Saying Grace ©

“Saying Grace” is the title of a Norman Rockwell painting that appeared on the November 24, 1951 Thanksgiving issue of the Saturday Evening Post. In 1955 it was voted as “Everyone’s Favorite” in a poll taken by The Saturday Evening Post® which had paid Rockwell $3500 for the original (equivalent to about $34,000 in 2018 dollars). 

That was quite a tidy sum in those days but nothing compared to the $46 million dollars it sold for in 2013 at a Sotheby’s art auction after a nasty legal battle among Rockwell’s estate. The buyer’s name was not identified.  

I subscribed to the rejuvenated Saturday Evening Post® a couple years ago primarily because it advertised that it would feature Rockwell’s art and because I felt the stories it featured would be of interest to the readers of this column; and that’s exactly where this story originated. Supplemental facts are from Wikipedia. 

Norman Rockwell was one of America’s most prolific well known artists (he called himself and illustrator) with more than 4000 original works, 321 or 323 (depending on what you read) were covers for The Saturday Evening Post spanning a period of five decades! That is so humbling to me; I have a hard time doing a weekly AAS column! It was both inspiring and humbling to read his accomplishments in Wikipedia as I was preparing for this column.

But what intrigues me about “Saying Grace” (take a minute or two to Google it so you get a visual image of what a $46 million painting looks like) is the subject matter: a grandmother and grandson bowing to say grace over lunch in a crowded, rather modest restaurant while two other patrons at their shared table look on with intense interest.

The painting was done in 1951, a wonderful time in American life during which many of you readers grew up. I was eight at the time. I had a stay-at-home mom who looked after our VERY modest home and made sure we all had clean clothes from her wringer washer in the basement that were dried on the clothes line in summer and in the basement in the winter. Materially, life was lean but I didn’t even know it. Spiritually and emotionally, it was rich; we even walked to church together as a family for several years before we got a car.

“Saying Grace” depicts that time in our national culture where saying grace at the table before meals was a very common expression of faith, whether in private or in public. Today, not so much. In fact, more and more our public demonstrations of faith are scorned by popular culture which causes me grave concern for the future of my grandchildren and our nation.

But no matter what our culture says, to paraphrase a quote from Joshua 24:15, as for me and my house, we will continue to “say grace” (I prefer “Give Thanks”) before meals because  I know they are a gift from God and I never want to take them for granted. Let us always remember we are blessed beyond measure to be born and raised in this country where most of us have three meals a day and we’re free to “say grace” over them if we wish.

Thanks for reading All About Seniors…..see you next week!   

Bill Milby is a Director of Visiting Angels® of Central Georgia, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at 

A gifted friend ©

Last Friday my wife and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. All five of our kids came together along with the grandkids who could sit still long enough for the affair as well as some in-laws and long standing friends. It was a delightful occasion and we’ve had so many friends from all across the USA and Canada comment on Facebook re the pictures that were posted. Each of their commentaries has brought back the special relationship we’ve shared with them over the years. Some of them go back more years than I thought were possible.

My thought for this column this morning was to share with you more of the details re that celebration. But just moments ago, I was sent the obituary of a very gifted friend, Robert Fudge, a lifelong resident of Perry.

I first met Robert in 1971 when we moved from Detroit to go to work at Blue Bird. Robert, who started as a draftsman there, had already been promoted to manager of the drafting department and was a stickler for details and organization. His hand printing looked as though it had been type set at a print shop.

We bought our first house just a few blocks away from where the Fudges lived and quickly became close friends and even car pooled to work for awhile. Because I was paying to send my wife to Wesleyan to finish her degree, finances were tight at our house so I was driving a very used VW Beatle at the time. Robert despised that car for more reasons than one; when he drove, we rode in his hot rod 396 Chevy Chevelle with a four speed gearbox. A few years later I bought that car from him. I think he missed it but not his wife, Carol, because it had “Armstrong” (manual) steering!

In 1980 our career paths separated us when Blue Bird sent us to Quebec where the average snow fall was eleven feet per year! My wife and I often wondered if that was in response to her comment of “I’ll never go back to cold country” after moving from Detroit to Perry back in the 70’s.

But then in 1997, fate brought us back together again when Blue Bird asked me to come back from Canada to direct the engineering department where there were several urgent crises brewing at the time. One of those was a recall the NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration) was pushing us to do on a large number of All American school busses. It could have been an incredibly expensive recall to do on all those busses already in service across the USA and Canada were it not for Robert Fudge.

He designed an elegantly simple reinforcement for the fuel tank safety cage that made the fix easy and very cost effective. I remember celebrating with Robert on that one after the successful crash test which proved his design at the Transportation Research Lab in Ohio. Designing simple solutions to complex problems was a hallmark for Robert which earned him the right to finish his career at Blue Bird as Senior Project Engineer.

RIP, Robert, and thanks for the memories as Bob Hope was so fond of saying! I hope we can go motorcycle riding again when we have our reunion in Glory land! Heartfelt condolences to Carol, Jim and Cathy.

Thanks for reading All About Seniors,…..see you next week!

Bill Milby is a Director of Visiting Angels® of Central Georgia, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at

Wars and Rumors of Wars ©

I woke up each morning last weekend to very troubling headlines…..

  • Saturday from the Saudi Gazette: “BARBARIC ATTACK”
  • Sunday from Joel Rosenberg’s Blog: “Vital American-Saudi ARAMCO oil facilities in Saudi Arabia were severely damaged on Saturday by upwards of ten sophisticated attacks
  • Monday morning on Drudge: “Drone attack on Saudi oil seen as ‘Pearl Harbor’ moment”

The one from Joel Rosenberg, my favorite geo-political/prophetic novelist was particularly poignant because just a couple days before the attack he had led a group of evangelical leaders to meet with the Saudi Crown Prince. His conclusion from that meeting was: “Having just been in Saudi Arabia discussing the gravity of the Iran threat with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) and other senior Saudi officials and military commanders, I would say MBS is fiercely determined to work closely with the US and his allies in the region to counter the Mullahs in Tehran.”

I was discussing these headlines with my 26 year old son over lunch and he asked me a very pointed question: “Dad, could I be drafted into a war”? His question really took me a bit by surprise but I had to admit, it is not without merit. After all, our boys were asking the same question of their dads on December 8th, 1941 after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor after a similar surprise attack.

I’m sure many of the readers of this column remember the draft notices they received, as I did, during the Vietnam war in the 60’s and early 70’s.

And who could have foreseen an 18 year-long war with Afghanistan on September the 10th, 2001. My other son is already a combat vet from that war. And now he’s in Germany working with NATO troops to insure their preparedness for whatever Russia and Turkey have in mind in that theater.

In our safe and peaceful middle Georgia world, it is easy to lull ourselves into thinking all is okay in the world. But the reality is that we could be one missile strike away from WW III. Will Saudi Arabia retaliate against Iran without the USA’s support? I don’t think so. And would Iran come back against us without calling in her ally, Russia? I doubt it. That scenario, as I sit here and type this paragraph is a real one.

Should any of this surprise us? Not really if we have a basic understanding of biblical prophecy. In fact, here’s what Jesus said in Matthew 24:6: “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.”

My favorite commentator on these types of issues is an Ohio attorney, John Haler, who gives a weekly update for about 90 minutes on You Tube every Sunday. He gives a summary of the global news as seen through the lens of bible prophecy; just type in “YouTube, John Haler”, and it will pop up with the current date.

I truly hope that nothing will come off it. But if it does, it surely helps to be able to see it all in light of what the bible says. In the meantime meditate on Philippians 4:6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”.

Thanks for reading All About Seniors…..see you next week!

Bill Milby is a Director of Visiting Angels® of Central Georgia, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at

Why a Seniors’ Column? ©

In the spring of 2008 two of my sons and I started Visiting Angels of Central Georgia. We are part of an international network of locally owned and operated offices dedicated to providing living assistance to seniors in the comfort of their own homes. It was a bit of a rocky beginning; I had to leave my wife working at her job in Hilton Head while I “camped out” with two of my sons in a house with no furniture for the summer. But here we are now, 11 years later, having already served seniors with about 800,000 hours of service! And it all started with one phone call.

I got the idea for this column sometime during that first summer while I was studying to become a CSA or Certified Senior Advisor. I thought that it might be a benefit to readers to share the information I was expected to know from a daunting book bigger than a Sears-Roebuck catalogue. I went to pitch the idea to the then editor of the Houston Home Journal and hardly put the idea on the table before he said “YES”! It seems he was going through some tough senior-related issues with his father at the time. The first All About Seniors column appeared in the Nov 1, 2008 issue of the HHJ in a piece titled “A column aimed at helping seniors”.

The original intent of the column was “Soft marketing” to seniors but it quickly evolved to much more, especially after watching the movie, “Marley and Me”, a hilarious movie about a dog-loving newspaper columnist. Worth watching if you haven’t already seen it. Now, each week before I sit down to compose a column, I pray about it and ask God for help in writing a column that is

  • Truthful
  • Educational
  • Relevant to seniors
  • Entertaining, and
  • God-Honoring

While I might not always hit on all five of those objectives every week, that is at least the goal I strive towards. And I do consider it a great honor to have this weekly platform .

At a recent Visiting Angels business meeting we discussed the idea of hosting an event to celebrate a decade of publishing this column and service to our Middle GA seniors. Trouble is, we’re a year late; it’s already been 11 years! But we didn’t want to wait for another milestone,; who knows at our age, how long we’ll be around?!

So what we came up with is a special “Meet & Greet” event on Friday, Oct. 4th from 5 to 7 PM at the Between Friends Coffee Shop at the intersection of Hwy 96 and Lake Joy Rd. I’ll be there as well as some of our Visiting Angels family to meet and greet as many readers of this column who can make it. We’ll certainly have free coffee and treats for the readers of All About Seniors……thanks for reading it and do plan to join us if you can!

Bill Milby is a Director of Visiting Angels® of Central Georgia, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at

American Bandstand ©

Sunday night we were having a discussion around the dinner table about dance with my granddaughters and son, Max. Somehow the conversation went from “Dance” to “American Bandstand”, a TV show that I suspect many of you senior readers grew up with just like my wife and I. She said “I think I hear an AAS column percolating”; I hadn’t yet thought of it but I guess she was right; here we go.

We looked up “American Bandstand” right there on our smart phones and here are some of the interesting factoids that we learned.

  • It aired in various versions from 1952 to 1989,[1] and was hosted from 1956 until its final season by Dick Clark, who also served as the program’s producer. The original host from 1952 to ’56 was fired after being arrested for DUI charges while the co-owners of the show were campaigning against DUI!
  • Freddy Cannon holds the record for most appearances, at 110
  • Production of the show moved from Philadelphia to the ABC Television Center in Los Angeles on February 8, 1964, which coincidentally was the day before the Beatles first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show.
  • The program was permanently shot in color starting on September 9, 1967. So for fifteen years it was black and white.
  • Bandstand moved to cable on USA Network on April 8, 1989, with comedian David Hirsch taking over hosting duties. Clark remained as executive producer. The final show aired on October 7, 1989, thus ending the show’s 37-year run.

Due to his perennially youthful appearance and his largely teenaged audience of American Bandstand, Clark was often referred to as “America’s oldest teenager”.In his off-stage roles, Clark served as Chief Executive Officer of Dick Clark Productions. He also founded the American Bandstand Diner, a restaurant chain modeled after the Hard Rock Cafe.

The show was “close to home” to me in more ways than one. First, the studio where it originated on Market St in Philadelphia was right across the Delaware river from where I grew up, about ten miles due west. I was a young teen-ager in Jr. Hi when Dick Clark took over the show and then while I was in High school I was playing in a Rock n Roll band called “The Dunes”. Our first (and only) recording was “Lonely Sands” on the Madison label. Russell Faith recorded it for us in a studio very close to The American Bandstand studio. Russell was Percy Faith’s brother (think of the huge instrumental hit from the early 60’s called “Theme From A Summer Place”). If you’re interested, you can go to , type in “Lonely Sands” and listen to our record from 1960. I couldn’t believe it myself until my son showed me…..what a world we live in! Or just click here …..

While we never made an appearance on American Bandstand, we did have a lot of fun playing local dances, weddings and Frat parties. I even made some spending money to put gas in my 1952 Mercury!

I hope this little walk down memory lane triggers some warm teen age memories for you as it did for me on this Labor Day Weekend at the end of summer, 2019. (I was just listening to “Theme From A Summer Place” which took me back 60 years. Try it, works like magic.

Thanks for reading All About Seniors……see you next week!

Bill Milby is a Director of Visiting Angels® of Central Georgia, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at

Happy Senior Citizens’ Day ©

Back in August 1988, before many of us graduated to the Senior Citizen class, in a show of bipartisanship that is increasingly rare these days, this is what came out of Washington:

The Congress, by House Joint Resolution 138, has designated August 21, 1988, as “National Senior Citizens Day” and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim August 21, 1988, as National Senior Citizens Day. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

At the time he was sworn in as our 40th President, Ronald Reagan himself was less than a month from his 70th birthday and at the time he signed the Senior Citizen proclamation he was 77 years old, and had already secured his legacy as one of America’s most revered senior citizens.

And while the current occupant of the White House might not have the endearing charm of Ronald Reagan, he is without doubt, one of the most energetic senior citizens to ever hold that office, and in that respect should be an example to all of us.

In this youth-oriented culture of ours where wrinkle free skin is almost worshipped (A USA Today article said that An American Society of Plastic Surgeons report found Americans spent more than $16 billion on cosmetic plastic surgeries and minimally invasive procedures in 2016), it is appropriate to set aside some time to appreciate our Senior Citizens, for what they have already and continue to contribute to our nation, our culture and our economy.

There are endless examples of famous senior citizens who made major accomplishments to the world after they were already seniors; here are just a few I found inspiring:

  • At the age of 52, despite battles with diabetes and arthritis, Ray Kroc set out to build the McDonald’s brand after working 17 years of his adult life as a paper cup salesman, and another 17 peddling a machine that could craft five milkshakes at once. Seven years after he convinced the McDonald brothers to sell out their shares, he became the owner of a franchise that would sell more than a billion hamburgers by 1963. Kroc continued to be involved in McDonald’s operations until his death in 1984.
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder’s best-selling series of books began with “Little House in the Big Woods,” which chronicled her pioneering childhood in the late 1800s. The books were so well-loved that NBC adapted one into a pilot and then a TV series (“Little House on the Prairie”) that aired from 1974 to 1982. However, Wilder didn’t publish her first book until she was 64. She published “Little House in the Big Woods” in 1932 and continued the series about herself and her family, ending with “These Happy Golden Years” in 1943, at age 76.
  • Who was the woman who captivated U.S. presidents and art audiences at home and abroad? Anna Mary Robertson Moses was better known to the world as “Grandma Moses”, a woman who didn’t begin to paint until the age of 76, when her hands became too crippled by arthritis to hold an embroidery needle. She found herself unable to sit around and do nothing after a long life spent working on farms. When Anna Mary Robertson Moses died in 1961 at age 101, then-President John F. Kennedy released a statement praising her paintings for inspiring a nation, noting, “All Americans mourn her loss” [

My point in highlighting these inspiring senior citizen accomplishments is to inspire those of you who have already retired to your rocking chair. What will YOU accomplish today? This year? It’s never too late!

Thanks for reading All About Seniors…..see you next week.

Bill Milby is a Director of Visiting Angels® of Central Georgia, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at

Photo credit: Ray Kroc, right, with McDonald’s executive Fred Turner in 1975. Photograph: Everett/Rex/Shutterstock

#mcdonalds #nationalseniorcitizensday #VisitingAngels #inspiring #youngatheart

I saw Mama kissing Oreo! ©

Buckle your seatbelts, you’re not going to believe this one!

Within a few weeks after we bought this old farm in 2012, my son, David, bought a couple goats that he wanted for his daughters; I was to keep and care for them, of course! He named them “Oreo” (the black and white mother) and “Babe” (Oreo’s baby). They’ve been beloved (most of the time) fixtures around the farm ever since. To see them running, chewing or just being, always together, is to love them.

Early on, both had a penchant for getting their horns stuck in the old fencing we inherited. It’s because they were afflicted with a human-like syndrome called “The grass is greener on the other side of the fence”! Ever hear of it? For awhile we had a third goat, “Snickers” who would come to get our attention if Oreo or Babe got their heads stuck in the fence until one of us came to the rescue. Snickers’ story will have to wait for another column.

We’ve replaced most of that old fencing but we still have a couple steel cattle panels on the west side of the farm. The cattle love to lay in the shade of a big old pecan tree along that fence and the goats like to graze on whatever is along that fence and occasionally on the other side of it. If they go down too low they can get their horns stuck in the narrower spaces.

That’s why my wife took note of Oreo along the west fence last Thursday as she was doing her chores. And it’s exactly why she went running out to Oreo’s rescue when she saw her in the same location and position a couple hours later. She called for help but I was in town and no one else was within earshot.

What she found when she got to the fence was not pretty. Oreo’s head and horns caught hopelessly in the fence. She wrestled with all her might to free her for quite some time to no avail. Finally, I guess enough adrenaline kicked in for her to pull Oreo’s head and horns with enough force to get her head back through the fence. But by then, Oreo was dehydrated and fell to the ground. Her eyes rolled back in her head, legs out stiff and not breathing!

That’s when Bess went from wife to “Wonder Woman”! Instincts pushed caution aside as she bent over Oreo and began mouth to nose CPR. At first it wasn’t working because all her breath was coming right out Oreo’s mouth. So, again by instinct, she clamped Oreo’s mouth shut with her hand and began mouth to nose CPR again. She kept it up for 4-5 minutes. Finally, Oreo began to breathe just a bit on her own. By that time, my son Max joined her to comfort Oreo long enough for Wonder Woman to run back to the kitchen to rescue an about-to-burn dinner that she left to rescue Oreo. Meanwhile I returned from town to a lot of commotion and got hurried instructions to carry a bucket of water out to Oreo.

As I knelt beside her with a bucket of water I had to hold her head so she could sip some of it. She didn’t even smell, let alone eat, the handful of cattle cubes I brought her that she loves so much.

When we got her stabilized, we went in to gather with our guest family to enjoy the dinner that was rescued from the oven and raised our glasses in a toast: “A breath of fresh air” to my wife; she had surely earned that one!

So, ladies, here’s a question for you. If that husband of yours that you fondly refer to as “Your old goat” stopped breathing, could you give him CPR? Would you? Just a thought!

Thanks for reading All About Seniors…..see you next week!

PS It was especially gratifying to see Oreo affectionately hovering over Babe Saturday afternoon as we returned to the farm. Life is good. Celebrate it whenever you can!

Bill Milby is a Director of Visiting Angels® of Central Georgia, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at

Cataracts,…..Now what? ©

Cataracts are on my mind today because this afternoon I have an appointment with my eye doctor to assess the condition of the cataracts he told me I had a couple of years ago but were not yet ready for treatment. So there, I guess I’ve blown my HIIPA privacy!

By the way, have you heard about the new HIIPA privacy regulations that prohibit the reception nurse from calling out your name when it’s your turn to go back to see the doctor? So, to comply the nurse called the next patient: “Will the lady with the hemorrhoids please come back”?! Just kidding of course; I saw that cartoon a couple weeks ago and just couldn’t resist sharing it with you.

What are cataracts anyway? Of course, I’m not a medical professional of any kind so I have to research for this kind of information. My go-to place for all things medical to start with is Here’s what they have to say: A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. Cataracts are strongly linked to aging, and many people develop them in one or both eyes as they get older”. In fact, according to the National Eye Institute, half of all Americans will either develop a cataract or have had cataract surgery by age 80.

One thing I didn’t realize as I was studying this is that cataracts are more likely to occur among women. In fact, in 2010, 61 percent of Americans with cataract were women; 39 percent were men.

And here is a somewhat troubling statistic which is due to the aging of our population: By 2050, the number of people in the U.S. with cataract is expected to double from 24.4 million to about 50 million. Can you imagine what a strain that’s going to be on our Medicare system?

And speaking of Medicare, I’m sure one question on your mind as you read this is “Does Medicare cover cataract treatment”? Here is a direct quote from the website: “If you have Medicare coverage and your doctor determines that cataract surgery is medically necessary, Medicare covers the procedure to remove the cataract, as well as doctor services and related care following your surgery.

You may be responsible for certain costs, including deductibles, copayments, and/or coinsurance.”

So what is the treatment procedure? You may remember as I do, that it was a very tedious thing when we seniors were kids. In fact I remember my parents telling me that after cataract removal back in their day, the patient had to have his head placed between sandbags to keep his head immobilized during the healing process. Today, it is far, far different. While I don’t have the space nor the expertise to go into the details here, if you’re interested, I’d encourage you to o to this WebMD site for a very enlightening slide show which will provide a lot of answers to the questions you may have:

I hope this has been a bit enlightening for you. If you or a loved one have or suspect you have cataracts, you are very blessed to live now instead of when our grandparents did. Just remember to tell the receptionist that you have cataracts, not hemorrhoids!

Thanks for reading All About Seniors…..see you next week!

Bill Milby is a Director of Visiting Angels® of Central Georgia, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at

Let’s make the bed together ©

The title of today’s column is a request my wife made to me a month or so ago that immediately resonated with me as a subject for this column; I told her so at the time and she gave me a quizzical kind of look. So I’ll share what struck a chord with me.

But first, a shout out to the Houston Home Journal and Cordele Dispatch for giving me this platform to share with you these thoughts. If it weren’t for that, my wife’s comment probably would have sailed right over my head. But this column makes me keep my antenna up for the “hidden” blessings of life; and this is one of them!

So please let me unpack my wife’s request a little bit at a time here.

I’ll start with the last work, “TOGETHER”. That means I’m not alone! I get to share life every day with my best friend. Not only that she loves me and the feeling is very mutual, even after 49+ years. With divorce rates being what they are today, that’s no small accomplishment; if fact, it’s one to celebrate which is exactly what I’m doing here!

She said “Let’s MAKE….” which meant that we woke up this morning, we’re healthy enough to be up and about and we’re exercising our free will, even if it is making the bed. As an aside here I’ll share with you that most mornings I’m up first and brewing a fresh pot of coffee which is at the top of my To Do list. And my bride is my first customer, usually before she even gets out of bed. It’s one of her little pleasures and I love to indulge her. Of course I had to wait ’til she finished her coffee before she was ready to make the bed.

Then as we were making the bed together it dawned on me that we SLEPT in it together. We got a wonderful night’s rest in a comfortable bed in a safe place that we call home; what a beautiful word that is: HOME! Neither one of us was alone. I realize that many of the readers of this column are alone having already lost their spouse. I admit have not walked in your shoes, but I would throw out this challenge: when the loneliness hits hard, hearken back to the years you did have together and embrace those cherished memories.

Finally, we got to SLEEP together! Hollywood seems to think that only young people like to sleep together; apparently they don’t have many seniors out there to tell them otherwise or if they do they don’t think they can make a profit showing a couple seniors enjoying the passions of embracing each other. Somebody needs to tell them what they’re missing. Sharing a bed together is not just for the young, is it?!

Well, have I made my point yet? Do you understand why the thought of “Making the bed together” with my wife struck me when she said it? I hope so!

So, guys, if your wife asks you to help her make the bed, don’t look up with a sneer over your newspaper; remember that you got to sleep in it with her last night and start stretching those sheets with her. It might help awaken your imagination to the first time you got to sleep with her. Who knows what might happen tonight?!

Thanks for reading All About Seniors…..see you next week!

Bill Milby is a Director of Visiting Angels® of Central Georgia, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at

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