEDDING BELLS. Mrs. John Carstens and Paul D. Peterson, at Fairmont, Minn., June 27th . . . Janet Hansen, of Lehigh, and Ensign Roger E. Natte, of Moville, in Fort Dodge, July 2nd . . . Betty Jane Presler and Ensign R. O. Osmanson, July 2nd, at Fort Dodge . . . Beverly Lowry and Pvt. Clifford Cady, July Ist, at Fort Dodge . . . Irene Bilek and Richard Magennis, July 1st at Fort Dodge . . . Gertrude Brin and Chas. O. Holleb, of Chicago, some-

charged . . . Geneva Peterson and Karl 0. Balm, June 27th, in Fort charged . . . Geneva Peterson and Kal 0. Balm, June 27th, in Fort Dodge . . . Myrin Meyers, of Eagle Grove, and Robert V. Ray, June 29th, at Fort Dodge . . . Gladys Young, of Lehigh, and Albert Wilcox, S l/c, at Fort Dodge, June 30th . . . Minnie Kennedy, of Garner, and Richard Samuelson, CM 1/c, at Fort Dodge, June 25th.

WAR’S BLOODY BILL. Theodore Lee, formerly employed in Fort Dodge, lost his life by electrocution June 20th. He was with the Seabees in Tarawa . . . S/Sgt. Gust Back, of Duncombe, was killed in action June 10th in France . . . Lt. Willard Hadjes is missing in action. A bomber pilot based in England, Hadjes has been missing since June 18th . . . S/Sgt. Stan Pingel was wounded in the invasion but was released from the hospital June 20th . . . Dr. Don Thatcher is listed as missing in action as of June 22nd. He was a flight surgeon based in England.

OVERSEAS. Pvt. Rosette A. Harp, while on pass the other day in England, went out to buy us a copy of “Lili Marlene” but every place was sold out. Rossette did get a copy of “Got any Gum Chum?” , a song inspired, he says, by the plea that all English moppets fire at any convenient Yank. Recently Rossette met William Beckett, of Clarion, whose wife, June, works here at KVFD and is in charge of the address files that are so important in the mailing of Y. L. F. H. Thanks, Rosette . . . Pvt. Louis Rumme is now getting his mail APO 709 San Francisco. He'd like to see some Fort Dodgers . . . Sgt. Allen T. Roth, now in North Africa had some grand talks with Lyle Ricketts, Tom Kelley and Wendell Reed -in Sicily. He says they are all getting along fine . . . Sgt. Joe Nemecheck is in England and living in a pup tent. He says anyone that thinks summer in England is like summer in Fort Dodge is out of his head . . . Sgt. Ken Newbrough is now getting his mail APO 557, New York . . . John F. Estlund, F 1/c, has arrived safely in England. He’s been having fun trying to buy things with English money . . . Sgt. Chas. F. Manguson, of Dayton, is in England.

GLAD TO SEE EACH OTHER, Robert L. “Red” Dallman, 5 1/c, of Gowrie, and a girl from Iowa. Had a date in Houston. Red says “I'd rather go with an Iowa girl than Betty Grable or Hedy Lamarr.” Red was lucky a short time ago. He saw Gene Soppeland. “Boy, I was so happy I could hardly talk.” Red is in radio school at College Station, Texas. We're a little late with that dedication, but we'll get to it, Red . . . Brothers Bill and “Buck” Vargason in Italy. “Buck” has been overseas about two years and weighs over 200 pounds. Bill is with the air corps; “Buck” with headquarters and doing something about entertainment. Still has the guitar with him and singin’ those cowboy songs. They hadn't seen each other for almost three years . . . Brothers Don and Manny Palmer, first time in two and a half years, somewhere in the Pacific. They had a two hour chat and then were separated again. Don is an ARM 3/c . . . C. A. McCarthy, BM 1/c, and Owen Peterson, somewhere out in the Pacific . . . Sgt. Leo R. Edwards and Sgt. John Gilligan are in the same outfit somewhere in England.

A COPY OF “THE MOON SHED A TEAR” , the song that Jimmie Haring wrote while crouched in a New Guinea foxhole, came in the last mail and one of these days we'll give it the air ever KVFD. Sounds swell. Thanks, Jimmie. Incidentally, Jimmie is now at San Diego.

CLEVEREST CARD OF THE WEEK comes from Carl E. Theiss, WT 2/c, with the Seabees somewhere where they wear grass skirts—not the Seabees, silly, the natuffs. The card is one of those things with illustrations where you write a letter just by putting check marks in conveniently provided squares. Thanks, Carl. Sure, what with rationing and all, I could use a grass skirt.

DOWN UNDER. Louis Davis, Cox. once my favorite Postal Telegraph boy, is far off in the New Hebrides where no native girls are as beautiful as Dorothy Lamour—in fact where the native girls aren’t beautiful at all. Louie says “Hello Punkie.” . . . Lt. Carolyn Schill, A. N. C. stationed in New Caledonia, recently admitted as a patient Sgt. Lyle Culmer, a member of the police force in Webster City and formerly a special officer at Expo Park. Lt. Schill says “We see little more of the war than you do. Many patients but not the battle casualties we expected.” . . . Howard Crosby, with the Seabees in the Solomons, is now S 1/c . . . Down in New Guinea where Pfc. Darwin Brand is, it rained for five straight weeks. They had almost forgotten what the sun looked like when finally the clouds lifted.

THE LITTLE MAN WITH THE BIG SCISSORS. He made the damndest jig saw puzzle out of a letter from T/3 Earl R. Larson that we ever saw. Earl is in Burma, I learned that much. He is alive and very busy. And his captain is busy, too. I think he’s a doctor from the looks of the letter, a surgeon.

NELS LARSON, S l/c, is back from Scotland. Over there, his ship docked at Glasgow. Nels and several of his shipmates, while walking in the country, came upon an abandoned castle. It was a beautiful place, Nels said, with a swimming pool, and a fish pond on the estate and 40 rooms in the castle itself. There it was, left fully furnished but with the lawns and gardens grown up to weeds and undergrowth. There was a fireplace in every room. Newspapers in the library indicated it had been occupied until 1938, While in Glasgow, he saw an empty tin of Brunch in one of the gutters. A former Tobin employee, Nels had to call it to the attention of his companions . . . He’s on his way now to the west coast.

IN FRANCE. Lt. H. S. Frantz, with an armored unit in France, was short on paper when he wrote to us, so he picked up and wrote on one of the little handbills dropped by Allied fliers on the Normandy peninsula during the invasion. It reads in French “Message Urgent” from the commander “Supreme des Forces Expeditionnaires Allie Aux Habitants de Cette Ville.” It warns the people of the coming assault, tells them to get off the roads, and ends up

“you have not a moment to lose.” He had just gotten his first Y.L. F. H. in France. Thanks, Lt.

SERVICE PAPERS. From Cpl. Elmer Wegman, San Angelo, Texas, “Flight Time,” published at Goodfellow Field. Thanks, Elmer . . . From Pfc. Robert W. Ryno, Drew Field, Tampa, Fla., “Drew Field Echcos,” recently adjudged the best service newspaper in the world. Thanks, Robert . . . From J. Clark, in Italy, “The Maple Leaf.” the Canadian Press Newspaper for Canadian troops in action; the “Union Jack,” for the British troops in Italy; and “The Crusader,” founded for the British Eighth Army in Italy, all relating the fall of Rome and the beginning of the invasion. Thanks, J.

OVER HERE, Jack Henderson, S 2/c, has been working in Farragut under Lt. H. T. McMaster in Ships Service . . . Paul Bestick, AMM 3/c, is at the air station at San Diego . . . Walter Woodman, F 2/c, is at Camp Bradford, Norfolk, Va. . . . Pfc. Leland Anderson is personnel clerk in regimental headquarters at Ft. Knox, Ky . . . Doris Grundon, Y 3/c, is at personnel office, Hutchinson, Kansas . . . Cpl. and Mrs. A. E. Brugman are at Fort Knox, Ky. Mrs. Brugman is the former Geneva Sanchell . . . Pvt. James Saigh is at Camp Bowie, Texas . . . Pfc. Herschel J. Dueker is at Muroc, Calif.

FROM THE FIVE CORNERS OF THE WORLD. Ray Fallon, S 2/e, New Guinea, “A few days back, I ran into another Fort Dodger, Boyd Christenson, of the Fleet Navy. We played a job (our orch.) and afterwards, Boyd came backstage and, while we were in a hurry then, nevertheless we got together the next day and really had a bull session about things and people back home. I think I told you about the show we're writing, “Navy Showboat.” Well, working on the script now with Jerry Coehn is none other than Dave Gerdon, who was at least partly responsible for such notable screen successes as “Typhoon” and “Cover Girl,” the new movie which starred Rita Hayworth and Gene Kelly and many others, including a Bette Davis picture yet to be released. Jack Hoffman, who was with the Cleveland Indians, has introduced us to some of his friends who are here and they include Phil Rizzuto, of the New York Yankees, and Don Pageant. We've had a colored fellow sitting in with us some lately. His name is Harry Garnett and he played for a long, long time with Ella Fitzgerald and Chick Webb. His music is terrific, I mean he’s out of this world.”

Pfc. Ray Nelson, France, “I have not been around much since I landed here but it looks like it has been a beautiful country. There is plenty of activity and excitement. Have a modern foxhole except bell-hop service and running water. I'll have the running water, I imagine, as soon as we get a good rain. I’ve tried the French wine: not bad, old man, not bad. Left some dear friends in England—but we must get this job done.”

Rudi Anderson, Italy, “Today was my lucky day for I got my first German plane. At first, it was kind of hard to shoot at him, but then I realized that it was either him or myself. We landed in Russia a couple days ago and it is better, as far as sight seeing goes, than it is in Italy. The people really treated us very nice. I saw a boy from Fort Dodge last week. His name is Mahoney. At the present time I can’t think of his first name. It was really great to see someone from home. Give my regards to all the merchants that help to make Y. L. F. H. possible and tell them to keep up the good work.”

Lt. Bon Culver, France, “Maybe it is time I dropped you a line and let you know where I am. I guess you can tell that from the upper right hand corner of this page. I am feeling fine and being kept very busy which is okay by me as the time really flies by that way. Time can’t pass too soon, either, until I can be home again at Harcourt and frequenting some of those places in Fort Dodge that were so good in backing such a swell little paper as “Your Letter From Home.”

Edward Moon, MoM 2/c, FPO New York, “Long time no see, but I've been getting “Your Letter From Home.” Thanks a million for the news. “Hello” to Bill Thatcher, Ralph Coats and all the boys in Italy. Lucky enough to be in on the French invasion. We're doing a great job over here. Hope I can see all in the near future. “I'll be seeing you.” (We'll take care of those requests.)

Pvt. Virgil E. Cannon, England, “England is quite a change to a boy from Iowa and one misses the corn fields. Plenty of pasture land and trees but not much of the land is planted to crops such as one is used to in Iowa. It is a pretty country, especially now with its colors, green grass, trees and the many colored flowers. The climate is also quite a change. Here it is the middle of June and I am still freezing. It’s really cold at night and not too warm in the daytime.”

Pvt. Rebert Baker, France, “I am in France now and it is a very nice country. The people I have met so far have treated me swell; but nothing I have seen so far can compare with good old Fort Dodge. I’m not living so bad and the wine here is O. K.”

S/Sgt. Herb Josephson, England, “When I arrived here in England, about the first fellow I met was Donn Cottrell. We went into a mess hall and there he was. He happened to be passing through and stopped to eat. We had quite a chat about old times at home. Have in thirteen missions now. Sure wish the rest of them were over. Have a swell bunch of fellows on our crew.” (Yes sir, Herb, we'll take care of those requests for you.)

Lt. D. C. McMartin, France. “Just to let you know I've moved again and am now somewhere in France. There is plenty of work here and very little sleep. Another premium item is a bath and a shave. But we get plenty of food and cigarettes. When you're tired, you will also find a dry foxhole very comfortable sleeping. A wet one is not so good. Cigars are my big trouble. Can't get them here at all. No wine around but they do have some hard cider that tastes like a sweet vinegar. We get no news and no radio so don’t really know as much as you do about how the war is going. They just called chow so goodbye for now.”

C. F. Hentges, MoMM 2/c, Somewhere close to England, “Have been located here since the first part of June. After leaving where we were coming from there, not knowing we were coming here from there, we could not tell if we would arrive here or not. Nevertheless, we are now here and not there. The weather here is just as it is at this season, but, of course, quite unlike the weather where we were before we came here. After leaving by what we came by, we had a good trip. This whole thing is quite a new experience here, because it isn’t like what it is like where we were before we left for here. It is now time to stop this somewhat newsy letter before I give away too much information, as the censor is likely to be a spy.”

S/Sgt. V. A. Spinharney, France, “Your letter was the first mail I received after landing on French soil and needless to say it was

very much appreciated. Mail was slow in getting here the first few days but it is coming in better now. The weather has been very cold up until today and sleeping in foxholes isn’t the most comfortable thing but it is the safest thing under these circumstances.”

Arthur Marion Knudson, G. M. 3/c, FPO New York, “I see you hear from Palmer Strom in Italy. He was telling about the Anzio Express. Well, the Normandy Express doesn’t sound so good either, Anyway, I would rather be someplace else—preferably home. We have been to the beach four times and it is a little exciting at times.”

Sgt. C. E. Lillig, Italy, “I met Mary Dolliver in the Red Cross in town. So we naturally had a little chat about the old home town. She has a list of the names of the fellows from home she has met since being here. Believe me, Fort Dodge is well represented over here. Oh, yes, she told me to tell you the records you have sent are being used plenty. No use in my telling you much about Italy, I guess, as I know you have heard that many times already. I’ll just say the weather is great. So we can always go swimming —at least on our day off.”

Robert W. Jamieson, RM 2/c, FPO New York, “I am on a C. T. boat, have been for the vast nine months. Have been on this advanced base only a couple of months. Long enough to have a few close calls and be reported sunk. It was just wishful thinking on the part of German propaganda. Gave us a good laugh!!”

Pfc. Maurice L. Bestick, England, “Bobby Steyer, Bob Morrow and I are still together. We are about to celebrate our twenty- ninth month over on this side. We are getting quite used to being here. We drink tea and English ale with the best of the local civilians and we use Cherrio and actually just about every time we open our mouths. The place we are situated now is one of the nicest places that a man in uniform could ask for. The people around here treat us pretty swell.”

Lt. August R. Ricke, England, “Hello—well, this is it—and the boys here are plenty busy. The second day we were here, I walked into a radio school and saw Lt. Bill Mulroney. We had a good bull session then and several nights later we had another one in the officers’ club. Bill has a real record behind him and has finished his missions. Now he is passing on his knowledge to new crews that came over. Bill informed me that Dick Schnurr is on this same field so some day I am going to try and look him up and talk to him.”

Pvt. Lauren Youngdale, Topeka, Kansas, “I have been lucky enough to get in a male quartet, and we do quite a bit of singing, which keeps us pretty well occupied. Two of the fellows are from the Topeka Air Field and two of us from the hospital. This last two weeks we have been going out with the Junior Chamber of Commerce to the smaller towns around Topeka, on the Fifth War Bond Drives. We usually brought a couple of patients from the hospital who had been wounded in action along to say a few words. Our quartet would sing a few numbers and then they would show an army film, released just for this Fifth War Loan Drive. 'The best luck we had was at a small town where we had less than 200 people and we sold over $6,000 worth of bonds, Considering that most of the people at these gatherings are children, we thought that was really good.”

S/Sgt. Duke Skophammer, APO New York, “Found out this fine morning that an old friend, Leo Simmons (model crew Simmons he was knowed as), is located a short distance from here and am going to drop in and see him if we ever get any time off. Of course, he’s one of the Libby boys (Bee-two-four) but he probably can’t help that. We sort of like those boys because outside of P-38's, they are the best escorts the Fort boys have. P. S.: Made staff sergeant yesterday morning—and am now flying in the tail position.”

Cpl. Elmer Wegman, San Angelo, Texas, “I have been receiving copies of “Your Letter From Home” for a number of months now and I can say it’s one letter I look forward to receiving each week. It contains the information which everyone else thinks we wouldn't be interested in and is tops on my list. I have been stationed here at Goodfellow Field for the past nineteen months, doing my work as a mechanic to keep ’em flying. Our camp is really a small town in. itself, with paved streets and two-story barracks which are really swell. We have almost everything a soldier could want, except to be home. I guess we have all been taken in as Texans by now and these Texas people are really grand. This Texas weather is one thing that has me going in circles. You never know when it is going to rain or blow up a dust storm and the sun just keeps shining all the time.”

Pvt. L. M. Magoon, Kwajalein Island, “It’s about 9:30 and I’m listening to the transcribed music from station KWAJ, at Ewajelein Island. They jut out the news once in a while, too, and [’m telling you history is poppin’ out here. We have been quite busy lately, as you know. Our planes came back in last evening, so we ee to clean today. That’s always my job—also loading bombs.”

And other fine cards and letters came to us from Cpl. Arlie Luxon, New Guinea . . . Pfc. Lorell McFarland, APO San Francisco . . . Pvt. F. A. Engelbart, North Africa . . . 2nd Lt Bill Mulroney, APO New York .. Pfc. Harold A. Bothe, England . . . Pfc. John W. Earles, Italy . . . Sgt. Ed. W. Stephens, England . . . T/5 Henry Whitaker, APO New York . . . Pvt. Elbert G. Jordison, APO New York . . . T/5 Laurence Plimer, APO New York . . . Lt. James D. Rhodes, Italy . . . Carl E. Theiss, WT 2/c, FPO San Francisco . . . Pvt. Darrell Peterson, New Guinea . . . Pfc. Gordon Martinson, India . . . J. D. Williams, FPO New York . . . Roger Carlson, 5S 2/c, Portland, Oregon . . . Doris Grundon, Y 3/c, Hutchinson, Kansas Bill Blanchet, Amarillo, Texas . . . Capt. John K. Jensen, Camp Polk, La. . . . William Skophammer, H. A. 1/c, FPO San Francisco . . . Pvt. Ray Martin, APO New York . . . S/Sgt. Wesley V. Hill, Iran. (We'll take care of that birthday request, Wes.)

It was good hearing from all of you. It’s the thing that makes the writing of this letter worthwhile. When the mail bag opens and a great bundle of letters is dumped out on the desk, we know we've hit the jackpot. Then once more we know we've got friends and readers. I can remember when I used to wonder whether we'd ever have any readers in Rome. You guys are there today. And you are in France! Some day soon, looks like we'll have readers in Paris and Berlin—yes, and in Tokyo! . . . Joe, it can’t be too soon. I love writing to you but it will be a happy day when I can write at the bottom of this letter, “That's all there is, there isn’t any more.” . . . Good luck fellow. You are great people.

Your home town correspondent,


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